Basil TwistDirector, Scenographer, Puppetry Artist
The traditions of puppetry
'The crucial point about puppets is that they are real and unreal at the same time,' acclaimed puppeteer Basil Twist says. Originally from San Francisco, he is a third-generation puppeteer and a graduate of the Ecole Supérieure Nationale des Arts de la Marionnette. Original stage productions include Symphonie Fantastique, Petrushka, The Rite of Spring (Lincoln Center), Dogugaeshi (Japan Society and Barbican), Behind the Lid (Silver Whale Gallery NYC) and Arias with a Twist ( NYC,Paris, Stockholm).
He designed the puppetry for The Addams Family (Broadway) and A Streetcar named Desire (La Comédie Française, also co-director). He has directed and designed operas including Respighi's La bella dormente nel bosco (Lincoln Center Festival, Spoleto) and Hansel and Gretel (Houston, Atlanta). In ballet The Winter's Tale (Covent Garden) and Cinderella (Royal Dutch Ballet).
A retrospective of his work took place in Washington DC in 2012. He was a part of the creative team for Kate Bush's Before The Dawn (2014). His honours include Obie, Henry Hewes and Doris Duke Performing awards, multiple UNIMA and Bessie Awards, a Guggenheim fellowship and a 2015 MacArthur Fellowship. He directs the Dream Music Puppetry Program at HERE, New York City.