David Hanzal, Minneapolis

David Hanzal is a theatre director, designer, and theatre-maker based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, specializing in experimental devised work. He is passionate about pursuing interdisciplinary artistic collaborations, nurturing a process-based work environment, and promoting non-hierarchical integration of design, physical performance, text, and music.

David is the artistic director of Collective Unconscious Performance, a Minneapolis-based theatre company that is devoted to exclusively producing original, ensemble-driven work for the stage. Their current production, The Sleeping Beauty in the Wood, runs at the Red Eye Theater through December 11.



World Premiere
December 2-11, 2016
Red Eye Theater

Directed by David Hanzal
Written by Katharine Sherman
Choreographed by Justin Leaf

Cursed at birth, Beauty is destined to prick her finger and sleep for 100 years. But what did she dream before she woke up? Journey through Beauty’s dreams, and follow her twists and turns on an adult-oriented ride that is both sensual and subversive. Collective Unconscious Performance re-imagines the familiar fairy tale that you thought you knew, through their signature blend of puppetry and dance.

Personal Website: https://davidhanzaltheatre.carbonmade.com/

David studied the Margolis Method in summer 2014. Studying the Margolis Method nurtured David's collaborative skills, and challenged him to be more specific and articulate in his physical expression.

While he had always used movement when creating stories for the stage, working in the Margolis Method re-inspired David to pursue theatrical work that was ensemble-driven, highly physical, and created from scratch. David believes that the most important lesson he learned from his studies in the Margolis Method was that you can create original, highly inventive performances out of nothing.


Jacob Miller studied at the Margolis Method Center for three consecutive summers in 2010-2012. Since then, Jacob has graduated with a BA in theatre from the University of Minnesota. Living in Minneapolis, he has been studying and performing Clown and physical comedy, including an original show Babes in Wonderland, where he played the Mad Hatter. Jacob has also been doing research in Neutral and Expressive mask performance, and was a co-founder of a Minneapolis-based group called The Neutral Mask Collective, who met weekly for research and created a monthly performance called Awkward Love. NMC produced their first professional show in July 2015 at Illusion Theatre in Minneapolis called I’ll Be Trying To Be There. Most recently, Jacob has been sewing costumes, making dances, and creating acts for the amazing Minneapolis burlesque community, while also doing stage management and assistant directing for numerous companies around the Twin Cities.


The most crucial thing Jacob has learned through his years with the Margolis Method is how to be an empowered artist. This work has enabled him to be a creator on his own--starting with nothing; the work has instilled a sense of confidence while collaborating with other artists; it has given him the knowledge and ability to articulate the minute details of a choreographed moment as well as the the over-arching concepts of an entire piece. The Margolis Method has allowed Jacob to explore live-performance through multi-faceted lenses, and with a keen physical, emotional, and intellectual understanding of himself and the world around him. 



I am developing my organization, The Betes, a performing arts organization working with puppetry, magic, physical and interactive theater to create living content for diabetes education.

I have had diabetes since I was two years old. The Betes unites my personal history with my work as a performing artist. The unique power of the performing arts fulfills the mission of The Betes, a commitment to addressing the true nature of health. Our diverse and multidisciplinary team is working on creating materials  for the larger diabetic and medical community, and for the general public. Through live performance and social media, we focus on self care for diabetics young and old, addressing the many layers of emotion that make diabetes management so complex. Our goal is to raise awareness and create avenues of advocacy for patient empowerment. We are instigating a dialogue on what a holistic approach to health requires, both in the individual and in the society.

Bold creativity and experimentation can lighten, and even prevent, the burden of one of the largest health crises of our time. Health is a gift that is worth protecting.

We are developing the character of Betes. It is a puppet embodiment of the diabetes condition. Because The Betes is existential.




I'm currently in Lausanne, Switzerland performing Dogugaeshi at the Theatre Vidy with Basil Twist.  Its one of my favorite abstract puppet shows that utilizes a Japanese technique of sliding screens. Last month I performed the feet of the dog in the premiere of Lee Breuer and Mabou Mine's latest, most epic performance piece, La Divina Caricatura at La Mama in NYC. The month before I got a chance to combine my movement and puppetry skills in a puppet version of Stravinsky's Ballet, The Firebird, performed at City Center in NYC with the Little Orchestra Society.  In addition to performing Dogugaeshi at several West Coast locations I helped to devise and perform a new Basil Twist show, Seafoam Sleepwalk, which we premiered IN, yes IN the Pacific Ocean during La Jolla Playhouse's WOW Festival.  And I had time to drop in on the National Tour of Beauty and the Beast in North Carolina to give their new dancers a puppetry performance intensive honing their puppeteering chops for the wolves and enchantress they manipulate during the show. This Fall was busy!



Minnesota storyteller/songwriter Rachel Nelson brought her memoir musical THE URBAN HERMIT to the 2013 United Solo Theater Festival on Nov. 3. 2013. This coming-of-age story about coming out, sobering up, and street busking is directed by Beth Margolis Brooks, founding member of the MB Adaptors Theatre Company.

Drawing on her theater studies with Kari Margolis when the Adaptors were based in Minneapolis, Nelson blends movement into her stories. New York aficionados of the Margolis Method can see in this show how that method lives in a storyteller.

THE URBAN HERMIT was performed Sunday Nov. 3 at 2:00 pm Studio Theatre at Theatre Row, 410 West 42nd Street, New York City.