The Golden Ass press release

Before Shakespeare’s Bottom, there was...The Golden Ass.
nimbus invites you to experience transformation - the hard way. As Lucius learns, you hear a lot with long ass ears.

April 10, 2012

nimbus will present an original stage adaptation of Apuleius’ classic 2nd century novel, The Golden Ass. A crack ensemble tells the story of Lucius, who longs to practice witchcraft. He tries to turn himself into a bird, but becomes a donkey instead. Unable to reverse the process, Lucius is propelled from one fantastical misadventure to another.

The Golden Ass is itself an adaptation of an earlier Greek text. It is the only Latin novel to survive in its entirety, and has exerted a powerful influence on works as diverse as those of Byron and Kafka, even the story of Pinnochio. It has spawned an opera, graphic novels and is the first appearance of the well known tale of Cupid and Psyche. A picaresque novel, its collection of loosely interwoven tales are told from the perspective of a member of the lower social class, often exposing society’s ills in the course of the story.

nimbus Artistic Director Liz Neerland has been nursing the idea of adapting the work for some time. “These are incredibly theatrical tales, with rogues, charlatans, thieves, men dressing up as bears. It’s just great fun.” Neerland is working with an ensemble of seven actors to refine the story and bring these classic tales to the stage. “What’s great is that The Golden Ass isn’t Shakespeare; its prose isn’t so well known that we can’t take all kinds of juicy subversive liberties with it.” She contrasts it sharply with the work she did on nimbus’ recent production of The Year of Magical Thinking, where she and actress Barbra Berlovitz worked to stay as true to the original material as possible.

nimbus continues to revel in its new home on Central Avenue. Since moving into the new space, they have presented works by Genet (The Balcony), Georg Buchner (Woyzeck), Dario Fo (Accidental Death of an Anarchist), and most recently Babel, an original script by Artistic Director Josh Cragun. Neerland observes “One of our strengths is that our shows play to different audience segments, and I think that is an excellent way of developing community.”


The Golden Ass by Apuleius

Adapted for the stage and directed by Liz Neerland

Featuring Heidi Berg, Jesse Corder, Erin Denman, Kari Hammer, Brian O’Neal, Joel Raney, and Lana Rosario.

Set design by Ursula K. Bowden, costume design by Andrea Gross, lighting design by Mitchell Frazier, sound design by Jacob M. Davis, prop design by Jenny Moeller.


April 28 – May 20, 2012

Performances at Nimbus Theatre

1517 Central Ave NE Minneapolis, MN 55413

Tickets: 612-548-1380 or