D-Generation: An Exaltation of Larks

This piece explores the rich creative potential and ability to communicate that exists even in people with late-stage dementia. Their words and images, their creative imaginations, yield work that is poetic, humorous, and quite mysterious.

D-Generation: An Exaltation of Larks won a Citation of Excellence from UNIMA in 2014.

Directed by Roberto Salomon
Performed by Eric Bass, Ines Zeller Bass, and Kirk Murphy
Puppets by Ines Zeller Bass, Coni Richards and Jana Zeller
Video by Michel Moyse
Music by Paul Dedell
Lighting Design by Sabrina Hamilton


Saint George and the Dragon

Join the Sandglass family live from their kitchen for a raucous Boxing Day event featuring St. George and the Dragon as only Eric, Ines and Shoshana can imagine it. This excerpt, from our Almost Victorian Christmas, is inspired by a mash-up of toy theater and an evocative Victorian era print of a puppeteer crafting hand puppets from potatoes. All the Saints of Christendom are potatoes, and George, the hero of this tale, is the biggest Sweet Potato we could find.

Natan el Sabio (2015)

A collaboration between Teatro Luis Poma (El Salvador) and Sandglass Theater.

Nathan the Wise, G. E. Lessing’s epic play, was written in 1779, in verse. It is a great German Enlightenment work, dealing with the interconnectedness of Christians, Jews, and Muslims.

Written by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing
Production concept by Eric Bass
Directed by Eric Bass & Roberto Salomon
Puppets & Set Design by Ines Zeller Bass
Music by Scott Ainslie

Black birds of Bialystock (2012)

A collaboration between Bialystok Puppet Theatre (Poland) and Sandglass Theater. Polish and American performers bring to life the spirits of Poland’s ghettos, pogroms, and expulsions, and carry them into the present day.
Written & Directed by Eric Bass
Translated into Polish by Piotr Dolinski
Associate Directing - Ines Zeller Bass
Puppet, Set, & Costumes by Eva Farkasova
Music by Miamon Miller
Choreography by Shoshana Bass
Performed by Shoshana Bass, Michal Jarmoszuk, Eliza Krasicka, Zbigniew Litwinczuk, Izabela Maria Wilczewska, Lucja Grzeszczyk

All weather ballads (2011)

A love story that portrays the northern rural experience with dry humor, ironic poignancy, and elemental cursing. All Weather Ballads follows the lives of two Vermonters from childhood to old age.

Concept and ballad texts by Eric Bass
Originally directed by Richard Van Schouwen
Restaged by Richard Edelman & Co.
Performed by Eric Bass, Ines Zeller Bass, Nick Keil
Lighting Design by Gerald Stockman
Music Composed by Keith Murphy
Puppets Designed by Ines Zeller Bass, Matt Brooks

Ballad Book available for purchase.


A collaboration between Bob Berky and Sandglass Theater. Live from the 15th century, King Richard III is here to perform, for your enjoyment, 11 murders and 7 songs that Shakespeare never meant to write. Surrounded by larger-than-life candles, whose wax is used to create the puppet victims before your eyes, Richard and his emcee accomplice dance and sing their way through this epic tragedy.

Created & Performed by Eric Bass & Bob Berky
Texts by Bass, Berky, & the Bard
Lighting Design by Gerald Stockman
Music by Ralph Denzer & Eric Bass
Puppet Design by Ines Zeller Bass & Jana Zeller
Set Design by Dave Regan
Directorial consultant Richard Edelman

Guitar coaching by Scott Ainslie

Between sand and stars (2005)

A collaboration between Nimble Arts, Rob Mermin of Circus Smirkus (Vermont) and Sandglass Theater. Initially inspired by the life of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (the writer of The Little Prince and other novels) and the music of Mozart, this innovative work combines Sandglass’ renowned puppets with breathtaking aerial acts and swinging trapeze.
Conceived by Eric Bass & Rob Mermin
Directed by Eric Bass
Music by Ron Kelley & W. A. Mozart
Designed by Dave Regan & Jana Zeller
Lighting by Gerry Stockman
Choreography by Alison Mott
Performered by Ines Zeller Bass, Hannah Emmerich, Bill Forchion, Serenity Smith Forchion, Rob Mermin, Bronwyn Sims, Elsie Smith
Technical direction & Stage Manager Abigail Baird & Lindsey Briggs

The Ark in the Tree (2005)

A jolly, contented hippo lives in a bathtub perched in a tree. He fishes for things that influence his daily routine: if he hooks a cake pan, he’ll bake a cake. But on this day, he pulls up strange objects that open up stories and images that the hippo has never known before.

