Bride of Wildenstein – Premiere, Los Angeles (performance)


On January 28th, 2010, Bride of Wildenstein – the Musical premiered at the Velaslavaysay Panorama in Los Angeles. In Bride of Wildenstein – The Musical, an aging socialite grows fur and claws to recapture the attention of her philandering game hunter husband.


Described as “demented, touching, and inherently strange” by Flavorpill (Los Angeles), Bride of Wildenstein is a weird and tragic love story that examines the making of a monstrosity through one woman’s personal struggle, and the loss of her sense of self. As her marriage dissolves, she begins to reinvent herself through drastic measures – surgical procedures to become more feline, which only further heighten her sense of estrangement. The heroine’s story is loosely inspired by tabloid accounts of the real-life “cat woman”, Jocelyn Wildenstein. In it I hope to gently turn the abrasive glare of the mirror onto the face of the audience and pose the question, Have you ever gone too far for love?


From the Program:

Automata and IBEX Puppetry Present:
Marsian & Company’s

Bride of Wildenstein – The Musical

January 28 – 31, 2010   8 o’clock PM
Los Angeles, California 90007
(213) 746-2166

Conceived and Performed by Marsian
Written by Marsian and P.J. McWhiskers
Music composed and performed by Josh Senick
Lighting designed by Brandon Stirling Baker
Costumes designed by Lee Frank Perez Vargas and Hunter Wells
Production Manager: Tori Oakes Stage Manager: Sarah Yates
Sound Operator: Moira MacDonald

Marsian (Writer, Co-Director, Performer, Producer, Puppet Designer) is an L.A. based puppet artist, chanteuse, and high-art drag personality whose work is ripped directly from the headlines. Marsian’s last show, Growing Up Linda, has been performed at Theater For The New City, Mad Cow, and Perishable Theater, at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Bride of Wildenstein – The Musical premiered at the Orlando Puppet Festival in October, and has been performed (excerpts) at the Eugene O’Neill Puppetry Conference, REDCAT Studio and PLOP! (Olympia), the Tank (New York). Visit for further details.

P.J. McWhiskers (Co-Writer) is a performance art entity who has for thirteen years been creating and collaborating in original works staged in Boston, Provincetown and New York City. At the age of seventeen P.J. joined the Massachusetts-based theatre company “The Gold Dust Orphans,” where she performed as a principal member for eight years. She is best known for curating the Provincetown based performance salon and booze fest KooK, co-writing and staring in Fun-time with Pea-pie and Jo-Jo and You Suck At Life and Everything Else, a sketch comedy karaoke show.

Josh Senick (Composer, Accompanist) is an L.A. based composer and sound designer who focuses on live theatrical work. Originally from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Josh attended Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Institute of Music in Cleveland, Ohio where he received a B.A. in Music and Theater in 2005. He received an M.F.A. in 2009 Arts in Theatrical Sound Design at CalArts.

Brandon Stirling Baker (Lighting Designer) is a lighting designer for Theatre, Dance and Performance. His designs have been produced at the Edinburgh International Fringe Festival, New York Toy Theatre Festival (GSW), New York Fringe Festival, REDCAT, Los Angeles Music Center,
ACDFA Dance Festival, Santa Monica Museum of Art and many other venues. Brandon studied at the California Institute of the Arts and the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow.

Sarah Marie Ibrahim (Sound Effects, Vocal Coach) Sarah Marie Ibrahim is a graduate student in Experimental Sound Practices and Integrated Media at CalArts. Her works include vocally driven

Moira MacDonald(Sound Operator) is currently pursuing her MFA in Puppetry at CalArts. She has worked with Janie Geiser, Susan Simpson, The Little Fakers, Basil Twist, Erik Sanko and Jessica Grindstaff. She most recently performed at The Velaslavasay Panorama in The Sparkly Winter Christmas Holiday Hanukkah Nogstyle Christmas Show, co-conceived with JP Parr.

