Something different

Marie-Jeanne Valet Who Defeated La Bete du Gevaudan

By Sandbox Theatre
Created by The Ensemble
Southern Theater

Historical content, Physical theater/Clowning, Storytelling/Spoken word, Sci-fi/Mystery/Horror
Just so you know, this show has Violence.

In 1764 an unearthly wolf stalks the people of Gevaudan, France. In the last years before the Revolution, a 20-year-old peasant girl takes on the beast that outwitted the King's army. Based on a true story.

The creators say this show is appropriate for ages 12 and up.

 Friday, 8/1 @ 7:00 p.m.
 Sunday, 8/3 @ 8:30 p.m.
 Tuesday, 8/5 @ 5:30 p.m.
ASL interpreted
 Saturday, 8/9 @ 8:30 p.m.
 Sunday, 8/10 @ 5:30 p.m.
 Sunday, 8/10 @ 8:30 p.m.
Read the reviews

Red Wolf of Famine

by Patrick Pfundstein on August 10, 2014
This user has reviewed 14 shows

Skilled artists. Incredibly creative staging. Great direction and pace. Something substantial to say. These are elements that make Fringe so great, and Marie-Jeanne Valet has every single one of them in spades. Superb!

Dogged Pursuit

by August Berkshire on August 10, 2014
This user has reviewed 52 shows

It's not easy to keep a fifty minute wolf hunt interesting but this script and troupe managed to do it. Great acting, choreography, and projection of voices. As usual, a man takes the recognition that a woman deserves.


by Nancy M. on August 10, 2014
This user has reviewed 3 shows

A very beautiful show. The cast is stellar and the performances polished. See it if you get the chance for the encore tonight. Great job to all involved!


by Ms. Vera on August 10, 2014
This user has reviewed 10 shows

Sandbox pulls wonders out of their box. Spellbinding performance with eerie special effects, music and writing. This show transports you to 18th century France but in english.

Vivid storytelling

by Aseem Kaul on August 9, 2014
This user has reviewed 16 shows

A thoroughly engrossing show, combining brilliant stagecraft with a compelling story to produce a memorable theatrical experience. The tone of the show is a little uneven, and I could have done without some of the puppetry, but definitely a performance worth catching.

Beautiful, absorbing show

by Janet Skidmore on August 9, 2014
This user has reviewed 3 shows

Skillfully and beautifully performed. Easily the best and most professional show I have seen so far in the 2014 Fringe. You will not be disappointed.

Really cool!

by Peter Villerius on August 8, 2014
This user has reviewed 12 shows

This show had an intriguing story and a sort of timeless tone to it that made it a real pleasure to watch. The four actors also do a wonderful job, creating captivating and often funny performances with several different characters each. The artistic staging was really well done too, and I loved the little "death stories" bits with the puppetry. They did a great job at making the back-story of La Bete (even the whole play for that matter) seem classical, like a folk tale, and I love stuff like that. This one is awesome!

Great Show!

by Aaron Smith on August 7, 2014
This user has reviewed 3 shows

This show was very good. An extremely creative story combined with great performers made this an very entertaining show. Great job!

Wonderful storytelling

by Marjorie Sehnert on August 6, 2014
This user has reviewed 19 shows

What a great way to project a story to the audience - Through puppetry, costume changes , and acting. Entertainment at its best for the whole family. Even though there was violence, I think the younger audience will enjoy the presentation.


by Vicki Shofner on August 6, 2014
This user has reviewed 9 shows

Great use of props. great acting, interesting story. I liked the puppets. This show had great variety. You should see this show.

Solid show, but too much of one one note

by Scott Gilbert on August 6, 2014
This user has reviewed 48 shows

I thought that they did a great job telling this story and the 4 actors show their ability to change roles quickly. The issue I had was that it seemed very repetitive and one note. It is certainly quality work that is worth seeing.


by Dan Linden on August 5, 2014
This user has reviewed 2 shows

With just a few pieces of fabric and a handful of sticks (plus some lovely puppetry), Sandbox creates an immersive world filled with compelling characters. They use the inherent creepiness of the Southern to great effect. Loved it.

Could have been better

by David Woolley on August 5, 2014
This user has reviewed 9 shows

There was some creative and effective staging and use of lighting in this show. Most of the characters are deliberately cartoonish, except for the central character, Marie-Jeanne Valet, who's relentlessly grim. The script never gives us any understanding or reason to believe her apparently unique ability to deal with "La Bete". There are hints that the beast is a metaphor for other troubles that beset the poor villagers, but those hints never lead anywhere. Overall: just okay.

