Marlboro College

NewsPress Release: 1/4/01Marlboro College and Sandglass Theater to Hold Summer Institute

MARLBORO, VT - Sandglass Theater is teaming up with Marlboro College to offer an intensive training workshop in puppet theater. The summer residential institute will run from June 18 to July 8, 2001, and is offered to puppeteers, teachers, actors, directors, designers and writers who want to expand and deepen their skill in the art of the puppet.

At the institute, Eric Bass, the artistic director of Sandglass Theater, will teach a method of manipulation that Sandglass has developed in over 18 years of workshops in Europe and America. Bass has also been teaching his internationally acclaimed brand of puppetry to students at Marlboro College for several years.

Institute participants will live at Marlboro College, taking classes in Marlboro's Whittemore Theater for five and a half days per week. During that time, participants will take part in sessions of physical training and breathing discipline. This physical training will relate to puppet manipulation and improvisation work, with the goal of developing understanding of expressive theater. Workshop attendees will have the opportunity to rehearse and develop their own pieces, possibly leading to informal showings, and to participate in discussions of theater with each other and with guest artists. They can also take home three college credits.

"Sandglass Theater believes that the puppet is a theatrical medium that unlocks doors to the more secret sides of our selves," says Bass. "The effect of working with puppets is very integrating - it opens up to us the worlds of our dreams and memories. Indeed, the puppet can show us all the metaphorical possibilities of theater."

Audiences who have seen Sandglass performances in Putney or at other venues around New England and Europe know what Bass means. He has enraptured audiences with "Never Been Anywhere," the humorous and poignant account of growing up in Vermont. Plays like "Sand" and "The Village Child" use dream imagery and portrayals of the meeting of two worlds to grapple with the theme of coming to terms with the weight of history.

John Hayes, dean of faculty at Marlboro College, expressed admiration for Sandglass. "Students tell me that Eric Bass draws very deep acting out of them, resulting in professional quality theater experiences for all involved. Anyone who has seen one of Eric's productions can attest to the strength of the performance." He added, "for many years Marlboro had a very lively summer repertory group, so it will be great to see theater return in this workshop format."

Based in Putney, Vermont, Sandglass Theater was founded in Munich, Germany, in 1982 by Eric Bass and Ines Zeller Bass. Since its beginning, Sandglass has been dedicated to the use of the puppet as a medium, often putting puppets on the stage alongside actors, and portraying relationships onstage between the puppets and the actors who handle them. The company has been recognized with international honors in Europe, Australia and the U.S. It has received six citations from the Union Internationale de la Marionnette, and has appeared at the Brooklyn Academy of Music and in the Jim Henson International Festival.

Le Courrier of Geneva, Switzerland, reviewed Sandglass' work, saying, "Eric Bass is known all over the world today for having brought puppets out of their traditional toy closets. The magic is born of gesture, from the movement of these dolls, as if they were animated with the real breath of life." And the Village Voice of New York City said, "That Bass can conjure so much history and soul out of a two-foot puppet is its own mystery."

Marlboro College is an innovative liberal arts college located in the hills of southern Vermont. Its 300 students work closely with faculty members to design and pursue individualized courses of study, while living on a campus that embraces a town meeting community government to make many important decisions. Marlboro's active performing arts faculty includes Shakespeare expert Paul Nelsen and award-winning independent filmmaker Jay Craven.

Workshop participants will enjoy Marlboro's rustic atmosphere, as well as the scenic and recreational resources of summer in Vermont. These include hiking in the Green Mountains and the Appalachian Trail; white-water rafting; mountain-biking and golfing at the nearby Mount Snow four-season resort; and enjoying nature in Marlboro's hundreds of acres of woods. Brattleboro, Vermont and Northampton, Massachusetts, are also close, and offer an active cultural milieu.

The cost for tuition, room and board for the three-week residential program is $1,950. The application fee is $30, and the deadline to apply is April 1, 2001. For more information about the Sandglass Theater at Marlboro College Summer Intensive Training in Puppet Theater, call 800-343-0049, or write Sandglass at Marlboro Summer Theater Institute, P.O. Box A, Marlboro, Vermont 05344.
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