Tag Archives: Ronnie Burkett

Unpacking Daisies

Ronnie Burkett has arrived, along with crate upon crate of the lovingly packed wooden creatures who comprise the cast of The Daisy Theatre.

Last night, during setup at the Actor’s Gang theater in Culver City, Ronnie and his stage manager extraordinaire Crystal Salverda mulled over the precise placement of each puppet, strategically selecting where each one will delicately dangle around the Daisy stage—where they will be found waiting in the wings, slightly shifting at any small breeze.

photohanging

 

photo (3)

Ronnie has a sketch of a plan for every performance, but with dozens of characters to choose from, must prepare for anyone to take the stage–sometimes he even lets the audience vote on who they’d most like to see.

After watching him unpack the glorious Diva opera singer marionette, I felt slightly regretful that, when I saw a performance of The Daisy Theatre in Vancouver a year ago, I cheered for the “Horny Librarian” option over the portly bespectacled glitter-heeled goddess I met last night.

photo 2

And yes, there is a horny librarian in the cast. She was delightful. Who knows if she will show up this time around. Come to recall, there’s quite a bit of horniness in the show here and there. Not egregiously so, but definitely hilarity inducing.

I scoped out the Actor’s Gang theater from multiple vantage points. There’s not a bad seat in the place. It’s a stage within a stage within a stage and you’ll be able to take it all in.

photo (4)

Last night, one of our new photographers in residence Tim Hailand was on hand to document Ronnie’s setup process. We’ll share some shots from his artistic lens later.

I’m excited to see the shows, see who makes it to the stage and what they do in their moment in the spotlight.

 

Ronnie Burkett Theatre of Marionettes: The Daisy Theatre Nov. 11-15

The unsigned editorial from the evening’s program notes. 

Ronnie Burkett is one of those artists who knew very early on what shape his life would take. Or, at least, after watching The Sound of Music “Lonely Goatherd” puppet show segment as a kid he had a powerful image of what he would like to do for the rest of his life.

And we lucky creatures are the beneficiaries of Ronnie’s earliest artistic impulses in puppetry and his ongoing commitment to his craft. Our director, Kristy Edmunds, has often stated a deep desire to make Ronnie a household name in the U.S. theater community. He’s incredibly renowned among puppeteers around the world, but these performances of The Daisy Theatre mark only his second appearance in Los Angeles.

Last season, the Center presented his evening length narrative work Penny Plain, a very darkly comic apocalyptic tale that riveted audiences. This time around is a bit more whimsical and a lot more improvisational.

No two performances of The Daisy Theatre are alike and even if you just catch one, you’re experiencing something quite special. Ronnie is fresh off a sold out run of The Daisy Theatre in Edmonton, Canada and last year had a sold-out run in Vancouver.

These six nights here at the Actor’s Gang theater are the only U.S. performances of The Daisy Theatre. Count yourself lucky.

Ronnie is an exceptional performer, and also an exceptional craftsman. If you don’t already follow him on Facebook, you should. In the casual confines of social media he often provides a very unique glimpse into his work, documenting his process through photos and updates that detail the extremely technical craft that goes into the manifestation of a puppet.

“I love jointing marionettes,” he said recently, posting photos of a character-in-progress. Those intricately created joints, so tiny, and so intelligently designed and manipulated with such love and care by the man holding the strings are what help bring these works of sculptural art to vivid performance life and incredible movement.

In human physiology, joints connect bone to bone and are what allow our bodies to articulate movement. Artists like Ronnie serve as a kind of metaphorical joint as well, one that connects human creatures to ideas, delights, and to each other in elaborately conceived ways that serve to articulate movement within our culture at large.

We’re proud to bring Ronnie back, proud to be a cocommissioner
of his revival of The Daisy Theatre, which he first debuted 25 years ago, as he began making his name in the art world.

Welcome to The Daisy Theatre.