Lee Frank Perez Vargas(Costume Design) has worked as a designer since 1989. Lee has designed costume for eight theatre productions and three short films. Lee has a small studio in Los Feliz near Griffith Park wherefrom he creates and teaches his skills. To see some samples of his work online, visit 

Hunter Wells (Costume Design) (Costume Designer, MFA CalArts 2010) Theater Credits: Funnyhouse of a Negro, dir. Michael Garcés (CalArts 2009), John Gabriel Borkman, dir. Maureen Husky (CalArts 2009), How to Disappear and Never be Found, dir. Lily Whitsett (CalArts 2008), Aesop’s Dreams, dir. Chris Cole (CalArts 2008). Film/Video Credits: The Way I Loved You, Music Video feat. Diana Shaginyan, dir. Darrell Rigby (AFI 2009), Love Me Dead, dir. James Connelly (AFI 2009), Matinee, dir. Michael Callahan (USC 2009), A Month and Some Days, dir. Lin Qiu (CalArts 2008).

Originally developed at CalArts School of Theater with the Cotsen Center for Puppetry & the Arts, REDCAT Studio, Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, and made possible with the additional support from The Durfee Foundation ARC (Artist’s Resource for Completion) Grant, CalArts Special Projects, Office of the President, The CalArts Interdisciplinary Grant, and CalArts Student Council.

Automata is a Los Angeles nonprofit organization dedicated to the creation, incubation, and presentation of experimental puppet theater, experimental film, and other contemporary art practices centered on ideas of artifice and performing objects. Founded by artists Janie Geiser and Susan Simpson, Automata has been presenting intimate performances, screenings, lectures, workshops, and exhibitions in a variety of spaces since 2004.  For further information contact

Heather Henson’s IBEX Puppetry is an entertainment company dedicated to promoting the fine art of puppetry in all of its various mediums, nurturing work for a myriad of venues including stage, film, and gallery.  Heather Henson (Executive Producer) is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design and has also attended CalArts. Her work has been seen at HERE and PS122 in New York, the O’Neill Theatre Center in Connecticut, and the Zeum in San Francisco. Heather and IBEX Puppetry strive to use full sensory non-traditional storytelling tools to offer audiences a transformative experience. For more information on Handmade Puppet Dreams Film Series, Environmental Spectacles, and the Orlando Puppet Festival, visit

The Velaslavasay Panorama   Drawing on the illustrious history of the Great Panorama Paintings and myriad popular entertainments of the 19th century, The Velaslavasay Panorama is an exhibition hall, theatre and garden dedicated to the production and presentation of unusual visual experiences on themes of landscape, immersion and illusion. Forthcoming on the stage will be The Grand Moving Mirror of California-a 270 foot painting by Guan Rong -and on February 12, the debut of 石韵知恒 Shi Yun Zhi Heng: 12 Interesting Rocks in the ancillary salon, which will be on view until March 14, 2010.

Very Special Thanks to all of the previous collaborators, including Leila Ghaznavi (Originating co-Director), Derron Wood (Orlando Director), Sarah Sowell (Originating Puppet Builder), EuGean Seo (Originating Set Designer), Jennifer Koblosky (Originating Co-Producer), Rachel Weir (Originating Costume Designer, Design Dramaturgy), E. Martin Giminez (Originating Sound Designer), and Amanda Smith (Originating Scenic Artist).

Extra Special Thanks to Leslie Cararra-Rudolph, Pam Arciero, Marty Robinson, Ron Binion, Z. Briggs, Marianne Kubik, Larry Seigel, Robert Smythe, Alice Boehm, Tyler Bunch, Richard Termine, Heather Henson, Lynn Jeffries, Raphael Lopez-Barantez, Ellen McCartney, Chris Barecca, Steven Lavine and David Hanbury, Katie Shook, Janie Geiser, Susan Simpson, Greg Ballora, Sara Velas, Sarah Brin, Jade Finlinson, Rosco Posada.

Exceptional Special Thanks to Ibex Puppetry for providing Timothy Ellis (Choreographer), Davy Jordan (Puppet Builder), Sarah Yates (Stage Manager) and Tori Oakes (Production Manager, Set Design). And a very very special thanks to Vandy Wood for all of her assistance with tour development.


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