Eric Bass' farewell performance of 'Autumn Portraits'

PUTNEY — On Thanksgiving weekend Sandglass Theater honors the retiring of Eric Bass' award-winning solo, "Autumn Portraits." Sandglass' longest touring piece of repertoire will perform on Nov. 24 and 25 at 7:30 p.m. for the last time. This show remains a staple of the Sandglass artistic vision and a meaningful influence in the lineage and art of puppetry globally today.

Autumn is a metaphor for that time of life when our thoughts turn inward, when we feel the loss of summer warmth. In "Autumn Portraits," five interwoven puppet "portraits" present 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. Eric Bass' handcrafted puppets are characters in the "autumn" of their existence who share their stories in precise and evocative gestures as they meet their pasts, their selves, their deaths.

Autumn Portraits wears a proud and remarkable history. Since its creation in 1980, this celebrated solo performance has won awards in Australia, Hungary and a Citation of Excellence from the Union Internationale de la Marionette. In spring 2014 the show was presented in Cuba, the first puppet performance by an American artist at the International Puppet Workshop (TITIM) in Matanzas. This ten-day tour of Cuba is by no means the first time that Autumn Portraits has been an ambassador across borders, having performed in about thirty countries since its creation in 1981. Throughout the '80s the piece was presented in countries behind the iron curtain.

This year "Autumn Portraits" toured Zagreb, Croatia and Lize, Taiwan. "One of the joys of life is feeling when it is the right time to let go, see things move on, and see things evolve. The 'Autumn Portraits' pieces are moving on and evolving, and so am I. But we are going in different directions," said Eric Bass. And it is true, audiences return year after year to experience the unique depth, joy and stories of this ageless show.

The show can be paired with a day touring the Putney Craft Tour on Thanksgiving Weekend (Nov. 24, 25 and 26, 10 a.m. to 5p.m. each day). Named a Top Ten Winter event by the Vermont Chamber of Commerce, the tour also is helping to fight hunger in the community. The tour is partnering with the Putney Foodshelf by using art to support food for those who are in need. Each of the 26 studios on the Putney Craft Tour will showcase an object for sale with the proceeds going to the Foodshelf.

Tickets for Autumn Portraits are $18 general and $16 for students and seniors, available by emailing Getting tickets in advance is highly encouraged as seating is limited. Reservations may also be made by phoning the box office at 802-387-4051. Reservations are payable by cash or check at the door. Sandglass Theater is an accessible, 60-seat theater.


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