Summer Intensive

About the program

Summer Intensive Puppetry Training

2024 dates- TBD

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 objectives of this training program are:

  • 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 that has been developed over 30 years of workshops around the world. Teachers include Sandglass Founders and master puppeteers, Ines Zeller Bass and Eric Bass, who teach performance, composition classes, and breath development daily. Sandglass Co-Artistic Director, Shoshana Bass, teaches body alignment and ensemble awareness for puppeteers. Jana Zeller, associate artist, mentors puppet building and painting specific to puppet expression.

Classes are scheduled five and a half days per week. They address individual development and collaborative process. Parallel training tracks in performance and composition techniques 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 and support

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 include a fully accessible 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 some breakfast items are available.


Weekday evening meals for all participants are provided by local cooks. 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 in your application. Scholarships cover tuition, housing and SGT provided meals; the student is responsible for their travel, personal meals and all other expenses.

Costs, Application and Due dates

Course Fee: $1450

Housing: $500

Communal evening meals: $155 Monday – Friday (10 days)

Participants are responsible for all travel, other food and incidental costs.

Proof of vaccination may be required. We base our health and safety requirements on trusted sources and will update as needed.

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. Sandglass is a fully accessible facility with space to train, build, rehearse, and perform.

Application and Tuition Due Dates

Final application is due in our office on Thursday, June 1st, 2023. (If sending via USPS, please allow at least 7 working days for the mail to arrive in our office on time). Applications accepted via email as well.

A $500 deposit holds your space in the Intensive and is due upon acceptance and no later than June 15. The balance of the Intensive fee plus additional housing and food costs (if applicable) are due before the first class on July 30.

Should the Intensive be canceled for any reason, registered participants will receive a full refund less 10% to cover administrative costs for registration fee, housing and food that has been paid to Sandglass.

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.

Example Application