D-Generation: An Exaltation of Larks will be a full-length theater piece based on stories written by groups of people with late-stage dementia. It will be performed by a cast of puppets, the residents of a care-facility. It will contain an original score and original video segments that take us into the world of people who live with dementia.
The collected stories, which are associative and non-linear, were gathered by Sandglass Theater’s performers during 20 visits to care facilities, during which circles of people with dementia were guided through a collective story–making process. These stories reveal a humor, and playfulness, as well as the darker side of the disease, and they stand on their own as dramatic material from a remarkable source. The stories, combined with the compelling process of writing them, form the inspiration for D-Generation.
The piece explores the rich creative potential and ability to communicate that exists even in people with late-stage dementia. Their words and images, their creative imaginations, yield work that is poetic, humorous, and quite mysterious. From these stories, Sandglass Theater forms scenes of the inner life of the characters, and creates a piece that reflects both the stigma and the emergence, the despair and the joy, that is equally present and possible, in both the person with dementia and in their caregivers and family members.
D-Generation has received funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Jim Henson Foundation, The Clowes Fund, and Fresh Sound Foundation.
ABOUT SANDGLASS THEATER:
Sandglass Theater is an internationally acclaimed ensemble theater company specializing in combining puppets with music, actors and visual imagery. Since 1982, Sandglass has toured its broad repertoire of award winning pieces to over 24 countries, performing in theaters, festivals and cultural institutions. Sandglass also performs and teaches in its own 60-seat renovated barn theater in Putney, Vermont. Sandglass Theater is associated with the Sandglass Center for Puppetry and Theater Research, a not-for-profit organization.
The collaborators on this piece include Sandglass Theater performers Eric Bass, Ines Zeller Bass, and Kirk Murphy. The puppets have been created by Ines, Coni Richards and Jana Zeller. The piece includes video segments created by Michel Moyse and music by Paul Dedell. It is being directed by Roberto Salomon, a prominent stage director from El Salvador. Sabrina Hamilton contributes Lighting Design. See Full Bios below:
Roberto Salomon, Director Since 2003, Roberto Salomon has directed the Teatro Luis Poma, the first privately owned theater functioning year-round in his native El Salvador. In Geneva, Switzerland, he has been directing and teaching theater for the past 25 years. This is his third production with Sandglass Theater.
Eric Bass, Performer Co-Founding Artistic Director of Sandglass Theater, has worked for thirty years as a director, playwright, performer and mask and puppet maker. In 1982, Mr. Bass founded the Sandglass Theater in Munich, Germany, with his wife, Ines Zeller Bass. As a director, Mr. Bass has worked in America, Australia, Poland, and Finland, as well as the United States. In 1991, Mr. Bass was awarded the Figurentheater Prize of the City of Erlangen, Germany for his contributions to the field of puppet theater. He directed The Story of the Dog, a collaborative piece between Sandglass Theater and Sovanna Phum Theater in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, which toured Cambodia in 2005 and premiered in the US in the Fall 2006. He served for 5 years on the steering committee of the Network of Ensemble Theaters. Eric has been the Festival Artistic Director of the Puppets in the Green Mountains Festivals. In 2010, Eric received the Vermont Governors Award for Excellence in the Arts.
Ines Zeller Bass, Performer Co-Founding Artistic Director of Sandglass has been creating and performing with puppets since 1968, when she became a member of the Munich marionette theater, Kleines Speil. In 1978, she created her children’s hand puppet theater, Punschi, which has toured Europe and America. In 1982, Ines co-founded Sandglass Theater with husband Eric in Germany and moved the theater to Vermont in the mid-1980s. Ines is the Director of Sandglass Theater’s children’s programs, collaborates with Eric on all of the theater’s programming, works with local school children, and directs workshops and residencies for puppetry students. She is a UNIMA citation winner and in 2010, received the Vermont Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts.
Kirk Murphy, Performer has a degree in Theater Arts from Antioch College. He has interned with Redmoon Theater in Chicago, In the Heart of Beast Theater in Minneapolis, as well as Sandglass Theater. In 2006 he joined Sandglass Theater in 2005 as both Administrator and Puppeteer. He performed in Sandglass Theater’s The Story of the Dog, a cross-cultural collaboration with Cambodian shadow puppet theater Sovanna Phum. He has also performed in Amanda Maddock’s Mrs Wright’s Escape, Company of Strangers’ Styles Under Sky, and developed a repertoire of short pieces and the full length piece Undone. He is a certified facilitator of TimeSlips (a creative storytelling method designed to be used with people with dementia and their caregivers), and has been a part of the D-Generation project since its earliest stages.
Coni Richards, Puppet Builder sculptor and digital photographer, has been involved in the D-Generation puppet process for about one year. She crafted the faces and hands of the five characters prior to the creation of the script. Her current enthusiasm for digital photography has provided Sandglass with many images of ongoing work.
Paul Dedell, Composer has written several scores for Sandglass Theater including Conference of the Birds and One Way Street. In addition he has written several large choral works, Come Life, Shaker Life and Divine Chemistry premiered by the Brattleboro Concert Choir as well as numerous musical theater scores, songs, anthems, and instrumental pieces. Mr Dedell is also director of the Hilltop Montessori Middle School in Brattleboro, VT.
Michel Moyse, Filmmaker has worked as a free-lance Sound Designer in feature films with such directors as Woody Allen, Brian DiPalma, Jonathan Demme, George Roy Hill, and as a film editor for Cappy Productions, NYC. He was co-founder and Vice President of Domilin Films, Inc., a New York based film acquisition and development company. Presently, Moyse is founder/co-Director of the Center for Digital Art, a non-profit educational organization dedicated to providing resources and promoting filmmaking, animation and videoart in Southern Vermont.
Sabrina Hamilton, Lighting Designer is Artistic Director at Ko Festival of Performance and resident designer/director at Ko Theater Works, Inc. in Western Massachusetts. She has been guest lighting designer at Bloomsburg Theater Ensemble and is on the Board of Directors of the Network of Ensemble Theaters.
The Residents of Holton Home, and Pine Heights Center We would also like to acknowledge those whocreated the stories and the inspiration for the direction of this project.
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