Beowulf performed by John Heimbuch

a one-person storytelling epic by Charlie Bethel

Directed by Amy Rummenie
Dramaturgy by Sarah Heller
Promotional Art by Erik A Evensen


Blood! Death! Heroism! Monsters! Twin Cities theatrical favorite John Heimbuch performs Charlie Bethel's fierce one-person retelling of Beowulf. This faithful and accessible adaptation of this classic Old English poem about a warrior king and some famous monsters, modernizes the wit, vigor, and meaty language of the original Anglo-Saxon epic.

Receiver of the 2019 Minnesota Fringe Festival Staff Pick Golden Lanyard Award!

60 minutes, no intermission. Recommended for ages 10 and up.
Warning: Includes descriptions of fantasy violence.


“Superb! Flawlessly written, excellently performed … do not miss it.” -- Alison Anderson

“That's how you tell an epic. If you don't know the story of Beowulf, go to hear it. If you do know the story of Beowulf, go to hear it told masterfully. If you have heard it told masterfully, go to hear it again.” -- Eric Cohen

“Stunning. Both the script and performance are gems. It was as pure a night of theater as I have ever seen. See this show.” -- Jim Lundy

“Amazing story and storyteller! I was enraptured by the way that this show took me away. This was true to the storyteller tradition and beautifully done.” -- Leah Solo

“The energy he carried throughout was unbelievable. The transitions between characters were phenomenal. The condensing of a epic story to a one hour show made a possibly daunting story accessible to the audience. Bravo!” -- Marie Cooney

“If you've ever wondered what classic storytelling looked like - one person, with basically no props or scenery, masterfully pulling their audience on an adventure - then look no further.” -- Shannon Negaard-Paper

Read the Minnesota Fringe Festival reviews.


JOHN HEIMBUCH (performer) is an award-winning writer, director and actor. He is a founder and Co-Artistic Director of Minneapolis’ Walking Shadow Theatre Company, where he has directed numerous shows, including the currently-running immersive play-with-puzzles, Cabal.

As a performer, John was lauded for his performance in Walking Shadow’s 2018 production of Equivocation, and his one-person performance of Beowulf was given a Golden Lanyard Staff Pick Award at the 2019 Minnesota Fringe Festival. He is also the frontman for the steampunk rock band Bad September.

His original plays William Shakespeare’s Land of the Dead and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow have been published by Samuel French and produced at theatres and schools around the world. John’s other scripts include A Midwinter Night’s Revel, The Three Musketeers, Drakul, The Transdimensional Couriers Union, S. Gunter Klaus and the Story Before, Squawk, London After Midnight, 10-Speed Revolution, Or the White Whale, and The Lives of the Most Notorious Highwaymen.

John was trained in devised theatre, classical acting, puppetry, mask, and modern dance, all of which continue to influence his stage and screen work. He is an alumni of the Perpich Center for Arts Education, where he frequently returns to teach acting, writing, directing, and filmmaking.

CHARLIE BETHEL (playwright) was the creator of numerous critically acclaimed solo shows, including Beowulf, Gilgamesh, The Odyssey, Call of the Wild, Seven Poor Travellers and others. He performed at Orlando Shakespeare Theater, Trinity Rep, Utah Shakespearean Festival, North Carolina Shakespeare Festival, Illinois Shakespeare Festival, Illusion Theater, Jungle Theatre, Walking Shadow Theatre Company, Joseph Campbell's Centenary Celebration, and the Mythic Journeys Conference in Atlanta. He passed away in 2017 and is deeply missed by his many friends and family.


  • Theatres, schools, conventions, conferences, and festivals
  • History, english, theatre, mythology, fantasy, and storytelling events
  • 100-500 seat venues in any configuration
  • Minimal technical requirements
  • Non-traditional spaces such as classrooms, pubs, meadhalls, village greens, bonfires, and stone circles

  • Post-Show Discussion
  • Facilitated Dialogue

  • Performing Classic Texts
  • Storytelling Techniques
  • Bringing Monologues to Life
  • New Play Creation
  • Devising for the Stage
  • Adapting from Literature
  • other acting, writing, directing classes


    Rates are negotiable depending on travel, accommodation, venue size, number of performances, length of run, classes, workshops, and other engagement activities.

    Read the Beowulf Promotional One-Sheet

    For booking and information contact:
    John Heimbuch

  • ...one of the sharpest young minds in local theater.- Graydon Royce,
    Star Tribune

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