Created by Ines Zeller Bass & Merrill Garbus
Performed by Ines Zeller Bass & Jana Zeller
Designed by Jana Zeller
Music by Ralph Denzer

The Story of the Dog (2005)

A collaboration between Sovanna Phum (Cambodia) and Sandglass Theater. The subject of the piece is the effect of war on private lives. Combining performers from both companies, The story integrates Sandglass’ characteristic puppet style with traditional Cambodian shadow puppets, dance, and music.

Directed by Mann Kosal & Eric Bass
Puppet & set design by Mann Kosai & Ines Zeller Bass
Music by Reza Jacobs
Performed by Ines Zeller Bass, Noum Chhaylot, Nam Narim, Tin Daneth, Mann Kosal, Kirk Murphy, Zak Grace Leah Mutz, Jana Zeller, Chhoun Sovannary, Chumvan Sodhachivy
Musicians Phan Rith, Phan Samreth, Reza Jacobs

Story of the Dog documentary available for purchase.

One way street (2002)

One Way Street deals with themes of time, memory, cultural history, and the sense of life’s mystery. Using texts from Walter Benjamin, the 1920’s & ’30’s German Jewish literary critic, Bass and members of Sandglass Theater create a world of images, in which “a key has been irrevocably lost, but the desire to search for it remains.”

Conceived by Eric Bass
Directed by Roberto Salomon
Music by Paul Dedell
Puppet Design & building by Dave Regan
Performed by Eric Bass, Ines Zeller Bass & Merrill Garbus

The Pig Act (2000)

The world is a circus tent. In this world lives a small being. It comes into the world with a talent to play a haunting concerto on two sticks. The instrument’s unexpected destruction forces the small being to create a new act in order to survive. This is The Pig Act, a humorous and unusual circus performance, which develops to the point of life and death.

Conceived by Ines Zeller Bass
Directed by Eric Bass
Designed by Jana Zeller
Music by Ralph Denzer
Performed by Ines Zeller Bass, Finn Campman & Dave Regan

An Almost Victorian Christmas (1998)

An Almost Victorian Christmas is Sandglass Theater’s holiday celebration where one and all are invited to come for performances, drink and merriment. In St. George and the Dragon the puppets are made from vegetables and the weapons are kitchen utensils. The Nativity is the story of the birth of Christ presented as Shadow Theater. Each year a suprise third piece is also presented.

Over the years performed by Eric Bass, Ines Zeller Bass, Shoshana Bass, Finn Campman, Rebecca Davis, Paul Dedell, Matt Doyle, Merrill Garbus, Cynthia Hughes, Robbie Merfeld, Kristen Olsson, Hannah Pick, Jascha Pick, Ariel Poster, Barbara Whitney

Isidor's Cheek (1997)

So begins the song, which begins the story, which begins the adventure: One day, something drives Isidor from his little grey existence. His cheek runs away, and Isidor must search around the world to find it again: a world of color and beauty, as well as loneliness and even danger. Inspired by a German children’s book.

Isidor’s Cheek won a Citation of Excellence from UNIMA in 1999.

Conceived and performed by Ines Zeller Bass
Designed by Jana Zeller
Directed by Eric Bass
Music composed and recorded by Peter Tavalin

Never Been Anywhere (1997)

Adapted from two stories by Vermont writer Castle Freeman Jr. In That is No Country for Old Men, two hired hands are sent into a field to bury a dead draft horse with a shovel. In Not Everyone Can Be a Soldier, a young boy picks up hints of the secret lives of the people with whom he lives and develops an appreciation of mystery.

