Blair Thomas’s THE SELFISH GIANT at the Milwaukee Art Museum

selfishgiantOn Sunday, March 24, puppet theater company Blair Thomas & Co. will perform their adaption of Oscar Wilde’s The Selfish Giant at the Milwaukee Art Museum as part of of their Family Saturdays, sponsored by Kohl’s Art Generation. The Selfish Giant will begin at 2:30 p.m. and is free with museum admission.

Thomas is a “master puppeteer,” whom Hedy Weiss of the Chicago Sun-Times has likened to a “latter-day Hans Christian Andersen.” A collaboration with singer-songwriter Michael Smith, The Selfish Giant adapts a revered fairy tale by Oscar Wilde into 45 minutes of music, magic, and impressive puppetry. “Thomas’s work is always best in an intimate setting,” says Chris Jones of the Chicago Tribune, and there are few venues more perfectly suited to Thomas’ work than the Milwaukee Art Museum (not in the least because the building itself is a puppet in its very design).

Blair Thomas & Company is a national and international touring puppet theater company that was founded in 2002 by puppeteer and director/designer Blair Thomas. They have made over a dozen original puppet theater pieces including: Cabaret of Desire, a staging of short works by Federico Garcia Lorca; The Ox-herder’s Tale an interpretive staging of the Buddhist parable of 10 painting of enlightenment; A Kite’s Tale an original silent narrative staged to Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition for orchestra or solo piano. They have also toured with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. They have made collaboration productions with other companies such as Pierrot Lunaire a staging of Arnold Schoenberg’s song cycle with the chamber music ensemble eighth blackbird; an original adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s The Selfish Giant and an adaptation of Brian Selznick’s The Houdini Box both with the Chicago Children’s Theatre. Twice Blair Thomas & Company has received the international UNIMA awards for excellence in the art of puppetry. Twice the company has performed at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, once during when Blair was the first artist chosen to fill the Jim Henson Artist-in-Residence position at the University of Maryland.