Marlboro College

NewsPress Release - 2/16/2000

MARLBORO, VT -- Marlboro College presents "A Little Illumination: Fragments of the Life and Work of Walter Benjamin," a play directed by Marlboro College theater faculty member Eric Bass, at 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, March 2-4, and 2 p.m. Saturday, March 4, in the Whittemore Theatre. All performances are free and open to the public.

Written by Bass and his cast of Marlboro College students, the play focuses on the life and work of Walter Benjamin, a German-Jewish literary critic and historical philosopher during the 1920s and 1930s. The music is composed by Brattleboro musician Paul Dedell and the choreography is by faculty member Alison Mott.

Born in 1892, Walter Benjamin was a German essayist and critic, known for his work with Marxist theory and Jewish messianism. In 1933, Benjamin moved to France, presumably to avoid the rise of Nazi power. When the Nazis invade France in 1940, Benjamin tried to flee to Spain; denied entrance there, he committed suicide.

Bass, who has taught at Marlboro for five years, has worked in the theater as a director, playwright, performer, and mask and puppet maker. He was a member of Jean Erdman's Theater of the Open Eye in New York City for five years, until he left in 1980 to create his first solo performance of puppets, "Autumn Portraits," which was awarded a Diploma of Excellence in Pecs, Hungary, and the First Prize Critics Award for Best Production at the International Puppetry Festival in Adelaide, Australia.

In 1982, Bass founded the Sandglass Theater in Munich, Germany, with his wife, Ines Zeller Bass. Bass conceived, designed, and performed in all three of the Sandglass Heaven Trilogy productions: "Sand," "Invitations to Heaven," and "The Village Child," each of which earned a Citation of Excellence from the International Union of Puppeteers.

As a director, Bass has worked in Australia, Poland, and Finland, as well as the United States. As well as directing "A Little Illumination," Bass is currently directing the newest Sandglass adult show, called "The Pig Act."

The Whittemore Theatre is fully accessible. For more information, please call (802) 257-4333. The Marlboro events calendar can be found on-line at

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