Autumn Portraits (1980)

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.

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. Eric Bass’ handcrafted rod puppets are characters in the “autumn” of their existence who act out their stories in precise and evocative gestures as they meet their pasts, their selves, their deaths.

Conceived and Performed by

Eric Bass

Directed by

Richard Edelman

 

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“There’s a new wave in puppetry, just as in mime and clowning. Leonard Pitt is not Marcel Marceau, Bill Irwin is not Emmett Kelly, and ‘Autumn Portraits’ is not ‘Punch and Judy’… Bass is in the new wave puppetry tradition of Winston Tong and Bruce Schwartz, in creating a distinctive, modern style, while not losing touch with the form’s antecedents.”

Bernard Weiner, San Francisco Chronicle, November 18, 1983

“From the moment he walks on stage there is a coming together of concentrated, economical artistry, that puts an unnatural hush on the audience, and keeps it that way, until Mr. Bass would have us react otherwise. It is very difficult to understand how his perfect miniature figures, on their tiny stage, can have such an influence.”

Tim Lloyd, The Advertiser, Adelaide, Australia, January 24, 1983

Posted in Past