Wonderful Joe

Wonderful Joe

Created & Performed by Ronnie Burkett

April 4 - 21, 2024

Paint gold in the part of me that is broken. Let my faultline shine, these golden precious scars are fine, divine, and mine
Wonderful Joe

Theatre Network presents the World Premiere of


Created & Performed by Ronnie Burkett

“Paint gold in the part of me that is broken. Let my faultline shine, these golden precious scars are fine, divine, and mine.”

Joe and his dog Mister lose their home, and facing separation, head into the world for one last grand adventure together. The world seems broken, but Joe sees magic in the mundane, beauty amidst brutality, and life in the lost and lonely. He and Mister encounter Mother Nature, Santa Claus, Jesus and the Tooth Fairy, witness a troupe of homeless players in a cardboard theatre, and show a disenfranchised teen how to jump over the moon in a playground rocket ship. A seemingly simple tale of a simple man, Wonderful Joe is a love letter to imagination, hope, and the art of filling broken hearts with gold.

Ronnie Burkett brings this story to life with his signature style of beautiful puppetry and solo performance, with a glorious score and soundscape by John Alcorn.

Watch: Ronnie Burkett wins the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement

Warning: This production is intended for adult audiences only, ages 16+. Children under the age of 16 will not be admitted.

Created and Performed by Ronnie Burkett

Music composition and lyrics by John Alcorn

Lighting Designer: Kevin Humphrey

Production Manager/Artistic Associate: Terri Gillis

Stage Manager/Technical Director: Crystal Salverda

Associate Producer: John Lambert

Marionette and Costume Design: Ronnie Burkett

Costumes: Kim Crossley

Puppet Studio: Alexander Mantia, Aidan Sparks, Angela Talbot, Dina Meschkuleit, with Martin Herbert, Andy Hayward, Shanna Miller, Justin Mezzapelli and Brigitte Sampogna

Shoes: Camellia Koo

Marionette Controls: Greg Ballora (after Luman Coad)

Marionette Stringing: Marcus Jamin

Majordomo: Robbie Buttinski

Stage built by Shop Dogs, Montreal

Scenic Painting: Daniel Barkley

Model and Drafting: Aidan Sparks

Music Production, Arrangements, Vocals, Keyboards, and Digital Programming: John Alcorn

Additional Vocals: Coco Love Alcorn

Mixing and Mastering: Jeff Wolpert, Desert Fish Studios

Theatre Network Crew: Will Chichak, Amelia Chan, Nicodeums Hein, Ethan Stevens, Jadey Capaldo, Sebastien Edward-Collins, Cody Roberts and Liv Bunge

April 4 - 21, 2024

Tuesdays through Saturdays @ 8 PM
Sundays @ 2 PM

Opening Night: Thu Apr 4 @ 8PM
2-for-1 Tuesdays: Tue Apr 9 & 16 @ 8 PM ($23.50 per person)
The Roxy Theatre:
Nancy Power Theatre

Run Time approximately 100 minutes, no intermission
incl. $2.00 fee
This production is intended for adult audiences only, ages 16+. Children under the age of 16 will not be admitted.

“Wonderful Joe is, true to its name, wonderful. It’s pure magic from a veteran puppeteer bringing to life some fantastical characters to tell an important story.” 

-Justin Bell, Edmonton Journal 

Cast & Crew



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 around Alberta at the age of fourteen and has been on the road ever since. 

Recognized as one of Canada’s foremost theatre artists, Ronnie Burkett has been credited with creating some of the world’s most elaborate and provocative puppetry. Ronnie Burkett Theatre of Marionettes was formed in 1986 and has stimulated an unprecedented adult audience for puppet theatre, continuously playing to great critical and public acclaim on Canada’s major stages, and as a guest company on numerous international tours abroad.

