Sandglass Theater: From Home/To Home

June 22 - October 19, 2024

Sandglass Theater’s work has often been influenced by the places that we, Sandglass creators, have lived. In 1986, we moved from Germany to Vermont, and new themes from local history, weather, and culture found their way into several of our productions. Two of these productions, in particular, strike us as signposts in current and vital community conversations.  

The first is All Weather Ballads, which we created in 2010. Our goal was to create songs and scenes about objects and phenomena in our local landscape and lore: ice fishing shanties, muddy roads, apple ladders, rooftops, and, of course, the wood pile. 

These iconic objects and activities are linked to the seasons, which come with their own history, but are, today, unpredictable. We start in the winter with ice fishing, following a young girl and a young boy through the seasons of their lives, coming full circle to the wood pile and the winter of their older age. It is the objects and their use that characterize some aspects of our sense of home. Even as weather patterns change, these tools and shelters continue to evoke our communities and our home. 

Fast forward to 2016. Sandglass embarks on a multi-year project about migration and refugees, titled Babylon. One of the core questions of this production—What is home?—leads to other questions: Under what circumstances are we forced to leave? What do we take with us to keep our sense of home alive, and to survive? In this piece, there are again songs, which tell the stories of six refugees who are fleeing war and violence in Afghanistan, Syria, El Salvador, and Burundi, as well as a remembered European war of the mid-20th century (the characters are based on real people). There are also objects of significance: life vests, toys made in refugee camps, pages torn from a book. Again, objects hold our stories and help make them tactile. 

We pair these two productions during a time of welcoming new neighbors from other parts of the world. They have come to Vermont blending the objects and activities of their homelands with those of ours. We are all evolving. We hope this exhibit adds to our reflections about where we come from, where we are going, and who we are traveling with on this road and in this unique place.

Ines Zeller made the puppets for Babylon, and she and Matt Brooks were the primary designers and builders for Ballads

Both shows were musical collaborations. For Ballads, Eric Bass wrote the texts, which were set to music by Keith Murphy; the songs were performed by Eric, Ines, and singer-guitarist Nick Keil. 

For Babylon, Eric’s words were set to music by Brendan Taaffe. The Sandglass ensemble that performed Babylon changed over  the show’s six-year life. The cast has included Shoshana Bass, Divyamaan Sahoo, Kalob Martinez, Raphael Sacks, Kaitee Yaeko Tredway, Rowan Ching, Ron Domingo, Molly Gawler, Jay Gelter, Dey Hernandez, Terrell Jones, Linda Tardif, Alan White, and Jamie Keithline.

— Sandglass Theater

ACCESSIBILITY NOTICE

This exhibit is located in the Ticket Gallery, which is on a raised platform off of the main gallery. To access the Ticket Gallery, guests need to go up five shallow steps with a railing.

RELATED EVENTS

June 22, Saturday, 5:30 p.m. — Opening of Eight New Exhibits

RELATED RESOURCES

Installation views
Virtual tour (coming soon)
Ask the Artist!