Expert storytelling & theatre magic

by Danielle Siver on August 5, 2014
This user has reviewed 1 show

I love Sandbox & the people that make up the company - partly because they're my friends, but also because I admire them so much as artists. This show is yet another in a long line of beautifully-crafted, detailed projects and I enjoyed it immensely. It's funny and scary and smart and wonderfully creative and ambitious. The ensemble & director deserve every bit of praise they're receiving here - trust the reviews and don't miss this one.

1 person found this review helpful

Sandbox at its best

by Jean Wolff on August 5, 2014
This user has reviewed 8 shows

I loved this piece! Based on actual events, which is always a draw for me, this story in fascinating, the performances compelling. I loved the use of music and lights, and how it all wove together. Highly recommended!

Wonderful creative!

by Almira Downs on August 5, 2014
This user has reviewed 3 shows

Wonderfully creative. I loved the props. The use of red ribbons to depict blood, the cutouts from the trunk, the lanterns to spotlight and call attention to the action. Cast and crew did a fabulous job. Bravo!

Wonderful Storytelling

by Nick Wolf on August 5, 2014
This user has reviewed 5 shows

Sandbox Theater builds a world in which your imagination can run. The ensemble uses simple props, puppets, fabric, and lanterns to make this story come to life. It moves a bit slow at times but is always engaging. The most visually spectacular show I’ve seen at Fringe and I found myself humming the music outside the theater. I’m looking forward to seeing more from this group.

Strong acting - Compelling Storyline

by Grace Kelly on August 4, 2014
This user has reviewed 2 shows

Only 4 actors do an incredible job of portraying a complex story with multiple characters and multiple settings using only a few props. A few branches are used incredibly well to portray a forest. The kings court is elegantly portrayed by the two backup characters using shimmering hands and simpering voices. A simple red cloth becomes the symbol of blood and death. Then the same red cloth in a wine glass becomes the true symbolism of who is living off the life of peasants.

The story seems to have a straight story line at first. But then there is a questioning of who are the bad guys and good guys? Is the story a happy ending or a tragedy?

1 person found this review helpful

You're never too old for puppets

by Rena Rasch on August 4, 2014
This user has reviewed 21 shows

I loved the aesthetic of this play. The actors moved nimbly both physically and between characters.


by Stacey Sogard on August 4, 2014
This user has reviewed 2 shows

Definitely worth seeing this haunting show. I loved the creative use of minimal props that did not distract from the powerful story being told. Great ensemble that worked seamlessly together. Not something I'd usually seek out outside of the Fringe, but I'm so glad I did. Will absolutely be catching more Sandbox Theatre in the future.

2 people found this review helpful

Funny and dark

by Nancy Linden on August 4, 2014
This user has reviewed 6 shows

The cast is dynamic and really fun to watch. The company does a nice job of bringing the world of 18th century France to life with the creative use of space and minimal props.

Show worth seeing

by Michelle Blaeser on August 4, 2014
This user has reviewed 5 shows

This was an very well acted show with clever puppetry and lighting effects. The story was dark and heavy, but it is based on actual events and I liked learning the history.

Beautiful, artful, fascinating show

by Florence Brammer on August 4, 2014
This user has reviewed 42 shows

Sandbox has created a beautiful piece here -- the use of props, the lighting, the movement, the lighting, the sound and of course the story and acting -- all combine for a really special hour that is both historically fascinating and eerily resonant of today's national/global situations. Highly recommended.

You Should See This Show

by Edwin Strout on August 4, 2014
This user has reviewed 23 shows

If you enjoy experimental narrative plays with beautiful atmospheric lighting, as well as atmospheric sound created by the cast itself, then this show is a must-see! It is a story told with humor and pathos with all four actors playing multiple characters, who also create multiple locations vividly with minimal props.

My only minor quibble is that with such a huge program that there was virtually no information about the show and story being told. I had to ask the actors later on if the show was based on actual events, and it was! I would have loved to have had that information in the program.

Haunting tale, creative production

by Karen Smudski on August 3, 2014
This user has reviewed 10 shows

Great show! Good pacing, good use of minimal props and performers, very creative storytelling. Very worthwhile show!

1 person found this review helpful

Dark fascinating tale beautifully told

by Rachel Flynn on August 3, 2014
This user has reviewed 7 shows

The company has created a lovely piece telling the gory tale of a murderous wolf in an elegant, moving, and at times quite funny way. The space is well used, though the lighting at times seemed a bit too dark. I recommend this for any who enjoy an hour of good storytelling.

