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PUTNEY—Sandglass Theater will present its 11th Puppets in the Green Mountains (PGM) Festival—a 10-day international puppet festival every two years featuring performances for children, adults, and families, as well as arts workshops and forums, culture, and social causes – September 9-18 at various locations in Brattleboro and Putney.
Over the past 25 years, the festival has grown considerably. This year’s festival will feature performances by local and international artists from various countries, including Germany, Mexico, Jordan and the Czech Republic.
“The 2022 edition of PGM embraces its role as a meeting place, an educational platform, a space for discussion and celebration of puppet theatre,” said Shoshana Bass, co-artistic director of Sandglass Theatre, in a press release. hurry.
The theme for this year’s festival is “Of Roots and Wings,” to celebrate the flourishing art of puppet theater as a way to enhance perspective, generate compassion, and celebrate the human spirit.
The theme of the festival stems from a famous quote, attributed to several writers, including the poet Johann Wolfgang Van Goethe: “There are two things that parents should give their children: roots and wings. Roots to give them port and a sense of belonging, but also wings to help them free themselves from constraints and prejudices and give them other ways to travel (or rather to fly).
As theater “looks forward to the next generation of artists, community leaders, and citizens,” these words take on what Bass calls “a contemporary urgency.”
“With one foot in knowing who we are and where we come from and the other in the creative possibilities of the imagination, ‘Roots and Wings’ inspires us to make informed, positive choices and be active citizens. in our world today,” she said.
Sandglass turns 40
This year, Sandglass Theater celebrates its 40th anniversary as a force in creating innovative theater and building community.
Since 1982, the company has been dedicated to the arts of theater and puppetry, presenting various theater artists and producing events in service of the community.
Eric Bass, who co-founded Sandglass with his wife, Ines Bass, remembered the origin of the Sandglass Theater 40 years ago.
“In 1982, Sandglass Theater was just two people starting a relationship, building a puppet theater production, and figuring out a name,” he said.
Bass said the Sandglass Theater name “encapsulated many aspects of who we were and who we have become.” The name is a portmanteau of the English and German words for the same object: “sanduhr” and “hourglass”. It represents “our sense of history, our sense of fragility, our sense of continuity,” he said.
Bass called the festival “a celebration of the art form that has sustained us all along, and the community that has embraced us, nurtured us, and expanded our relationships.” This is an opportunity for us to thank you.
The Basses discovered that the first production of Sandglass, The sand“came to define what we would become: a company dedicated to evocative imagery and total engagement with the lives of puppets and where they have taken us.”
Ines Bass recalls moving to a studio in Munich, Germany, home of the Sandglass Theater.
“The place was a tailor’s workshop, and we inherited many yards of his black woolen fabric,” she said of the material that accompanied them on tours around the world and who “has followed us to America as a faithful and devoted actor. .”
Ines Bass thinks of this fabric – now safely preserved – “as something whose thread has symbolically woven itself into the fabric of our life’s work”, she said. “He’s older, a bit faded here and there, picked up the scent from many places but still makes a strong statement as a persistent and important player. I think it will last for quite a while. »
“As for our puppet festivals, I think of them the same way,” continued Ines Bass. “They are a repeating pattern in the metaphorical weave of our history. They connected the whole world to our community and created a beautiful and colorful tapestry.
What to expect
Working closely with regional leaders, artists and directors from Sandglass Theater will present a program that goes beyond the stage with the aim of fostering meaningful conversations around the performances and the themes they address.
• Krystal Puppeteers from Kenya will weave a tale filled with music, dance and memorable characters about the dramatic roots of a river’s name and how it influences its modern inhabitants in Tears by the river.
• Lone Wolf Tribe, a multidisciplinary performance company based in Brooklyn, NY, and led by Founding Artistic Director Kevin Augustine, will present his solo exhibition, body concertinvolving large body parts enlivened with rigorous Japanese-inspired choreography Butoh Dance.
• Theater Waidspeicher from Germany, which produced an interpretation of Romeo and Juliet at the 2015 festival, will present a poignant account of losing home and fleeing war in When my father became a bush.
• Dafa Puppet Theater (Jordan/Czech Republic) will present a story about exile and dreams in war maker.
• Migrations/Migrations (Mexico/USA) by Paradox Teatro follows a photojournalist’s visual journey to uncover the stories of refugees migrating through sand, water and shadows. It will be played in English and Spanish.
• In Judy saves the dayBoston’s Sarah Nolen will deliver a modern take on the traditional Punch-and-Judy show in what the theater describes as “a hilarious, timely, handcrafted farce the whole family will enjoy.”
• The latest work from the Sandglass Theatre, Rinsingis a collaboration with award-winning playwright Linda Parris-Bailey about race, heritage, identity, and the process of making room for someone else.
The festival will also include community-wide public forums, “Access Through the Arts”, which will highlight what the theater describes as “the tremendous importance of the role of the arts in addressing and inspiring personal engagement in conversations national and international”. ”