PUTNEY — Sandglass Theater is expanding its Summer Intensive Training to include both in-person and virtual participation.
“This approach to our training integrates zoomers and roomers in a shared space where live training and collaboration can happen, for all participants whether co-located or entering the room through a computer,” Sandglass Theater directors wrote in a recent announcement.
The training offers a fundamental introduction to Sandglass Theater’s approach to Puppet Theater. Daily classes include breath training, puppet technique and performance classes and composition classes. No previous experience is required. Sandglass is offering two full scholarships for BIPOC students.
The Sandglass Summer Intensive will take place July 11 through 24 at Sandglass Theater in Putney. In-person students are required to have proof of being fully vaccinated for COVID-19 prior to gathering on site. The 60-seat theater is housed in a restored barn from the early part of the 20th century, and includes a fully accessible lobby, with ramp for wheelchair access.
Sandglass Theater believes that the puppet, as a theatrical medium, evokes the worlds of our dreams and memories, as well as many of the metaphorical possibilities of theater. It is also a medium for addressing social change and personal transformation. Teachers include Sandglass founders and master puppeteers, Ines Zeller Bass and Eric Bass, who teach daily performance and composition classes and breath development. Sandglass co-artistic director, Shoshana Bass, teaches the necessary body alignment and ensemble awareness for puppeteers. Jana Zeller, associate artist, mentors puppet building and painting specific to puppet expression.
Classes are scheduled for five and a half days per week, and address individual development and collaborative process. The parallel tracks of performance and composition provide a strong foundation for participants to apply to their own work. Guided improvisations lead to the development of works that stress ensemble creation and touch on directing techniques for puppet theater. Participants will also receive open workshop time for puppet building.
Because the training is cumulative, remote participants are expected to commit to the same schedule and amount of time as participants who attend in-person. These participants will engage with classes via Zoom. There will always be an assistant teacher positioned next to the computer to field questions and offer feedback. For solo exercises by remote participants, the Zoom window will be projected onto a screen for the Putney-based class and teacher to engage with. Materials for a basic exercise puppet will be mailed to remote participants to assemble during class. The only part of the training remote students will not be able to engage directly with is ensemble training and three-person puppets (approximately three 1.5-hour classes total). Remote participants will be able to watch the class and ask questions.
More information and the application is online at sandglasstheater.org/workshops/summer-intensive.