Open Studio at National Marionette Theatre

The National Marionette Theatre (NMT) has plans to open its studio on Arch Street as a performance space later this year. To better acquaint the public with NMT's work, some of the marionettes presently under construction and some finished figures will be on display during April's Gallery Walk for visitors to view and ask questions about. To see the company in action, catch NMT in a performance at the Hooker-Dunham Theatre on Friday, April 8, at 7 and 9 pm, or Saturday, April 9, at 7 pm.

Touring over 50,000 miles each year throughout the USA, Europe and South America, the National Marionette Theatre is recognized as one of the finest marionette companies in the world today. Performing for festivals, fine arts centers, colleges, universities, theaters and schools, this company is noted not only for its lavish, fully staged, imaginative and highly theatrical productions but also for its amazing manipulation technique.

Marionette with Masks

In 1975, The National Marionette Theatre became the first American marionette company to receive the prestigious UNIMA (Union International de la Marionette Award), an international award for excellence in the field of puppetry arts. NMT's most recent UNIMA award was received in 2004 for a production of Beauty and the Beast.

NMT performs two styles of shows, elaborate "bridge" shows, where the performers work the puppets from a frame above the stage, unseen by the audience. The other is known as "European style," in which the puppeteers manipulate the marionettes on stage in full view of the audience. The upcoming April show, The Art of the Puppeteer, will be presented in European style and is most suitable for audiences 12 and over.

Designed for their international tours, The Art of the Puppeteer is a series of sharply drawn vignettes performed entirely to music. It portrays a palette of human emotions ranging from the dramatic "Prologue/Epilogue" to the whimsical little man and dog from "In the Park," to the bittersweet "Final Remembrances of an Old Woman," to the mime trapped in a mirror in the nightmarish "Reflections," to the comic antics of "The Skater."

For more information on the upcoming performances at the Hooker-Dunham, or to make reservations, please call (802) 254-9276.

Copyright 2005, Gallery Walk, Brattleboro, Vermont

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