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Miller Theatre presents the Premiere of THE BREMEN TOWN BAND

This spring, Miller Theatre at Columbia University presents the world premiere production of an inspired spin on a classic Grimm fairytale. Seeking to escape their tiresome days on The Farm, four spirited animals-a donkey, a dog, a cat, and a rooster-set out on an adventure to realize their dreams and fill their lives with music.

The innovative puppet theater artist Lake Simons-the creative force behind Miller's beloved annual holiday season staging of Carnival of the Animals-returns to direct and design this new, original production. Through silhouette puppetry and imaginative staging, Simons transports the audience to the magical land of these four intrepid creatures. Joining Simons is composer and pianist Courtney Bryan, who has created an original score for the occasion. Bryan leads an all-star quintet of jazz musicians, including Brandee Younger on harp, Tyrone Birkett on saxophone, Dezron Douglas on bass, and Kassa Overall on drums.

The Bremen Town Band, recommended for children 8 and older, is part of Miller's growing family-focused series, launched in 2015 with Carnival of the Animals. Theatrescene described Carnival as "splendidly witty, sometimes poignant and sometimes thrilling, and always inventive...It was magical."

Lake Simons is a theater artist based in New York City with strong ties to Fort Worth, Texas. She is a director, designer, choreographer, puppeteer, builder, painter, and performer. Simons was one of four Americans invited to collaborate with Koryu Nishikawa V of the Kuruma-Ningyo Puppet Theatre in Japan. She has appeared in productions by Christopher Williams, Dan Hurlin, Matt Acheson, Chris Green, Mabou Mines, Patti Bradshaw, and internationally renowned puppeteer Basil Twist. As a designer, she has collaborated with New York Shakespeare Festival, Signature Theatre Company, Doug Elkins, Kristin Marting, My Brightest Diamond, Cori Orlinghouse, Peculiar Works, and Bard College. Simons teaches set design and puppetry at Sarah Lawrence College.

Courtney Bryan, a native of New Orleans, is "a pianist and composer of panoramic interests" (The New York Times). Bryan's compositions explore human emotions through sound, confronting the challenge of notating the feeling of improvisation. Her work has been presented at Lincoln Center, Miller Theatre, Harlem Stage, The Stone, Roulette Intermedium, La MaMa Experimental Theatre, The Museum of Modern Art, National Gallery of Art, Blue Note Jazz Club, Jazz Gallery, and Bethany and Abyssinian Baptist Churches. Upcoming commissions include a new work for orchestra and jazz sextet to be premiered at Carnegie Hall's Orchestra Swings program. Dr. Bryan has academic degrees from Oberlin Conservatory (BM), Rutgers University (MM), and a DMA in music composition from Columbia University, and recently joined the Newcomb Department of Music at Tulane University as an Assistant Professor of Music.

This production is supported by a Family Grant from The Jim Henson Foundation.

Columbia University's Miller Theatre is located north of the Main Campus Gate
at 116th St. & Broadway on the ground floor of Dodge Hall. Directions and information are available online at or via the Miller Theatre Box Office, at 212.854.7799.

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