Ronnie has received numerous awards in the Canadian theatre as a playwright, actor and designer for his work with Theatre of Marionettes, including the 2009 Siminovitch Prize in Theatre, The Herbert Whittaker Drama Bench Award for Outstanding Contribution to Canadian Theatre, and international recognition including a Village Voice OBIE Award in New York for Off-Broadway Theatre, The GLAAD Award for Outstanding Theater, Broadway/Off-Broadway,  and four Citations of Excellence in the Art of Puppetry from the American Center of the Union Internationale de la Marionnette. In 2019, he was appointed as an Officer of The Order of Canada. In June, Ronnie will receive the Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award from the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards.  

Ronnie’s highly acclaimed and wildly popular improvised marionette vaudeville cabaret The Daisy Theatre has played a decade of sold-out touring seasons including Los Angeles to New York, Vancouver, Toronto, Sydney and Auckland, and follows the international successes Penny Plain, Billy Twinkle, 10 Days on Earth, Provenance and the “Memory Dress Trilogy” of Tinka’s New Dress, Street of Blood and Happy. Little Dickens (The Daisy Theatre version of A Christmas Carol), premiered in 2017. In June 2019, Ronnie Burkett Theatre of Marionettes premiered a new audience-interactive production, Forget Me Not. In 2022, The Loony Bin premiered, Ronnie’s first solo salon handpuppet show since he was a teenager. In 2023, The Daisy Theatre cast took on Shakespeare in Little Willy for a seven city tour. Wonderful Joe is the third Theatre of Marionettes world premiere at The Roxy.



With over 30 years in the entertainment industry, Crystal has been blessed to work both across the country and internationally stage managing some wonderful productions. She has had the pleasure of working with Ronnie for the past 13 years. She has also worked with companies such as Blyth Festival, Kidoons Network, Calgary Stampede, Necessary Angel, Soulpepper Theatre, Canadian Stage, Harold Green Jewish Theatre, just to name a few. Other work experience includes Operations for Field of Dreams and Little League Classic (BaAM Productions), Concert Stage Manager (Marquis Entertainment).



John Alcorn is one of Canada’s premiere jazz vocalists, delivering his distinctive renditions of jazz standards on the most prestigious bandstands and concert stages across Canada. His list of citations and acknowledgements in music and theatre include both Jazz Report (Male Vocalist of the Year) and Dora (Outstanding Music) awards. As composer, lyricist, musical director, arranger and producer, he has collaborated with numerous significant Canadian theatre artists, including Daniel MacIvor, Deanne Taylor, Sky Gilbert, Theresa Tova, and Tomson Highway, and nine collaborations with Theatre of Marionettes.



Ashley (She/Her) has been a full time Theatre & Live Event Technician since 2019. She greatly enjoys all her work, engaging in events such as concerts, conventions, galas, festivals, and, of course, live theatre. From events as small as a mic on a stand to as big as spending a whole week putting together a single day exhibit, there is never a boring day in live events. She is honored to be a part of the incredible Theatre Network team at the new Roxy Theatre!

Ashley believes that art, in all of its forms, is and should be a place of community, of expression, and of acceptance. Anybody anywhere, no matter their age, language, orientation, experiences, or tastes, can find art that speaks to them, and that’s the way it should be. As a member of the Métis Nation of Alberta, Ashley hopes to continue the work this industry has done to create spaces that are inclusive, welcoming, and safe to all members of all communities, by incorporating the Métis values of Unity and Harmony, as well as honoring Tatawaw, the Cree phrase meaning “Welcome, there is room.”



It has been 20 years since Kevin worked at the Roxy and he is excited to be back. Previous lighting designs for Ronnie Burkett include Billy Twinkle: Requiem for a Golden Boy and Penny Plain. Other selected lighting designs include Pride and Prejudice, Avenue Q, Romeo & Juliet and Trouble in Mind (Citadel Theatre); Jason Kenney’s Hot Boy Summer (Grindstone Theatre); Sister Act (Mayfield Dinner Theatre). He is a member of the Associated Designers of Canada ADC659 and IATSE Local 210. He is Chair of the Alberta Section of the Canadian Institute for Theatre Technology. www.lxdesign.ca