Summer Intensive

About the program

Summer Intensive Puppetry Training

July 11 - 24, 2021

Sandglass is offering both in-person and remote options for participation in our Summer Puppetry Training program this year July 11-24, 2021.

Workshop Mission

Sandglass Theater believes that the puppet, as a theatrical medium, evokes the worlds of our dreams and memories, as well as many of the metaphorical possibilities of theater. It is also a remarkable medium for addressing social change and personal transformation.

The objective of this training program is to:

  • Inspire artists to understand and experience the puppet as a form of ensemble theater.
  • Learn foundational techniques of giving life to inanimate objects in solo and collaborative manipulation.
  • Develop compositions that are specific to the medium of puppetry.
  • Build a dramaturgical understanding of the puppeteer’s relationship to the puppet and its world.

Sandglass teaches a method of puppet performance developed over 30 years of workshops around the world. Teachers include Sandglass founders and master puppeteers, Ines Zeller Bass and Eric Bass, who teach daily classes on performance technique, composition, and breath development. Sandglass co-artistic director, Shoshana Bass, teaches the necessary body alignment and ensemble awareness for puppeteers. Jana Zeller, associate artist, mentors puppet building and painting specific to puppet expression.

Classes are scheduled for five and a half days per week. They address individual development and collaborative process. The parallel tracks—performance and composition—provide a strong foundation for participants to apply to their own work. Guided improvisations lead to the development of works that stress ensemble creation and touch on directing techniques for puppet theater. Participants will also receive open workshop time for puppet building. Guided creations may be presented to an informal audience.

Location and housing

The Site

The Sandglass Summer Intensive will take place at Sandglass Theater in Putney, Vermont. Our intimate 60 seat theater is housed in a beautifully restored barn from the early part of the 20th century. Recently renovated to included a fully accessable lobby, with ramp for wheelchair access, the Sandglass facilities offer ample space to train, build, rehearse, and perform.

Summer is a wonderful time to be in Southern Vermont. Putney is a walkable small town that sits on the banks of the Connecticut river. Along with several places to eat affordably, there’s also a fantastic local co-op for groceries, an historic General Store and deli, plenty of hiking trails, and local swimming holes.


Housing is arranged by Sandglass Theater in beautiful Putney near the theater and workshop. Participants are housed together in double rooms and breakfast is included. Single rooms are not available.


Weekday evening meals for all participants are provided by the excellent cooks at our local Co-op. The meal at the end of the day is an opportunity for conversation and connection that is an important part of the training. Special food needs are considered so that everyone is able to be a part of these meals.


You may be eligible to receive financial support in the form of a grant or bursary from government agencies, foundations or other supporters in your own country. Please apply to them directly.

If you are a Vermont resident and are interested in the training to further support your professional life then you are eligible for the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation Vermont Non-Degree Grant. For further information go to

We are offering two scholarships for BIPOC students. If you are interested in one of these scholarships please indicate this on your application.



Course Fee: $1400
Housing: $500
Communal meals: $135 Monday – Friday evening (10 days)
Participants are responsible for all other food and incidental costs.

Requires proof of being fully vaccinated for Covid-19 with the second shot, if applicable, a minimum of 14 days prior to gathering in Putney, VT.

The Sandglass Summer Intensive will take place at Sandglass Theater in Putney, Vermont. Our intimate 60-seat theater is housed in a beautifully restored barn from the early part of the 20th century. Recently renovated to include a fully accessible lobby, with ramp for wheelchair access, the Sandglass facilities offer ample space to train, build, rehearse, and perform.


Fee: $800

Remote participants are expected to commit to the same schedule and amount of time as participants who attend in person as the work is cumulative.

Participants engage with classes via zoom. There will always be an assistant teacher positioned next to the computer to field questions and offer feedback. For solo exercises by remote participants, the zoom window will be projected onto a screen for the Putney based class and teacher to engage with. Materials for our basic exercise puppet will be mailed to remote participants to assemble during class. The only part of the training remote students will not be able to engage directly with is ensemble training and three person puppets (approximately 3 1.5 hour classes total), however, remote participants will be able to watch the class and ask questions.

We trust that all participants, remote and in-person, will be fully engaged. Training sessions happen in real time in the morning and afternoon EDT.Participants will arrive to class on time and be respectful of all participants, in-person and remote. We will not have time to catch people up on missed classes. We will support the learning and training of all participants to the best of our ability.

Please make all payments in U.S. Dollar checks or money orders mailed to
Sandglass Theater
PO Box 970 Putney, VT 05346

Some electronic payment options are available; we may need to add an additional fee to cover service and processing costs. Please email or call us at (802) 387 4051 for details on these options.

Application and Deposit Deadlines

Final application and statement deadline is May 15th, 2020.

A $500 deposit holds your space in the Intensive and is due upon acceptance and no later than June 1. The balance of the Intensive fee plus additional housing and food costs (if applicable) is due before the first class on July 12.

Should the Intensive be canceled for any reason, registered participants will receive a full refund for any portion of their registration fee, housing and food that has been paid in advance.

Sandglass follows state and federal guidelines for health and safety. We will update protocols with registrants closer to the start of the workshop.

When reviewing applications we consider your passion for learning, your courage, and the diversity of age and experience in the whole group. Your cover letter will be important for us to understand who you are and why you want to train with Sandglass.