Sandglass Theater returns with two outdoor shows in June

PUTNEY — Outdoors at Sandglass returns for two weekends, with intimate events in the Sandglass Theater backyard with “Footpath to the Puppets: Attempts at Fight” (June 4–6) and “Suspended Disbelief,” an exhibition of new works by associate artist Jana Zeller (June 12–13).

“Come see how we mere mortals have tried to soar through our technology, our struggle to grow wings, our philosophical gymnastics, and our spiritual ladders to reach the Angels! And yet, our flights of the imagination have kept us alive in our hopes and dreams, throughout trying times and the challenges of this world,” the theater said in a news release.

“Footpath to the Puppets: Attempts at Flight” includes four short sketches adapted from Sandglass's 1992 production The Village Child, which toured the United States and Europe for more than five years.

The pieces will be performed by Sandglass puppeteers Shoshana Bass, Jana Zeller, Zak Grace, Ines Zeller Bass, and Eric Bass. Performances are Friday, June 4, at 5:45 and 7 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, June 5 and 6, at 4:30, 5:45 and 7 p.m.

The audience will be limited to 25 individuals per performance. Tickets are $12 ($10 for seniors and students, and $8 for EBT/Medicaid card holders).

The audience will walk from one station to the next along uneven, unpaved terrain, stopping at four performance stations, each with limited seating intended for individuals who are unable to stand comfortably for seven minutes.

The following weekend (Saturday and Sunday, June 12 and 13) features an outdoor exhibition of new paintings by Jana Zeller.

As described in a news release, “Suspended Disbelief” is a body of new work “created throughout the past year that reflects on a moment when life as we knew it stopped. From one day to the next, we were held still in time as though suspended in mid-air in a world turned upside down.”

Zeller grew up in the theater and has worked as a puppeteer for 20 years; she also has a passion for painting. Since the start of the pandemic last March, she has mourned the loss of coming together for a live performance.

“Once the initial shock of shuttered venues and physical gathering restrictions wore off, she opened her imagination to capture theatrical situations with brush and paint on canvas,” the show's organizers write. “The outcome is a new collection of intricate and humorous paintings, inspired by the European surrealists of the 1940s, that honors theatrical spaces and characters that have been on hold since the pandemic started.”

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