by Ronnie Burkett

October 30– November 23, 2003

Ronnie Burkett is one of the geniuses of the world...seeing his troupe every few years has just become a necessity of civilized theatergoing. - The Village Voice (New York)

Provenance follows the story of Pity, a young Canadian art student who undergoes a courageous and compelling search for beauty. Tender, the object of her affection, is a mysterious boy who has been rendered in a painting, and concealed for a century. It is a quest for beauty that becomes a journey through the grotesque, leading Pity to a brothel in Vienna. There, she meets a series of marionette-prostitutes, a roller-skating monkey named Plato, and Leda, the madam of the brothel. As Pity seeks the beautiful ­ to desire it, embrace it and become it, those around her seek to possess it, conceal it, and even destroy it.

Ronnie’s well-known command of the marionettes will be complimented by the use of his latest innovations, taking puppetry to a new level of theatrical daring. Provenance will feature the world’s most elaborate and provocative puppetry in a story that is funny, compelling, erotic, and haunting.

Created and Performed by: Ronnie Burkett
Music by: Cathy Nosaty
Lighting Design by: Bill Williams

The original production of Provenance was co-commissioned by BITE:04, (London, UK), the Melbourne Festival (Melbourne, Australia), queerupnorth (Manchester, UK), Canadian Stage Company (Toronto, Canada), Wiener Festwochen (Wein, Austria). The world premiere of Provenance occurred at Theatre Network in October 2003 in Edmonton, Canada.

READ: History of Ronnie Burkett Theatre of Marionettes

October 30– November 23, 2003

Previews October 14
Opening October 30




Ronnie Burkett has been captivated by puppetry since the age of seven, when he opened the World Book Encyclopedia to “Puppets”. He began touring his puppet shows at the age of fourteen and has been on the road ever since.

Ronnie Burkett Theatre of Marionettes premiered in 1986 with Fool’s Edge, which played the Edmonton Fringe Festival that summer. Ronnie began his long association with Theatre Network in 1990, when Awful Manors premiered on the Roxy stage. For his work with Theatre of Marionettes, Ronnie has received numerous awards in the Canadian theatre as a playwright, actor and designer (including eight Sterling Awards from the Edmonton theatre community), and international recognition including a Village Voice OBIE Award in New York for Off-Broadway Theatre. 10 Days on Earth is the tenth production from Theatre of Marionettes, and follows the now-retired international success Provenance and the “Memory Dress Trilogy” of Tinka’s New Dress, Street of Blood and Happy, all of which played here at The Roxy.

Throughout 2006-07, Ronnie will be performing 10 Days on Earth in Vancouver, Auckland, Sydney, London, Manchester, Vienna, Montreal and other cities around the world. When not jiggling puppets in front of strangers, Ronnie lives in expensive, noisy Toronto, and is presently working on two new productions – Billy Twinkle, Requiem for a Golden Boy and Penny Plain. Ronnie really really really thanks you for turning off your cell phone.



Cathy Nosaty has created scores for numerous theatre productions across Canada. In the past dozen years she has written music for the Theatre of Marionettes productions of Tinka’s New Dress, Old Friends, Street of Blood, Happy and Provenance.



Bill Williams is a well-known Canadian designer, specializing in the fields of stage and architectural lighting design. With more than 500 project credits, his work has taken him across Canada and the U.S.A. and to Europe, Asia, South America and the U.K. He is delighted to be working with Ronnie and going on another incredible adventure. His previous Ronnie Burkett designs include Old Friends, Street of Blood, Happy and Provenance. When not designing lighting, Bill is also active as a teacher, photographer, webmaster and theatre consultant.