“HOME” HOUSE TOUR2019-08-14T10:21:20-06:00
What is a house show?2018-07-30T16:59:53-06:00

A house show is an intimate and unique evening of live theatre and conversation among friends and family in a private residence. With a house show everyone always has the best seat in the house!

Why perform in private homes?2018-07-30T17:00:31-06:00

Traditional performance spaces can be intimidating and expensive. Venturing to a new part of town, a dinner out, parking, and the price of a ticket quickly creates a $100+ evening. Experiencing theatre doesn’t need to cost a day’s wages.

Theatre is an immediate and transformative art form that brings people together. By performing in an intimate private space, guests are comfortable and able to experience an exclusive event that engages and opens everyone to discussion.

What’s the order of events for the evening?2018-07-30T17:00:59-06:00

The following is an example of an event. Times can be adjusted.

  • 5PM – Artist arrives, meets Host, discusses evening, sets-up
  • 6PM – guests arrive, mingle, eat, & relax
  • 7PM – show begins
  • 8PM – show ends
  • 8PM – 8:30PM – post-show discussion (optional) / mingling
  • 8:30PM – guests leave
  • 9PM – Artist packs-up & leaves
What are the space requirements?2018-07-30T17:01:53-06:00

The performance space must allow at least a 5’ x 5’ area for the Artist to perform. Additionally, there must be a way for the Artist to enter and exit the space. If there is less space, the Artist will work within those limits.

Invited guests must be able to gather in the same space together and be seated for the duration of the 60 minute show. Everyone should be seated directly in front of the performance space. Tables should be removed as they’re bulky and break-up energy.

Living rooms, backyards, decks, driveways and garages all work as perfect spaces to host the event.

Lastly, the space isn’t as important as the people who fill it.

What if I don’t have enough chairs?2018-07-30T17:04:13-06:00

Floor seating with pillows, cushions, and blankets work splendidly.

Can I still host a show even if I don’t have a big house?2018-07-30T17:05:20-06:00

Yes! You don’t need a palatial estate or seating for 100. Cozy is perfect!

Who brings the audience?2018-07-30T17:05:49-06:00

Your main responsibility as Host is to assemble an audience of individuals looking to share in an experience they can’t get anywhere else.

How many people should be invited?2018-07-30T17:06:17-06:00

A minimum of 20 – 30 adults is required for the performance. In order to ensure a minimum of 20 – 30 adults, Hosts typically invite twice as many friends and family to the event. Example: If you want 30 people to attend, invite 60.

Two reasons for the minimum attendance policy:

  • The evening won’t have the same electrifying energy necessary to create an entertaining experience for all attendees.
  • In a donation-based performance model, 20 or more adults contributing donations and purchasing merchandise is what makes the night financially viable for the Artist.
What if I don’t have 60 friends?2018-07-30T17:06:57-06:00

Consider co-hosting the event with a friend. Each co-host will invite people from their respective friend circles to increase overall attendance.

What if I don’t want strangers in my space?2018-07-30T17:07:26-06:00

Remember this is a private event no different than a backyard birthday or anniversary party. Share invites only among those you know, trust, and enjoy. The Artist’s Event Page will list the performance as a “Private House Show,” though your address will never be displayed or shared.

Are there discussions after the show?2018-07-30T17:08:01-06:00

Post-show discussions are optional, however, greatly enhance the evening for all attendees and are often the most magical moments of the event.

After the performance, in an engaging facilitated conversation between the Artist and audience, relevant themes are discussed and how they relate to the audiences’ lives. This empowers everyone in the space to ask questions, share stories, and dive deeper into the show’s message. Post-show dialogues provide the audience a fantastic way to become more involved in the evening.

