Legion Arts welcomes Vermont theatre company for week-long residency

(May 2012) The internationally acclaimed Sandglass Theater will have a week-long residency at CSPS Hall May 21-25 with workshops and two performances of the musical drama All Weather Ballads Thursday, May 24 at 7 pm and Friday, May 25 at 8 pm. Buy tickets here .

The workshops are Tuesday, May 22 at Eulenspiegel Theatre, West Liberty, and Wednesday, May 23 at CSPS Hall. Both workshops run from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. Registration is $14 and includes admission to a performance of All Weather Ballads. Workshops are limited to 18 participants each. Register here .

Eric and Ines will also lead a free panel discussion Sunday, May 27 at 2 pm at CSPS. The panel, in keeping with the subject of the musical, will be how extreme weather can create community and identity.

Sandglass Theater has pushed the boundaries of puppet theater for 30 years. Founded in Germany by Eric Bass and Ines Zeller Bass, the Vermont-based company mingles puppets and human performers to moving and whimsical effect. All Weather Ballads is essentially a fusion of puppet show and folk music concert. It is a musical love story portraying the rural experience with dry humor and ironic poignancy. The work follows the lives of two Vermonters from childhood to old age and is about a sense of place and those moments when we look both forward and backward in time. All Weather Ballads incorporates original ballads by Eric Bass with a haunting score by Keith Murphy. Eric and Ines are joined on stage by multi-instrumentalist Nick Keil.

“Each scene is beautifully imagined, filled with moments that are by turns whimsical, wistful, and at times profoundly moving,” wrote Broadway World in a rave review of the show. “The puppets, though no larger than their masters’ forearms…are wondrously detailed, supple at the joints, and manipulated by the Basses with great sensitivity to the slightest gestures.”

Sandglass Theater was founded in Munich, Germany, in 1982 as a company dedicated to collaboration with artists and composers. After moving to Putney, Vermont, in 1986, they opened an intimate 60-seat barn theater. Sandglass hosts guest artist series through the year, including “Voices of Community” (a series devoted to social activist theater). The company’s extensive repertoire for both adults and young audiences has toured worldwide and earned several Citations of Excellence from UNIMA and many other awards in Europe, Australia and the US. The National Endowment for the Arts awarded Sandglass a touring grant to bring All Weather Ballads to rural areas in the Northeast, Southeast and Midwest.

The residency is made possible in part by a grant from the National Performance Network’s Performance Residency Program. The National Performance Network (NPN) is a multi-state group of cultural organizers and artists facilitating the practice and public experience of the performing arts in the United States. The NPN serves artists, arts organizers and a broad range of audiences across the country through commissions, residencies, arts-centered community projects and other activities. Major contributors to the NPN include the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Ford Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, Altria and the Nathan Cummings Foundation.

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