PUTNEY — It's that time of year again, when Sandglass celebrates the magic and warmth of puppetry for young audiences with the annual Winter Sunshine Series running throughout the month of March.
“Winter Sunshine provides a lively respite from the cold; a creative interlude between snow shoveling and wood schlepping that brightens the darkness of our Vermont winter months with laughter,” theater staff said in a news release. “Headed into its 15th year, this series aims to bring cheer and entertainment to families at affordable prices.”
This year's program includes three guest companies as well as Sandglass' newest production for children, puppetry workshops, a popup puppet shop, and school engagements. Theater audiences can enjoy hot chocolate and freshly baked concessions during four weekends of performances.
Shows are every Saturday at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. at Sandglass Theater. However, the theater said, “while we are hopeful to be welcoming audiences in person into our theater, we are monitoring the pandemic closely and have a plan in place to go virtual should that be in the best interests of our audiences and artists.”
Weekly virtual workshops to build puppet creations at home will be available via a link found on the Sandglass website. You can also peruse their puppet shop full of original creations by Ines Zeller Bass, Shoshana Bass, and Jana Zeller, both online and in the Sandglass lobby throughout the month.
The series kicks off on Saturday, March 5, with returning performer Sarah Frechette of PuppetKabob. Under Night Sky follows three children on journeys united by threads of courage, love, and hope.
Frechette will also share a workshop on shadow puppetry on Sunday, March 6, at 11 a.m.
On Saturday, March 12, Sandglass welcomes magic maker and puppeteer Scotty Swan with the Urban Wizards Academy. Swan's work is described in a news release as “a unique blend of sleight-of-hand magic, puppetry, and improvisation that is woven together in an exhilarating show that gets the audience up off its feet to become part of the performance.” This show is for family audiences with children ages 6 to 12.
On Saturday, March 19, Sandglass will present their newest show for families, Oma, with a special musical score composed by Molly Gawler and the Gawler Family Band. Created by Shoshana Bass and Jana Zeller, it is an intergenerational tale that revolves around Grandma or “Oma.”
The series concludes on March 26 with CactusHead Puppets and their comedic, updated adaptation of the classic story of The Pied Piper of Hamelin.
Puppeteers John and Megan Regan present this classic tale, told with multiple puppetry styles and plenty of dancing rats. The show will run 40 minutes with a question-and-answer session following the performance.