Livestreamed on this page Monday, March 9 at 5pm PST (San Francisco) / 7pm CST (Minneapolis) / 8pm EST (New York).
Livestreaming Book Launch Celebration
All the Lights On: Reimagining Theater with Ten Thousand Things—Mon, March 9
Ten Thousand Things Theater in Minneapolis and the Minnesota Historical Society Press present a book launch celebration of All the Lights On livestreaming on the global, commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Monday, March 9 at 5pm PST (San Francisco) / 7pm CST (Minneapolis) / 8pm EST (New York).
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All the Lights On by Michelle Hensley is a history of the Twin Cities’ theatre company Ten Thousand Things, which brings intelligent, lively theatre to nontraditional audiences–to prisons and homeless shelters, adult education centers and rural areas–as well as the general public. All the Lights On is published by the Minnesota Historical Society, in association with HowlRound.
Michelle Hensley, founder of Ten Thousand Things Theater in Minneapolis, shares more than twenty years of her company’s nationally unique work bringing professional theatre to those in prisons, homeless shelters, adult education centers, and rural areas, as well as the general public. More than a chronological history, All the Lights On is also about the radiant power of theatre.
In this articulate and compelling book, Hensley distills what nontraditional audiences, along with the conditions her artists must perform under to reach them, have taught her about Brecht, the Greeks, Shakespeare, musicals, and the essence of what is necessary to make vibrant and essential theatre. Her experiences lead her to conclude that theatre artists become better and the art form itself much richer when everyone is included in the audience. In Ten Thousand Things productions, people from very different economic classes sit next to each other in the round and often experience unexpected connections with each other. Hensley writes in the introduction:
Not only do we have a chance to experience the multiple viewpoints of many characters in the play, but with all the lights on, we are able to consider the differing viewpoints of the other audience members seated around the circle. It all serves to increase, just a little, the radiance of our world.
“Michelle Hensley’s radiant vision has already converted thousands (including me), and this book will swell that number. One of the very few books that should—no, must—be read by anyone who cares about making an American Theatre that matters.”
—Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director, The Public Theater
“A call to arms for our field. Like the seminal works of Grotowski and Brook, Hensley’s book in its quiet way could redefine and revolutionize theatre for generations to come.”
—Bill Rauch, Artistic Director, Oregon Shakespeare Festival and co-founder, Cornerstone Theater Company
“All the Lights On is an indispensable guide to doing this work: a manifesto, a checklist, and a road map. It captures Michelle’s special voice—conversational and warm, passionate and smart—as it reminds us of the theater’s unique capacity to connect us all to our one beautiful humanity.”
—Barry Edelstein, Artistic Director, The Old Globe
“In Hensley’s work through Ten Thousand Things, everything and everyone conspires to make the theatrical experience excellent: the central focus on telling a great story; the hiring of the best actors from diverse backgrounds to tell that story; the setup of the room that makes the story come alive intimately, honestly, and with full immediacy; and finally, and most essentially, the audience itself, different in different settings, representing everyone in our society.”
—Jon Moscone, Artistic Director, California Shakespeare Theater
“Working with Ten Thousand Things remains one of the most artistic and humanitarian experiences of my adult life as an artist and person. The world of Ten Thousand Things reflects the world we live in, and no audience is turned away. It is unlike any other theatre I know of. To support Ten Thousand Things is to support the human in us all.”
—Marion McClinton, Tony nominated director
“It’s a delicious irony that to see some of the most skilled theatre in the Twin Cities, you must journey to its least prosperous fringes.”
—Dominic Papatola, St. Paul Pioneer Press
About the author:
Michelle Hensley is founder and artistic director of Ten Thousand Things in Minneapolis, where she has brought over fifty tours of award- winning drama to nontraditional audiences in prisons, shelters, and housing projects, as well as the general public.
About HowlRound TV:
HowlRound TV is a global, commons-based peer produced, open access livestreaming and video archive project stewarded by the nonprofit HowlRound. HowlRound TV is a free and shared resource for live conversations and performances relevant to the world's performing arts and cultural fields. Its mission is to break geographic isolation, promote resource sharing, and to develop our knowledge commons collectively. Participate in a community of peer organizations revolutionizing the flow of information, knowledge, and access in our field by becoming a producer and co-producing with us. Learn more by going to our participate page. For any other queries, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call Vijay Mathew at +1 917.686.3185 Signal/WhatsApp. View the video archive of past events.