On Thanksgiving weekend Sandglass Theater honors the retiring of Eric Bass’s award winning solo, Autumn Portraits. Sandglass’ longest touring piece of repertoire will perform on Friday and Saturday, November 24th and 25th at 7:30pm 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,” says 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 10am-5pm 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. Part of the fun is meandering through the beautiful Vermont countryside, following the map to find these prominent craftspeople and view the works where they are conceived and created. Visitors may start at The Gleanery Restaurant, 133 Main Street, Putney or the Putney General Store for info, maps, and preview exhibitions of the artisans’ works, and then finish of the evening with at Sandglass Theater.
This performance is part of the annual Putney Craft Tour weekend. Tickets are $18, general admission and $16 for students and seniors. Seating is limited. Reserve your tickets in advance at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 802 387 4051. Reservations are payable by cash or check at the door. Sandglass Theater is an accessible, 60 seat theater in the heart of Putney, Vermont.