Basil Twist Festival, Featuring Symphonie Fantastique and Arias With a Twist, Will Play Washington, D.C.

News   Basil Twist Festival, Featuring Symphonie Fantastique and Arias With a Twist, Will Play Washington, D.C.
A host of Washington, D.C. theatre companies will stage a four-production festival celebrating the work of acclaimed, Obie-winning puppet designer Basil Twist in March.

The Shakespeare Theatre Company, the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company and The Studio Theatre have aligned to stage four of Twist's innovative theatrical pieces.

The Basil Twist Festival will include Petrushka, Symphonie Fantastique, Dogugaeshi and his collaboration with vocalist-drag artist Joey Arias, Arias With a Twist. The puppeteer is also known for his contributions to Broadway's The Addams Family and The Pee-wee Herman Show.

The Shakespeare Theatre will stage Petrushka March 16-25, featuring Irina and Julia Elkina. "Set to Stravinsky’s Sonata, Petrushka tells of a tragic love triangle between three magical puppets. This work puts a new magic around the legendary Ballets Russes production of Petrouchka."

Symphonie Fantastique will play the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center March 29-31. The piece is "set to the five movements of Hector Berlioz's 19th century classical composition of the same name. The production is performed entirely in a specially constructed water tank."

Arias With a Twist, a heady mix of jazz vocals by Arias and otherworldly imagery from Twist, will play the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company April 4-May 6. The final offering will be Dogugaeshi, "an intimate journey of images and emotions influenced by Japanese dogugaeshi stage mechanism technique and his own experiences with the rare art form of puppetry." It will run April 12-22 at the Studio Theatre.

A third generation puppeteer, Twist is a graduate of the École Supérieure Nationale des Arts de la Marionnette in Charleville-Mezieres, France. He received a Drama Desk nomination, a UNIMA Citation of Excellence, the Henry Hewes Design Award and an Obie Award for Symphonie Fantastique. His works also include Peter and Wendy, The Araneidae Show and A Streetcar Named Desire with Lee Breuer. He developed puppetry for Paula Vogel's The Long Christmas Ride Home and was the underwater puppetry consultant for "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban." Twist is also reported to be working with Disney on their stage musical adaptation of Alice In Wonderland.  He is the director of The Dream Music Puppetry Program at HERE Arts Center.

Click here to read's previous Brief Encounter with Twist.

Tickets may be purchased from the individual theatres.

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