Mission, Vision, Values


Sandglass is dedicated to the arts of theater and puppetry as a means of exploring contemporary issues, inspiring dialogue, and sparking wonder. We create original ensemble performances and collaborations, present diverse theater artists, produce events that serve our communities, and teach our art.


Sandglass is a bridge in our local, national, and international communities for artistic and social development. We inspire new generations of diverse artists and audiences to further embrace puppetry and theater as thriving art forms that seek truth, a broader perspective, generate compassion, and celebrate the human spirit.


  • Puppetry as a unique theater form that affirms the human spirit through images, metaphors, and a sense of play.
  • The ensemble process, the artistic exchange of ideas, collaboration as a means of developing and sustaining our field, the responsibility of creating and teaching theater, and a respect for the culture and traditions of our art form.
  • We value and respect our audiences, and the process of engaging them in civil dialogue, shared play, and critical response. This includes physical, economic, and social accessibility to all performances and events.
  • We value justice and diversity in race, ethnicity, gender, and disability, and strongly support the safety of those fleeing violence in other countries and here in our own.

Sandglass Theater 990 available upon request.


Eric Bass, Founder
Ines Zeller Bass, Founder
Shoshana Bass, Artistic Director
Mackenzie Doss, Managing Director
Jana Zeller, Associate Producer
Kirk Murphy, Associate Producer

Ensemble and Associate Artists

Eric Bass
Ines Zeller Bass
Shoshana Bass
Kalob Martinez
Kirk Murphy
Maria Pugnetti
Raphael Sacks
Divyamaan Sahoo
Kaitee Yaeko Tredway
Jana Zeller

Board Members

Virginia Scholl, President
Victoria Mitchell, Vice President
Rebecca Waxman, Secretary
Mark Baker, Treasurer
Eric Bass
Ines Zeller Bass
Shoshana Bass
Tim Metcalfe


Sandglass Theater is a renowned theater company specializing in combining puppets with music, actors, and visual imagery. Since 1982, the company’s productions have toured internationally in nearly 30 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.

Sandglass Theater (Sandglass Center for Puppetry and Theater Research) is a not-for-profit organization. Sandglass Theater is a member of the Network of Ensemble Theaters and the National Performance Network.

Artistic Statement

In the microcosm of theater, the puppet is a means of integrating, of pulling back together pieces torn apart from each other. The puppet is the embodiment of a world no longer ours, an abstraction of a memory, a dream which is recalled. It is other than us, but it lives through us. We grasp it, and in grasping it, it takes hold of us. In dancing with the puppet, we are dancing with our more secret side. We are integrating parts of ourselves. - Sandglass Theater

Sandglass Theater acknowledges that we are located on the unceded land of the Pennacook, Wabanaki and Abenaki peoples. We invite you to join us in acknowledging the Pennacook, Wabanaki Confederacy and Abenaki community, their elders both past and present, as well as future generations. Sandglass Theater also acknowledges that it was founded upon exclusions and erasures of many Indigenous peoples. This acknowledgement demonstrates a commitment to beginning the process of working to dismantle the ongoing legacies of settler colonialism.


  • 2015 Honoring exceptional artistry, mentorship and service - Paul Vincent Davis Award
  • 2014 Citation of Excellence (for D-Generation) - Union Internationale de la Marionette (UNIMA-USA)
  • 2013 Best Direction (for D-Generation)- Puppeteers of America, Puppet Festival (r)Evolution
  • 2010 Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts - Vermont Arts Council
  • 2004 Citation of Merit Award - Vermont Arts Council
  • 2004 Friend of the Arts Award - Arts Council of Windham County, Vermont
  • 2000 Special Achievement Award - New England Theatre Conference
  • 1998 President’s Award for Service to the Community- Brattleboro Museum and Art Center
  • 1991 Figurentheater Prize - City of Erlangen, Germany
  • SEVEN TIME WINNER of the Citation of Excellence - Union Internationale de la Marionette (UNIMA-USA), 1982, 1986, 1991, 1994, 1998, 1999, 2014
  • 1983 First Prize Critics Award for Best Production -International Festival of Puppetry in Adelaide, Australia
  • 1994 Robert and Adele Blank Jewish Arts Award - Stephen Wise Free Synagogue
  • 1982 Diploma of Excellence- Pecs, Hungary


Sandglass Theater is a wheelchair accessible facility. We welcome people of all abilities and strive to provide programs that are inclusive and accessible to all. Sign interpretation, touch tours and social stories are available for certain shows. Please inquire.

If you'd like priority seating, parking, or any assistance when you arrive, be sure to let us know when making your reservations. info@sandglasstheater.org

Statement of belief

From Artistic Director Shoshana Bass and Founder Eric Bass

When was the last time you felt truly listened to? When was the last time you truly listened? Listening is perhaps one of the most demanding acts, and perhaps also one of the most transformative ones. Our theater work opens the doors to practice listening, and to commit ourselves fully and without distraction to the presence of a moment.

For Sandglass, the puppet is the primary means by which (and through which) we listen. It is a holder of our attention. From the puppet, we stretch ourselves to hear its environment, its world. Perhaps we listen to its story, as it holds our focus. From there we understand what is asked of us as we listen to others, and to the stories that arise within us as we listen to ourselves. Sometimes we listen without understanding and that’s okay too.

At one of our work-in-progress showings, an audience member was asked if they were able to understand something we were trying to portray on stage. They responded, “Let us reach for it!” What a beautiful concept. Reach for it. Isn’t that what we are always doing when we are listening to someone else? We can never fully understand, but we can reach for it, and it is the reaching that permits us to grow.

So, when we ask ourselves what our primary purpose is as performance makers, one of the most important capacities we nurture is the space for listening. And when we listen we reach for it, with our minds and with our spirits.

Commitment to Social Justice, Diversity and Equity

Since its founding in 1982, Sandglass Theater has been a renowned theater company not only for the artistic creativity and quality of its productions but of equal importance, our social justice and human rights content. Recent race-related events, coupled with similar events that have been occurring since our country’s founding, have compelled us to take a thorough inventory of our organization’s commitment to addressing social justice issues, including those involving Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). This inventory included looking at our program content, venues, staffing, internal policies & procedures, vendor selection, and how we present ourselves to the public. Although much focus has been placed on safety issues involving the COVID pandemic, we believe priority must also be placed on these social justice issues, with equal vigor and commitment.

On June 9, 2020, our Board of Directors made the following commitments. HERE