Sunday, September 4, 2011

Puppets in Paradise

On Saturday and Sunday, September 10 and 11 from 10am-4pm, Sandglass Theater announces the return of local favorite, Puppets in Paradise, a two-day extravaganza of performance, food, and community.  The Paradise is the enchanted setting of landscape architects Gordon and Mary Hayward’s gardens.  Walk the gardens and take in the colors and smells of lush herbs, flowers, and other beautiful flora as you meet puppets, theater artists and musicians around each corner and behind every bush.  The Puppets are 10 spectacular and entertaining short performances presented throughout the day among the flora.  Food and refreshments add to the delight of a beautiful day.

This year’s roster of performers includes some known favorites as well as some exciting new faces... and hands.   Irish puppeteer, Fergus Walsh, will be performing  “Bu Dai Xi – Wu Da (Irish Style)”.  Fergus’ unique and hilarious take on a traditional Taiwanese hand puppet style, synthesizes dry Irish humor with true Kung-Fu action.  Another newcomer to the line-up is Lorraine Gilman, bringing her “misinterpretation” of Eric Carle’s most beloved story.  “The Hungry Caterpillar vs. The Big Apple” blends toy theater, hand puppetry, and comic mayhem in a hilarious story of the life cycle of a caterpillar. Also new on the bill is Tom Getschell, an up and coming American marionette performer.  With precision and delicacy, Tom’s beautiful puppets explore themes of faith, hope, and love, inspired by the poetry of one of America’s greatest poets, Emily Dickinson.

Along with several newcomers, this year’s roster of performers includes an exciting multi-disciplined collaboration. Calling themselves The Stalagmites, Zak Grace, Jana Zeller, Shoshana Bass and Darden Longenecker use puppetry, dance, stilt walking and circus arts to weave together a story inspired by the gardens where they’ll be performing throughout the weekend.  Jana says  “It seems that during rehearsal each of us has had the opportunity to reach beyond our familiar skills, we hope the audience will feel transported to a world that we too are discovering.”

The gardens, a thoughtful combination of informal New England landscaping and the more traditional English garden, provide the backdrop for the scenes being presented. Using specific locations such as the Hayward’s barn, the Woodland, Herb, and “Vermont Ruin” gardens as their stages, the artists will perform short pieces throughout the day. 

Delicious gourmet lunches, elaborate salads, desserts, beverages and ice cream will be available for purchase. All proceeds from tickets and concessions benefit Sandglass Theater’s projects and programs.  Sandglass Theater is a non-profit theater company located in Putney, Vermont, which specializes in the art of puppet theater and performance work.

Sandglass Theater is unique in many ways. Its 24-year connection to the community and dependence on volunteers for its successful presentation of multi-venue events is particularly outstanding.  Volunteers help make Sandglass productions one of the most affordable family entertainment options in Windham County.  Puppets in Paradise is a celebration of community, art, and the beauty of our New England environment.  To volunteer or for more information, contact Sandglass Theater at 802 387-4051, or visit our website,

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