PUTNEY -- Eric Bass’ award-winning solo performance, "Autumn Portraits," will take center stage at Sandglass Theater on Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., continuing an annual Sandglass Theater tradition.
Autumn is a metaphor for that time of life when our thoughts turn inward, when we feel the loss of summer warmth. Each of these puppet "portraits" presents a moment in one character’s existence. Some are funny, some touching, some bizarre, and all speak to the human experience, as only puppets can.
"Autumn Portraits" is a compelling evening-long solo puppet-and-mask performance, a series of five interlocking vignettes, each exploring one puppet character and its interplay with its manipulator, who might appear as a masked figure, or simply a voice from the sky.
Bass’ rod puppets act out their stories in precise and evocative gestures as they meet their pasts, their selves, even their puppet deaths. Bass performs solo, and for most of his performance he manipulates the characters in full view of the audience. He combines his own craft with the traditional Japanese Bunraku methods of puppetry. While the performance may be enjoyed by older children, "Autumn Portraits" is intended for adult audiences.
Bass has presented his work in theaters and festivals throughout Europe, America, Australia and Israel. His awards include the Citation of Excellence from Pecs, Hungary and the First Prize Critics Award for Best Production at the International Festival of Puppetry in Adelaide, Australia. The New York Times has written, "He is a master." And the Derniers Nouvelles D’Alsace, in Strasbourg, France, wrote "these astonishing creatures ... which are in reality our doubles, our secret brothers, sprung from a shadow within us ... one learns more ... than from the many laborious works on the human condition that are proposed to us by philosophers, psychoanalysts and psychologists."