LONG CHRISTMAS RIDE HOME
By Paula Vogel
A breathtaking work by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of How I Learned to Drive and The Baltimore Waltz, in which a single, sudden act of violence shatters the lives of three siblings - and also unites them. This lyrical and haunting tale combines live actors and Bunraku style puppets to portray a love strong enough to reach beyond death to heal the inescapable legacies of childhood. Twist developed the puppetry for The Long Christmas Ride Home which received it's commissioning, development and world premiere at Rhode Island's Trinity Repertory Company, under the direction of Oskar Eustis, in May 2003 and was subsequently presented at The Long Wharf directed by Oskar Eustis, in January 2004, who co-commissioned the work.
Twist then recreated the puppetry for a New York production that played at The Vineyard Theatre, October 15 - December 7, 2004, directed by Mark Brokaw, for which the production received 4 Lortel nominations including Best Play.
"A SHIVER-MAKING EXPERIENCE! The most visually exquisite production of the season. Deeply affecting! Stirring and eloquent. Ms. Vogel and Mr. Twist demonstrate that puppets can mine elusive territory beyond the grasp of even the most accomplished actors." - Ben Brantley, The New York Times
"HAUNTING AND STUNNING! Full of adventurous theatricality. Basil Twist is in town again. Treasure his energy. Everywhere he goes, he creates new life." - Christopher Arnott, New Haven Advocate
Under the direction of Oskar Eustis, Long Christmas Ride Home premiered at Trinity Repertory Company in Providence, Rhode Island on May 16, 2003 as a co-production between Trinity Repertory Company and the Long Wharf Theatre. The play featured Samisen player Sumie Kaneko and puppets created by Basil Twist.
The play opened Off-Broadway in November 2003 at the Vineyard Theatre, directed by Mark Brokaw. The cast featured Will McCormack (Stephen), Catherine Kellner (Rebecca), Enid Graham (Claire), Mark Blum (Father) and Randy Graff (Mother). The Japanesque set was designed by Neil Patel, with costumes by Jess Goldstein and puppetry created and staged by Basil Twist. This production received 2004 Lucille Lortel Award nominations for: Outstanding Play, Outstanding Director, Outstanding Sound Design, (David Van Tieghem), and won the 2004 Lucille Lortel Award, Outstanding Featured Actor, Will McCormack.