Catch Puppet Crimes this weekend at Sandglas

On Friday November 30 and Saturday December 1 at 7:30pm, Sandglass Theater in Putney will present Puppet Crimes, an original hand puppet show by Jana Zeller and her Spybird Theater. This raucous puppet piece features traditional German hand puppet heroes Kasper and Gretel as they struggle to survive in an old shack on the margins of society. As the centuries pass through their little puppet booth, war is always raging and Kasper tries to avoid getting blamed, arrested and drafted, yet this petty puppet always ends up being the scapegoat for larger crimes. In a grotesque world of gun-runners, outhouses, and a declining monarchy, Kasper (with the humor and wit of the common man) ducks out from under authority and manages to survive another 200 years. This is an action packed work in progress show, inspired by German, British and Italian hand puppet traditions.

Jana is a second generation puppeteer whose passion for the hand puppet has driven her to research this 400 year old European tradition extensively. She is intrigued by the fact that these little puppets, who first appeared in the fairgrounds of Europe in the sixteen hundreds and spoke to the common people about politics, the church, and society, have survived to this day, defying authority, economic hardship and censorship, and that the themes they were addressing long ago still have relevance in our current times. In her research Jana conducted several interviews with Peter Schumann of Bread and Puppet, who witnessed the old fairground performances in his childhood and personally knew some of Germany’s most renowned hand puppeteers. The creation of this piece is supported by a generous grant from the Jim Henson Foundation.

Following the performance there will be a talk back with the artist who is interested in feedback for further development.

Tickets are $12 for students and seniors and $14 for general admission. Reservations are strongly recommended and can be made by calling (802)387-4051 or email Sandglass Theater is a fully accessible 60-seat theater.

video by Willow O’Feral


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