Creating Puppet Theater from Social Testimony


Instructor: Eric Bass &  Shoshana Bass, Sandglass Theater

Three Sessions: December 6, 7, and 8
6:30 - 9:30 pm

Cost: $175. Register by Nov 26: $150. 
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Sandglass Theater is known internationally for their extraordinary ability to give voice to human stories through the medium of puppet theater. This intensive workshop invites participants into this process, giving practitioners access to essential research, rehearsal, and performance techniques, while teaching the utmost respect for the communities whose stories are represented and the audiences being served.

Class members will share stories through through a story circle exercise, developed by John O’Neal in the Free Southern Theater during the civil rights movement. The stories we tell will become the material for exploring both the potential of puppets to embody these stories and for examining the artistic choices we have to make to give the stories voice. The focus of the workshop addresses how we can tell the story of someone else without “playing” that role, and without appropriating another's culture. The process looks at song, at the actor/puppet relationship, and at simultaneous scenes, among other techniques, to explore what makes the puppet a special medium for evoking and transmitting social testimony. Participants will work with Sandglass’ exercise puppets from day one, and with any objects or raw materials that seem appropriate for scene creation on day two.

There are no materials fees for this workshop and no pre-requisite skills necessary. Please wear comfortable clothing in which you can move. We welcome registrants of diverse backgrounds, experience levels, and identities to participate. Financial aid is available: e-mail requests to Artistic Director Roxie at 

Register online or call the Box Office at: 617-731-6400 x101

Registration info: Class registration must be complete the Friday before a class begins and payment must be made in full.  Late enrollment is not permitted.  We are happy to do our best to accommodate all enrollees; so please communicate any special needs to our staff before registration to be sure that the class is right for you. Payment is non-refundable and cannot be exchanged.



Sandglass Theater is an internationally known theater company specializing in combining puppets with music, actors and visual imagery. Since 1982, the company’s productions have toured 24 countries, performing in theaters, festivals and cultural institutions and winning numerous international prizes. Sandglass Theater produces works for both adult audiences and young audiences—two repertoires that tour separately and together. Sandglass also performs and teaches in its own 60-seat renovated barn theater in Putney, Vermont. Sandglass Theater is available for workshops and residencies and teaches a 2-week intensive training program each summer. Learn more at

Eric Bass co-founded Sandglass Theater in 1982 in Munich, Germany, and moved to Vermont in 1986. In addition to creating over 20 productions for Sandglass, Eric and his wife Ines have collaborated with companies in Cambodia, Poland, and El Salvador, on work that has addressed social issues in those countries. Since 2012, they have been touring the US and Europe with D-Generation: An Exaltation of Larks, a piece about people with Dementia. They are currently at work on Babylon, a piece about refugees. Sandglass has won six UNIMA Citations of Excellence, several international awards, the Vermont Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, and Puppet Showplace Theater's Paul Vincent Davis Award.

Shoshana Bass approaches her artistic life with a fierce belief in the power of the creative act and its potential to transform, engage, and heal people around the world. Having been raised in a traveling family of internationally acclaimed puppeteers, she has spent her in dialogue with artistic voices of diverse cultures, heritages, and perspectives. Shoshana has training and experience in many performance styles including dance, theater, and circus. She has performed across the country, co-produced the Puppets in the Green Mountains festival, and was recently a featured artist at the Ko Festival of Performance and at the Puppeteers of America National Puppetry Festival.


Funded in part by the New England States Touring program of the New England Foundation for the Arts, made possible with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts Regional Touring Program and the six New England state arts agencies.