2 people found this review helpful

Amazing Creativity & Atmosphere

by Motz (Rhymes w/ Boats) on August 3, 2014
This user has reviewed 7 shows

Incredibly creative, atmospheric, and effective. Just some actors, some sticks, some fabric, and a trunk, yet so much more. The use of live music and lighting are especially fantastic. Don't miss it.

1 person found this review helpful

ok teen theatre

by frayed edge on August 3, 2014
This user has reviewed 33 shows

this is not "something different", it's "drama" a darkish comedy that features a little bit of puppetry, and some instruments played by the cast.

the cast is very solid, but swings more into over the top children's style camp than i enjoyed. there is a good mix of levity provided by this in a pretty dark story but it broke the 4th wall for me.

the use of instruments either worked brilliantly, or awkwardly, likewise the use of fabric as a scenic element is wonderful and adds handsomely to the story telling, but some other props had design flaws that were distracting.

it's ok.

5-amazing theater-see it. now.
4-must see fringe-make time
3-average fringe-worth seeing
2-mediocre fringe-don't bother
1-bad fringe- no.
0-no. warn others

1 person found this review helpful

"All We Need is Bread"

by Marie Cooney on August 3, 2014
This user has reviewed 24 shows

"All we need is bread," are haunting words that echo in my mind after experiencing the show! Puppets, peasants, a foolish king, various hunters, a brave woman, far too many deaths, and a mysterious beast blend together in what may be part historical and part mythical storytelling at it's best. Is there a moral to this story, and does it have applications to our 1% verses 99% realities of today's wealth? In times of severe famine, poverty, and death, who are the real beasts among us, and can we find true heroes and heroines? I believe this show will be a Top Five based on depth of story. Would love to see a second time if possible during a very busy Fringe Festival.

3 people found this review helpful

History Repeats Itself

by Nicole Devereaux on August 3, 2014
This user has reviewed 1 show

"Once you've heard our story, you can no longer claim you didn't know."
This early warning haunted me long after I left the theater, as I watched what appeared to be an irrelevant piece of history beautifully, comically, tragically illuminate our current global affairs. Sandbox reminds us, through thoughtful storytelling, how easily we ignore the suffering around us and how 'easy' solutions don't really solve the problem at all.
Enjoy the artistry. Relive history. Change the future.

4 people found this review helpful

A show to see

by Del Brown on August 2, 2014
This user has reviewed 5 shows

Amazing acting with a lot of creativity. The show transports you to France and makes you want more at the end!

1 person found this review helpful

Delightfully Creative

by Todd Farley on August 2, 2014
This user has reviewed 6 shows

GREAT! What a wonderful synthesis of physicalizations, stock characters that hint of Commedia and just the right touch of puppetry.., bravo! A must see show for those who love to experience what can happen when four talented people are directed with a great amount of creativity!

A mouthful of a name...

by Eric Wentling on August 2, 2014
This user has reviewed 28 shows

Both my wife and I put this on our question-mark lists, but went ahead and took a chance since the timing worked. We were both very pleasantly surprised with the result. A moody quasi-historic tale of a giant wolf terrorizing a famine-ridden town in France, this had some very good acting, especially from the two main characters. There were a few areas of silliness that I think detracted a bit from the overall vibe, but the show was well worth the time.

1 person found this review helpful

Thoughtful allegory - cleverly done

by David Trudeau on August 2, 2014
This user has reviewed 37 shows

This wonderful adaptation of a long and complex story uses lots of clever transitions and business and keeps us moving. The editing comes up short in that the tale is a bit repetitive and the morals of the story can get lost in the multiplicity of characters who come to fight the beast. The actors never stop amazing us and the direction is otherwise dazzling.

2 people found this review helpful

Fascinating, incredible

by Nanette Stearns on August 2, 2014
This user has reviewed 30 shows

Can't believe I haven't seen Sandbox Theater's work before. Their performance made great use of the Southern's cavernous space, posts, etc. The story was fascinating, thought- and discussion-provoking, and very engaging. As other have said, they make great use out of very few props, only four performers, and lighting/sound. Definitely worth seeing.

3 people found this review helpful


by Jenn Jensen on August 2, 2014
This user has reviewed 9 shows

While I didn't find the story as engaging as I would have liked, I deeply appreciated the artistry in the way that it was presented. The creativity in how the mood was set and the use of fabric and puppets in the telling of the story was wonderful, and each performer inhabited a number of characters seamlessly. I would definitely recommend seeing this one!