I want to host a house show! How do I plan the event?2018-07-30T17:09:34-06:00

Here are the steps to making a show happen in your home:

    • We agree on a date and time.
    • Artist provides bio, images, synopsis, and language to include on invites.
    • You invite friends & family with Artist-provided info.
      • Include in Invites:
        • Suggested Donation Info: “In order to bring the Artist to our home, a suggested donation between $10-$20 needs to be made at the beginning of the evening.”
        • Refreshments: Will you offer food/beer/wine, or should guests should bring a dish to share/BYOB.
          • Potlucks are awesome!
        • Ask for RSVPs: People who RSVP are more likely to be in attendance. This also provides Host and Artist an audience estimate.
    • A week before the event: Artist contacts Host to confirm date, time, audience size, answer questions, and shares exact wording of an intro/outro script.
    • Clean the space (or don’t). Entirely up to you!
    • Sit back, enjoy the show, and all the praise you’re about to receive for thinking of hosting such an awesome event!
Are kids welcome?2018-07-30T17:10:02-06:00

For over 10 years the Artist has been working with children on stage, in the classroom, and knows what’s age-appropriate. While the content in the show isn’t crude or tasteless, this show isn’t suitable for children.

How much does it cost to host a house show?2018-07-30T17:18:26-06:00

Hosting a private evening of entertainment doesn’t have to cost a Host anything. All shows are donation-based, however, there is a flat fee if desired.

  • Option 1 – Suggested Donation
    • Invited guests contribute an aforementioned $10 – $20 donation at the door. The donations attendees give pay the show forward and allow the Artist to continue sharing the work with other communities. House show donations average $20/person. No one should be turned away if they are unable to give though.
  • Option 2 – Flat Fee – $400
    • Want to provide a memorable and engaging evening for your guests without asking them to pay out-of-pocket? Ask friends and family to come for free by providing the Artist with a flat fee.
I’m excited about doing this in my space! What is the next step?2018-07-30T17:19:45-06:00
  • Email info@michaelvenske.com OR send a message via the Contact page
  • We find a date and time together.
  • Artist provides bio, images, synopsis, and language to include on invites.
Who is the Artist and where has he performed before?2018-07-30T17:20:23-06:00

In 2008 Michael Venske was cast at the Tony Award-winning Guthrie Theater and decided to pursue performing full-time. Venske started self-producing sketch comedy shows which, in turn, honed his comedy chops thus leading to a gig with the Actors Theater of Minnesota where he originated a role in the Twin Cities’ premiere of the long-running “Bye Bye Liver.” It was around this time that Michael realized the work that drives him isn’t entertainment for entertainment’s sake.

Michael believes time is our most valuable resource and, as such, he spends his on projects that help the greater good. He’s recorded voiceovers for the world-renowned Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, taught de-escalation techniques in an effort to help eliminate the use of force for individuals in mental health crises, appeared in videos for HIV awareness with the University of Minnesota, twice toured environmental comedy shows across America with the National Theatre for Children, performed throughout the St. Croix Valley with The (Alzheimer’s) Remember Project, and has worked with First Witness Child Advocacy Center teaching law enforcement how to conduct forensic interviews with victims of childhood sexual abuse.

In 2012 Venske entered the solo theatre world as writer/performer in Thumbs Up which premiered in Washington, D.C., as part of the Capital Fringe Festival where the DC Theatre Scene said, “…the improv-trained Venske is at his best, unafraid to bust a move or pull out a silly dialect. His intensity is impressive, and each short scene ends on a poignant or fun note.”

Venske’s performed in hospitals, jails, libraries, school cafeterias, and even on a balcony in China.  His work proves to be thought-provoking and engaging with recurring themes surrounding relationships, cultures, and societal issues with bright pops of comedic overtones. Venske is dedicated to producing new work that creates a dialogue delving into the underlying nature of the human experience with a focus on the balance between humor and sincerity.

While Venske planned on touring for a third time with the National Theatre for Children, his world was turned upside down when he was offered a job teaching in China. For three years Michael taught English to primary and middle school students in Zibo, Shandong, China. Pieces of Michael’s experience living abroad are published in a coffee table book, A Different Perspective: Expat Life, which explores the unique viewpoints expats have and how their adventures shape their perceptions of home.

Michael received his training at, and is a former company member of, America’s oldest satirical comedy theater, Brave New Workshop.

He makes his home in Minneapolis with a handful of dying plants. In his spare time Michael can be found listening to his grandparent’s vintage Hawaiian records and sipping scotch in front of a fireplace crafting his next story.