ArtsEmerson Presents The Boston Premiere
Of Basil Twist's Award-Winning

ArtsEmerson: The World on Stage and Celebrity Series of Boston are partnering to present the Boston premiere of "Petrushka," conceived and directed by Basil Twist and presented Nov. 11- 21 at the Paramount Theatre, 559 Washington Street in Boston. Saturday and Sunday performances will be followed by a “Meet the Puppets” event at the Paramount Center.

Known the world over for his innovative puppet shows, Guggenheim Fellow Basil Twist spins new magic in this interpretation of the legendary Ballets Russes production. Set to Stravinsky’s classic score, it’s the story of a tragic love triangle between three magical creatures: the clown Petrushka; the alluring Ballerina; and the dashing Moor, whose stories emerge amidst the swirl of the Russian carnival.The program opens with an abstract fantasia of puppetry set to Stravinsky's "Sonata for Two Pianos," performed by Russian identical twin pianists, Irina and Julia Elkina. Nine hidden puppeteers combine Czech and Japanese traditions in a combination of music, movement, design and storytelling.

Originally from San Francisco, Basil Twist is a third generation puppeteer who lives and works in New York. He became the only American to graduate from the École Supérieure Nationale des Arts de la Marionnette in Charleville-Mezieres, France, one of the world's premier puppetry training programs. Twist's work was first spotlighted in New York in 1995 with his creation "The Araneidae Show," for which he was awarded a 1997 Bessie Award and a UNIMA Citation of Excellence. 1998 was a landmark year for Twist with a Drama Desk Award nomination for his work with Theatre Couture's Off-Broadway hit "Tell Tale," and the premiere of "Symphonie Fantastique" at HERE Arts Center.

Since 1998, Twist has continually expanded the realm of puppetry by creating and touring new works, focusing especially on work integrated with live music. Twist was the underwater puppetry consultant on the third Harry Potter film and last season created creatures for "The Addams Family Musical "on Broadway. His puppetry is featured in the Broadway production of "The Pee Wee Herman Show," now playing in New York. In 2000, his "Petrushka" premiered in New York and was awarded a 2000 UNIMA Citation of Excellence. Twist is the director of The Dream Music Puppetry Program at HERE Arts Center, the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a United States Artists Fellow.

In praising the production, New York Magazine said the piece was "brilliantly imagined, wonderfully expressive, and breathtakingly realized."

As a bonus, following the 2 p.m. performance of "Petrushka" on Nov. 13, Puppet Showplace Theatre will host a Build Your Own Puppet Workshop at the Paramount Center. In this hands-on workshop, participants will learn how to create their own simple paper moving-mouth puppet and give it personality. Basic concepts of puppet design and manipulation, including focus, breath and lip synch, will be taught and practiced. The workshop is free to any child with a ticket to any performance of "Petrushka," but registration is required no later than Nov. 11, at workshop.

For tickets and information, call 617-824-8000 or visit

-- OnStage Boston



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