1 person found this review helpful

Great storytelling

by Jennifer Walker on August 2, 2014
This user has reviewed 7 shows

Sandbox brings their usual magic to a few props, mainly fabric, sticks, and some wonderfully simple and effective puppets, and creates a beautiful world you can't wait to find out more about. Really gorgeous storytelling; definitely don't miss.

1 person found this review helpful

Beautiful, Clever, Creepy

by Mark Long on August 1, 2014
This user has reviewed 34 shows

I love Sandbox's ability to create such a broad, but nuanced world with minimal props and costumes. They use the Southern's space and lighting and darkness to wonderful effect. It's a great story, well-acted, and very, very entertaining.

2 people found this review helpful

Engaging and thought provoking

by Romalee Haugen on August 1, 2014
This user has reviewed 2 shows

This is a performance for your senses. The actors do a terrific job of blending sight and sound with a revolving cast of characters. I found the puppetry segments to be very effective. Don't miss it!

2 people found this review helpful


by Barbara Shaterian on August 1, 2014
This user has reviewed 3 shows

Four actors with a few props, some puppets and red ribbon re-create an entire 18th century village and its chilling history. This was excellent storytelling!

1 person found this review helpful

Compelling. Haunting. Mesmerizing.

by Liz Oppenheimer on August 1, 2014
This user has reviewed 4 shows

The music, lighting, acting, and writing support one another seamlessly for an hour filled with great storytelling, humor, and drama. Worth paying for an unexpected car-sharing trip! Worth seeing several times over! Worth another exclamation point!

3 people found this review helpful

Cast and crew

Amber Bjork


Amber is a Twin Cities-based actor, director, writer, and producer. As an artistic associate with Theatre Pro Rata, she has worked on 14 of their past productions, most recently playing Olivia in Twelfth Night and serving as director of Elephant's Graveyard. She founded The Winding Sheet Outfit to produce Birds of Passage for the 2012 Minnesota Fringe Festival, and Theatre of the Tiny Clandestines for Irrigate's placemaking project along the Green Line construction. Locally, she has also worked with Pommelhorse Productions, Tedious Brief Productions, Theatre Unbound, Nimbus Theatre, Freshwater Theatre, Killing Joke Productions, Guthrie Theatre, and others.

A long-time fan of Sandbox, Amber has participated in their LAB series, helped out behind the scenes on Unspeakable Things, and has written, directed, and performed pieces in Sandbox's Suitcase series. She has a B.A. in English Literature from University of Minnesota-Duluth, and a four-year education in puppetry, mask, mime, and storytelling from The Masque Theatre and School.

Derek Lee Miller

Project Lead / Ensemble / Puppet Design

Derek is an actor, puppeteer, designer, writer and musician. He earned his BFA in acting and technical theatre at Millikin University in Decatur, IL. During his time there, he founded the Last Chance Theatre, an underground experimental black box space and was awarded the schoolís McNabb Prize for Outstanding Contribution to Theater.

Since then, Derek has toured nationally as a puppeteer for Madcap Puppets in Cincinnati, OH and regionally as an actor/educator for Twin Cities companies CLIMB, National Theatre for Children and Teatro del Pueblo. He was awarded two residencies at Yaddo Artists Colony in Saratoga Springs, NY for playwriting and was voted Outstanding Male Performance of the 2011 Minnesota Fringe Festival for his role in Red Resurrected. Derek was formerly the head writer for Perpetual Motion Theatre Company and is currently works with another ensemble theater group, Transatlantic Love Affair in Minneapolis. He was part of the ensemble of Transatlantic’s 2012 Ivey award-winning show, Ballad of the Pale Fisherman.

With Sandbox Derek appeared in Koogoomanooki, War With The Newts, The Horse, Bird, Monkey, and the Dancer, .faust, June of Arc/Oh, Father!, Unspeakable Things, FARGO, Beatnik Giselle, Suitcase and This Is A World To Live In. He worked as Project Lead for The Mad Trapper of Rat River, Beatnik Giselle and Suitcase. A company member since 2008, he moved into the role of Artistic Director of Sandbox in 2013.

Megan Campbell Lagas


Born and raised in Minneapolis, Megan got her start in the world of theatre at age 14 when she performed in Tom Sawyer at the Children’s Theatre Company. She has worked with many local companies including 15 Head: a theatre lab, Illusion Theatre, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Theatre Unbound, Theatre in the Round, and the Winding Sheet Outfit. Megan is passionate about bizarre, ensemble-created theatre and is happy to have found a creative home with Sandbox Theatre.

