Sandglass Theater has been awarded a $10,000 grant from Theater Communications Group as part of TCG’s Global Connections initiative. This exciting award goes toward the next stages of development in Sandglass Theater’s collaboration with the El Salvadoran company, Teatro Luis Poma. The two companies are working together on a production based on G.E. Lessing’s 18th Century play, Nathan the Wise.
Phase One: This past Spring, Sandglass’ co-Artistic Directors, Eric Bass and Ines Zeller Bass travelled to El Salvador to work with Roberto Salomon, director of Teatro Luis Poma, and his company. This first phase introduced the Luis Poma actors to working with puppets in the Sandglass style, as well as began the process of exploring the central themes of the piece. The play is being deconstructed to become a vehicle for puppets and actors, throwing focus on the issues of religious and cultural tolerance. The production aims to confront intolerance strongly with respect to religion and nationality. This project also serves as a strong cultural exchange for the artists, and strives to become a vehicle for addressing important themes in Salvador, as well as providing the Luis Poma company the opportunity to tour the piece in the United States.
Phase Two: In October, Ines and Eric returned to El Salvador for further development of Natan El Sabio. During this time, the actors worked with finished puppets, created by Ines, and begin to set all of the scenes of the production. They also began work with Scott Ainslie, who is composing the music for the piece. which will strongly shape the mood of the production and drive the movement of the piece.
Phase Three: Next July and August (2015), Eric and Ines will return to El Salvador for the third and final phase in the development of the piece which will culminate in getting Natan El Sabio ready for touring.