058: Michelle Hensley - On Bringing Everyone In


I attended the Minneapolis TEDx Event this summer. It was a night full of some amazing speakers, but the stand out to me was Michelle Hensley, my guest today. Michelle is the Artistic Director and Founder of Ten Thousand Things theater company. This theater company creates theater that brings stories to people who don't normally get to experience them. But that's just the very tip of the iceberg. I was so excited to talk with Michelle because her philosophy as a theater person directly correlates to us as speakers, as you'll hear. There is so much to dig into here. ENJOY!

Listen to the podcast

You can listen in iTunes, Stitcher - or, if you're on the website, scroll to the bottom of the post for the player!

Show highlights: On the Art of Storytelling

 [Tweet "We're just trying to tell the story the best we can." @TTTTheater on @ThisMovedMe"]

In the show we talked about: 

  • How they approach their work from the audience's perspective, which changed everything.
  • How humor and playfulness can disarm a resistant audience
  • The power of space in creating the experience
  • The importance of the question, "Who should my audience be?"
  • The value of a collective, community experience like watching a show or a talk...
TMM Michelle Hensley Quote
TMM Michelle Hensley Quote

Coaches Corner:

Michelle talked about the importance of developing a more diverse audience. She's realized it's "more fun" to perform for diverse audiences, so it's a very focused effort on their part.

[Tweet "That's how a community gets formed: we watch [the show] together." ~TTTTheater on @ThisMovedMe"]

This Moved Me Moments:

SALLY: An awesome episode of Death, Sex and Money called "An Astronaut's Husband, Left Behind." This lovely and moving show is a wonderful example of sharing the details and specifics, rather than the emotions themselves.

MICHELLE: Michelle shared the experience of creating the play Henry IV with an all-female cast, and sharing it at a male-prison. It was a profound experience, to be afraid it wouldn't resonate, and then realize that the men can see themselves in these women. "It transcended what was possible."

(SHOOT! Henry IV JUST CLOSED... But Dear Worldopens in January. If you're in the Twin Cities, check it out!)

Thanks so much for listening! I am grateful for you.

My best,



To learn more about Michelle:

Check out Ten Thousand Things Theater's website, and you can follow them on Twitter.

Also, here's a link to Michelle's talk at TEDx Minneapolis!


Presentation Prep Course
Presentation Prep Course

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We Edit Podcasts

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