She earned her BA in Theatre and MA in Education, both at the College of St. Catherine. She lives with her husband, two sons, and multiple pets.
Megan has appeared in aphasiatica: duet, Zelda: Wonderland, War with the Newts, Suitcase, This Is A World To Live in, and will serve as co-Project Lead for Killer Inside.

Theo Langason


Born and raised in Northeast Minneapolis, Theo Langason is a graduate of Rutgers University where he studied Theatre Arts. Since moving back to Minneapolis, Theo has worked with Theatre Pro Rata, The Mysterium, Red Eye Theatre and The Winding Sheet Outfit. Theo has appeared in Beatnik Giselle, Suitcase, and This Is A World To Live In.

Heather Stone


Heather has originated roles in every full scale Sandbox production but two. Her favorite roles are Victoria in Victoria in Red, Zelda Fitzgerald in Zelda: Wonderland, Mrs. Behrens in Koogoomanooki, the Fat Lady in War with the Newts and June Cleaver in June of Arc. She has also appeared on stage with many other Twin Cities theatres since 1994. Her first Sandbox directing experience came with The Oresteia Project: Queens and Daughters, a new ensemble piece created in collaboration with students at Hamline University, which she co-lead with Nicole Devereaux. Heather next directs Killer Inside. Heather is a coordinator of Sandbox’s LAB training program and leads Viewpoints training.

Kristina Fjellman


Kristina is a visual artist and performer and is drawn to creative projects that will combine both of these passions. She has exhibited her sculpture in venues around the Midwest and Twin Cities including DeVos Art Museum, MCAD, the AZ Gallery, Artists in Storefronts, and various local shops. She was also one of the four proud recipients of a Jerome Fiber Art Project Grant for 2010-2011 at the MN Textile Center. Her performance work includes The Theater of the Tiny Clandestines and Birds of Passage with The Winding Sheet Outfit; My Life Is All But Over at the Red Eye Theatre; and with Sandbox, War with the Newts, The Horse, Bird, Monkey, and the Dancer, Suitcase, and This Is a World We Live In.
Kristina is graduate of the College of St. Catherine with a MAED in Art and Theater Education. Upcoming projects include: American Craft Council Show in St. Paul’s Rivercenter for visual art and Sandbox’s Killer Inside.

More information
Marie-Jeanne Valet, Who Defeated La Bête du Gevaudan
France, 1764. In the waning days of the golden age of the French kings, an unearthly monster begins hunting the people of the tiny province of Gevaudan. King Louis sends his personal bodyguard, Francois Antoine, with a small army to kill the beast before public outrage over the killings can undermine the monarchy. However, Antoine finds himself upstaged by a 20-year-old peasant girl with more resourcefulness than all the King’s army.

Marie-Jeanne Valet, Who Defeated La Bête du Gevaudan includes live performance, storytelling, puppetry and live music.

Based on true events

"Genuinely haunting" - John Townsend, Star Tribune

" In my opinion, you can never have enough Sandbox." 5 stars - Very Highly Recommended - Matthew Everett, Twin Cities Daily Planet

"I highly recommend it... Powerfully moving." - Wendy Gennaula, Twin Cities Daily Planet

"A gloriously epic story rendered with theatricality and jaw-dropping simplicity." - Todd O'Dowd, l'etoile magazine

Recommended by:
Minneapolis-St. Paul Magazine
TOSCA Magazine
Graydon Royce, Star Tribune
Matthew Everett, Twin Cities Daily Planet
Cherry and Spoon
Theatre Unbound

Sandbox Theatre was founded in 2004 in Minneapolis, Minnesota by four artists who sought a place to play with new ideas and new forms of storytelling. The company came together out of backyard meetings between a playwright, a choreographer, an actor and a designer.

Sandbox’s hallmarks are visual dramaturgy — storytelling through design and movement — and our creative process. The ensemble--now a company of 11--only creates new plays. Our work is defined by an established, one-of-a-kind process of material generation and group editing; a guided collaboration that creates timely, affecting, inspirational plays.

Sandbox was last seen at the Fringe in 2009 with June of Arc, which went on to become part of the Guthrie's Singled Out Festival.

Beginning in 2015, Sandbox will take part in the Southern Theater's new ARTshare program and will also become one of the resident companies at Park Square Theatre's new Andy Boss Stage. Our next show, Killer Inside, will explore the American tradition of murder ballads using live performances of original songs. Look for it at the Red Eye Theater in November 2014.

Sandbox Theatre website