photo by Kirk Murphy
Flushing is a new puppet piece for adult audiences being created by Linda Parris-Bailey, former Executive/Artistic Director of Carpetbag Theatre, and Eric Bass, Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director of Sandglass Theater. Directed by Kathie DeNobriga.
After years of knowing each other as theater colleagues, Linda and Eric discovered by chance that they grew up only a few miles apart at around the same time in Flushing, NY. Though their life paths took them in different directions and to different parts of the globe, they once again find themselves in a similar place– in the process of handing their theater companies to a younger generation of leaders and facing the Brink of leadership succession. Flushing is a journey that the audience takes with Linda and Eric from present to past to present and engages with issues of race, legacy, and identity. Together, we look into the abyss, sometimes from the edge of a South American volcano, sometimes from the window of a speeding subway train, sometimes through our parent’s nightmares to connect with where we come from and how we got here.
Conceived and written by Linda Parris-Bailey and Eric Bass
Performed by Linda Parris-Bailey, Eric Bass, and Kirk Murphy
Directed by Kathie deNobriga
Puppets by Ines Zeller Bass
Original songs by Linda Parris-Bailey and Eric Bass
Additional recorded music by Julian Gerstin
Technical support by Jerry Stockman
Choreographic support by Shoshana Bass
Flushing is being developed over a series of workshop residencies and will premiere at the International Puppets in the Green Mountains festival in September 2022. Produced by Sandglass Theater in collaboration with Parris-Bailey Arts.
Eric Bass, Co-Director
Co-Founding Artistic Director of Sandglass, has worked for over forty years as a director, playwright, performer and mask and puppet maker. In 1982, Mr. Bass founded Sandglass Theater in Munich, Germany, with his wife, Ines Zeller Bass. As a stage director, Eric has worked on four continents and his signature solo work, Autumn Portraits, toured around the world for three decades. His international projects include co-directing The Story of the Dog with Sovanna Phum Theater in Cambodia, Natan el Sabio with Teatro Luis Poma in El Salvador, and a puppet production of Tennessee Williams Glass Menagerie for Theater Waidspeicher in Germany. Eric toured for six years in the Sandglass production of D-Generation: An Exaltation of Larks, a piece about people with dementia, and continues to travel with Babylon, journeys of refugees, Sandglass’ puppetry and song exploration of the issues of fleeing war and violence and of how asylum seekers are received in a new homeland. Eric served for five years on the board of the Network of Ensemble Theaters. In 2010, he received the Vermont Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts. Eric is currently working on a new production with playwright and performer Linda Parris-Bailey from Tennessee. The piece, Flushing, explores the importance of things and values that we pass on to the next generation.
Linda Parris-Bailey, Founder- Parris-Bailey Arts
Linda Parris-Bailey creates story-based plays with music focusing on themes of transformation and empowerment. She is also the former Executive/Artistic Director of Carpetbag Theater, Inc. in Knoxville, Tennessee. She is the primary playwright-in-residence and the recipient of the 2015 Doris Duke Artist Award in Theater. Her most recent work, Speed Killed My Cousin, was awarded a NEFA National Theater Project grant to support touring and an NPN Creation Fund grant. Between a Ballad and a Blues, her ode to Appalachian renaissance man Howard “Louie Bluie” Armstrong, was developed with support from the NPN Creation Fund and the Arts Presenters Ensemble Theatre Collaborations. Her signature work, Dark Cowgirls and Prairie Queens, highlights the lives of Black women in the American Old West and continues to be performed around the country. Parris-Bailey is a founding member of Alternate ROOTS and Senior Advisor to the International Women Playwrights Conference. Her works have been published in Alternate ROOTS: Plays From the Southern Theater, Ensemble Works! and other anthologies of contemporary plays.
Kathie DeNobriga, Founding member of Alternate ROOTS
Kathie is a founding member of Alternate ROOTS, a service organization for community-based artists in the South; she served as ROOTS' executive director and planning/development director for ten years. Raised in Kingsport TN, deNobriga holds theatre degrees from Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC.
She has directed scores of community and professional theatre productions across Tennessee, North Carolina and Georgia, including short puppet plays at the Center for Puppetry Arts and 7Stages in Atlanta. DeNobriga served as Mayor for the City of Pine Lake, where she is an advocate for and practitioner of arts and community development. She recently semi-retired as a consultant specializing in strategic planning.
This project is made possible, in part, by contributions from The Carpetbag Theatre, Parris-Bailey Arts and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Alternate ROOTS (2020 Artistic Assistance Project Development), the Network of Ensemble Theaters' Travel & Exchange Network (NET/TEN), both supported by lead funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and by the National Endowment for the Arts.