PUTNEY >> Take an adventure on the ocean without getting seasick as Faye Dupras' original production of "The Great Red Ball Rescue!" takes the audience in search of a lost red ball that was swept out to sea, part of Sandglass Theater's Winter Sunshine Series on Saturday. Award-winning puppeteer Dupras began designing and creating puppets almost twenty years ago, developing her style as an image-based theater designer. As artistic director of Foreign Landscapes Productions she created "By The Willow," which received an UNIMA-USA citation of excellence, the highest recognition in American puppetry. Faye's work has been described as "spellbinding," "imaginative," and "powerful," by the Puppet Showcase Theater.

"The Great Red Ball Rescue!" was born out of a day at the beach with her family when her son's favorite red ball was left high on the rocks only to disappear with the high tide. Resigned that the ball was gone forever, Dupras' imagination wheels began to turn as she thought, "What if?" She envisioned a journey instead, where Jasper sets out to find his ball, meeting fortune tellers and fisherman and many mysterious creatures along the way. The show incorporates a unique combination of several different styles of puppetry from images projected on screens to moving illustrations to actual puppets that captivates the children while it entertains the adults as well. According to an article in The Daily Campus by Helen Stec.


"Remarkably, the show never failed to entertain its young audience despite its total lack of dialogue. Besides a few recordings of Jasper's "mother" calling out directions to him, Dupras rarely spoke during the performance, except when pretending to be a greedy fisherman who captures Jasper's ball. 'My ball! Mine!' she cried while the children in front of her giggled uncontrollably.' Dupras possessed a remarkable ability to know just what the children watching her show wanted. One scene simply featured an "ocean" made up of large blue sheets and a fish puppet "swimming" around. Despite its simplicity that may have seemed boring to an older audience, the children were enthralled."

Dupras is the creator, primary puppet builder, producer and sometimes actor of the show. Dupras said she comes up with a concept then works with the design as she develops the story through improv, using a variety of perspectives and thematically rich imagery. Red Ball was a two-year process from beginning to end in collaboration with puppeteer Bonnie Duncan, She also had help from intern Sarah Goone who created some of the props with a free approach to aesthetics, a perfect balance to Dupras' more refined approach. Indie-rock musician Dana Colley, a founding member and saxophone player of the alternative rock band Morphine wrote the score that tells the majority of the story through music, and children's book illustrator John Lechner created the set.

This performance is a family show where little people are mesmerized by imagery and sound and grandparents enjoy it also, moved by the journey of

the ball that represents loss and recovery. Dupras said, "People of all ages can walk away with something form the mesmerized child to the magic it creates for the grandparents."

The Winter Sunshine puppet, handmade by co-founder Ines Zeller Bass herself, will teach you the Winter Sunshine theme song before every performance. "Helios" will be raffled off through the duration of our series in order to help support the continuation of these events. Audiences can partake in hot chocolate and freshly baked concessions and enjoy the amazing antiques of our guest entertainers.

Show times on Saturday are 1 and 3 p.m., all seats are $8 and tickets are available online at sandglasstheater.org. If you need assistance with your ticket purchase please call the box office at 802-387-4051. You may also take your chances at the door, payable by cash or check. Sandglass Theater is an accessible, 60 seat theater located at 17 Kimball Hill Rd., Putney.

Contact Cicely M. Eastman at 802-254-2311 ext. 261.