Sandglass Theater’s ‘Babylon’ comes to Landmark College

Performances are part of week-long residency focusing on the issue of refugee resettlement

PUTNEY — Landmark College invites the public to two free performances of Sandglass Theater's Babylon, in the Greenhoe Theater, on Saturday, Nov. 4, at 7:30 p.m.

Created with the help of the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program, Babylon looks at the relationship of refugees to their homelands, lost and new, and the conflicts that exist within American communities to which they have fled.

“Whether in the United States, or around the world, our society has always dealt with the relocation of civilians,” says Bass, who shares directing credit for the project with Roberto Salomon. “At a particularly heated time in this discussion, Babylon gives voice to the actual stories of refugees and the concerns of communities attempting to deal with the circumstances.”

The company of five puppeteers (Shoshana Bass, Kei Ching, James Gelter, Terrell Jones, Kalob Martinez) portray seven refugees attending a metaphorical hearing about their need for asylum.

Their stories are told through original, four-part choral songs composed by Brendan Taaffe, with lyrics by Eric Bass. Additional percussion score is by Julian Gerstin. Show design is by Ines Zeller Bass, who created the puppets and scrolling backdrops (known as “Crankies”) with Jana Zeller.

Adrienne Major, Associate Professor of Liberal Studies at Landmark says, “Babylon is one of the most moving pieces of theater I have ever witnessed. Both the agency and the dependency of the puppet/characters are reinforced through puppetry in a way that is at once deeply sympathetic and intellectually compelling.”

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