Paris Wheels and The Ready Maids present …

Not The Henri Rousseau That Some of You Know

"... One of the most inventive, memorable events of the 135 we presented... engaging children and adults equally in a magical world... its singular joy, delight, and insight must be experienced..."

- Barbara Silverstein, Artistic Producer, Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts, 2011


Glimpse Paris inside-out through the eyes of Henri Rousseau as ready maids parade the Champs Elysees, zoo animals float out of their cages and into a garden of pink leaves, a bicyclist climbs the Eiffel Tower, in a journey that discovers the joy and responsibility of invention. Using puppets, dance, and lyrical storytelling, Sebastienne Mundheim along with collaborating visual and performing artists, celebrate turn of the century Paris and the avant-garde. Thirty minutes of performance and sixty minutes of hands-on workshop. Appropriate for all ages and languages. Originally commissioned by the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, Paris Wheels and the Ready Maids was performed to enthusiastic, sold-out audiences for its premiere run at Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA) 2011.


" ... One of the top ten performances to see at this year’s festival… ”

- Nick Stuccio, Executive Producer Philadelphia Live Arts/Fringe Festival


Paris Wheels Short Documentary, performed at the Crane Arts Center Sept 2011

“… An enchanting theatrical experience… Delicate, poignant, and whimsical…  It reminds us of the importance of dreaming, as big as we can… The puppets are extraordinary… At once childlike and sophisticated… ”  

- Kate Britton, NYC

Press Kit

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Letters of Endorsement

“Paris Wheels will cut to your core - whether you are a small child caught up in the puppetry and movement as it unfolds or an adult clearly aware of magic, love, disappointment, resilience and hope. This is a gorgeous, smart and challenging story of hope for all audiences.”

- Chrissie DiAngelus, New Jersey Family Fun


Production Stills

“If you have kids, take them now. If you don’t have kids, go yourself… funny, moving, awesome... ”

- Victor Fiorello, Philadelphia Magazine

Venue Requirements

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Appropriate for small theatres, gallery spaces, atrium-spaces.
Optimum floor space: 30ft x20ft (no back stage required)
13ft ceiling minimum
Natural or Electric Light
Sound: One Vocal Microphone, 2-4 speakers, computer and cables.
Seating: Up to 250
Load-In: 3-5 hours
Tech: 5-8 hours (minimum)
Load-Out: 2-3 hours
Touring capacity: national & international


Paris Wheels and the Ready Maids … was originally conceived as part of a larger education program that included in-depth hands-on workshops in visual, literary, performing, and media arts. While the performance is a wonderful experience on its own, follow-up workshops allow viewers to explore the themes and concepts introduced in the performance in much greater depth. These workshops can range in length from one session to twenty sessions. They can be tailored for teachers, students, performing arts groups, and topic-specific groups. Through workshops in sculpture, puppetry, movement, and storytelling we can address many content areas. Techniques include: object theatre, puppetry, and movement. All performers are experienced educators in elementary-graduate level teaching.


Originally commissioned by the Kimmel Center for Performing Arts for the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts 2011.
Creator/ Director/ Designer: Sebastienne Mundheim
Performers/ Movement Collaborators: Kate Carr, Lesya Popil, Eun Jung Choi, Lindsay Browning
Original Cast (and content collaborators): Krista Apple, Natala Covert, Amy Harting, Lesya Popil
Studio Builders/ Collaborators: Amber Martin Leister, Martina Plag, Stephen Shuster, Amy Harting, Emogene Schilling, Bailey Chick, Rayhan Blankship, Louise Toby, Jonathon Colon, Stan Heleva, S. Mundheim
Performance Workshop Participants: Alison Hoban, Natala Covert, Emogene Schilling, Amy Harting, Rayhan Blankenship
Studio Supervisor: Amber Martin Leister
Creative Consultant: Lee Ann Etzold Daub
Sound Design/ Technicians: Andrew Lipke, James Sugg, Louis Jargow, S. Mundheim
Lighting Consultant: James Jackson
Sound Board: Cat Yard
Carpenters: Jason Burnham, Stephen Shuster, Gavin
Remount Interns: Dot Vile, Alicia Quereshi, Cat Yard, Brianna Dugan, Olivia Jones


Special Thanks: Kimmel Center for the Arts, Jay Wahl, Amy Harting, Emogene Schilling, Jason Burnham, Crane Arts Center, Richard Hricko, Dave Gleason, Nick Kripal, Jamie, Stephen Shuster, Mike Riggs, Walking Fish Theatre, Stan Heleva,  Piccadilly Arts, Chrissie DiAngelus, Jim Casey, Pig Iron Theatre Company, Louis Jargow, Bronwen MacArthur, Mike Riggs, Andrea Campbell, Chrissy Day, Cat Yard, Amber Martin Leister and, of course, the whole cast.

“how did you make things that are pretend seem so real? …”

- a three year old audience member
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