Conceived & Directed by Eric Bass
Performed by Eric Bass, Ines Zeller Bass, Finn Campman, Tom Howe, Susan Myers, Bradley Poster, Barbara Whitney

Moth and Moon (1997)

A story of a child alone in a small world, self-sufficient but yearning for something else. It is not until the Moon sends him a friend, in the form of a moth, that he realizes what he has been missing.

Created & performed by Finn Campman & Barbara Whitney
Original Music Composed by Peter Mendelsund

The Caucasian Chalk Circle (1996)

Bertolt Brecht’s classic play, set in a mythically indeterminate time and place, a young servant girl rescues the ruler’s son when the palace is overrun by revolutionaries. Sandglass has adapted the play for puppets and actors.
Directed by Eric Bass
Music by Ralph Denzer
Lighting design by Vesa Ellila
Puppets by Kathy Stubington
Masks by Melody Anderson
Set Painting by Molly March
Music by Johanna Logren, Tuomas Logren
Performed by Robert Vincent Smith, Jennifer Rohn, Neil Maffin, Bradley Poster, Susan Meyers, Shoshana Bass

Dwarf Longnose (1991)

Dwarf Longnose is based on the German fairy tale by Wilhelm Hauff. It is a literary story, not a folk tale, but, like the Sleeping Beauty of Perrault or the Little Mermaid of Andersen, it has become a respected member of the tradition to which both literary and folk fairy tales belong. Like many fairy tales, it is a story of transformation; in this case, a young boy is transformed into an ugly dwarf.

Conceived by Ines Zeller Bass
Directed by Eric Bass
Music by Robert Starner
Performed by Ines Zeller Bass

The Village Child (1992)

The third and final piece in the Heaven Trilogy. It is a metaphysical mystery, a blend of old vaudeville and Jewish supernatural tales. It is the story of a man caught between the glare of public life and the dark world within him, the story of an obsession with flying machines and a child who speaks with birds.

Created by Eric Bass
Directed by Richard Edelman
Music by Charles Dodge
Performed by Eric Bass, Ines Zeller Bass

Invitations to Heaven (1990)

(Questions of a Jewish Child)
Invitations to Heaven is the second piece of the Heaven Trilogy: a comedy, bitter and sweet, with music, dance, and Yiddish song.

A grandson seeks to redeem the memory of his grandparents, whose unpleasant marriage left many unanswered questions about the darker side of their lives. They were married by arrangement, perhaps did not even meet until their wedding day.

Conceived & created by Eric Bass
Directed by Richard Edelman
Music adapted & composed by Alan Bern
Performed by Eric Bass & Alan Bern

Sand (1985)

Sand is a dream play in which the bringer of dreams, the proverbial Sandman, takes many faces. In this dream world of sand, two lovers see their relationship and their self-images played out, and thereby altered.

Written & Designed by Eric Bass
Directed by Richard Edelman
Originally performed by Eric Bass, Arne Bustorff, Ines Zeller
Later performed by Eric Bass, Martin Bachmann, Ines Zeller Bass & Laura Fredricks
Music by Didier Capeille
Puppets by Eric Bass, Arne Bustorff, Rob Matson, Norbert Mülbert

Little Book of Sand available for purchase.

The Box Show (1983)

A silent clown, dissatisfied with herself and her environment, is encouraged by an “outside voice” to use her imagination. She imagines a world of boxes, colorfully wrapped and inviting, but also a bit intimidating. The boxes are all closed. The clown opens the boxes, and finds in each a fantasy world, some of which grow and lead her to other boxes and other worlds.

Conceived & Designed by Ines Zeller Bass
Directed by Eric Bass
Performed by Ines Zeller Bass

Autumn Portraits (1980)

An award winning solo puppet-and-mask performance comprised of a series of interlocking vignettes that explore one puppet character and its interplay with its manipulator.

Conceived & Performed by Eric Bass
Directed by Richard Edelman