PUTNEY -- UNIMA (Union Internationale de la Marionnette) has selected Putney’s Sandglass Theater to perform "Autumn Portraits" in Cuba during its international convening from April 17-28. The UNIMA Festival takes place every four years, always in a different country. Eric Bass, Sandglass’s Co-Artistic Director and Founder, will perform his solo work, "Autumn Portraits," four times throughout the festival.
Bass said, "It is quite an honor. Sandglass performed in the 1984 festival in Dresden, East Germany. In those days, the festival moved back and forth between the East Bloc and West Bloc countries, trying to bridge the cold war divide. These days, the festival continues to be an event that opens up the relationship between specific countries and artists from around the world. It is the first time a puppet festival of this scale has taken place in Cuba. And there have been few opportunities for puppeteers from the U.S. to perform there -- and to see some of the many troupes of Cuban puppeteers, as well."
Bass continued, "Our invitation to perform there came about suddenly. Heather Henson’s company was scheduled to perform there but, at the last moment, was unable to go. A call went out to a few U.S. artists who could step in and take the performances. ‘Autumn Portraits’ was chosen to fill the bill. We are grateful to Heather and her company, IBEX Puppetry, for having helped facilitate our taking over the tour."
Kirk Murphy, Sandglass puppeteer and company administrator, will join Bass on the tour as lighting technician and documentarian. They will be performing at three venues in Cuba: in Matanzas, during the official inauguration of Taller Internacional de Titeres de Matanzas, the festival’s main location and the convening site of the World Congress of UNIMA; as well as in Santa Clara and Havana. Bass will also present an illustrated talk describing Sandglass’ 30 years of work in puppetry.
This trip will also allow Sandglass to see new work that they could bring to Southern Vermont.
"The 2015 Puppets in the Green Mountains Festival, for the first time, has a theme: ‘They Are Just Like Us: Puppet Theater about Immigration and Humanization.’ Perhaps we will see something that will be great for our 2015 festival," stated Bass.
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