New England Foundation for the Arts Grant Award announcement

Sandglass.Babylon.wheelSandglass Theater is pleased to announce that it’s newest production, Babylon, is the recipient of a New England Foundation for the Arts National Theater Project grant. NTP promotes the development of artist-led, ensemble, and devised theater work while extending the reach and life of these projects through touring.

Sandglass Theater’s new production, Babylon, is a response to the rapidly escalating world crisis of refugees and asylum seekers. Sandgalss is working with the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program in Burlington, Vermont, to understand the challenges that face the refugees: physical, emotional, and spiritual. VRRP is one of 76 agencies of the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants. The piece looks at the relationship of refugees to their lost homelands, to their new homelands and languages, and to other migrants who are fleeing violence. Through conversation with resettled refugees, Sandglass Theater is creating a piece that helps audiences understand the plight of refugees, and the challenges to resettlement. The piece also explores how all our lives are changed by this migration.

Using puppets, moving panorama scrolls (called “crankies”), and music, Sandglass Theater tells stories in original four-part harmony “shape note” songs that give the texts a formal setting. We are working with simple means, not much more than someone could carry with them as they flee.

The continued development and touring of Babylon has been made possible with this funding by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Theater Project, with lead funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and additional support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

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