Sandglass Art LogoHow does an art form endure and transform as it is handed to the next generation? In the right hands it turns the hearts of parents to their children, and the hearts of children to their parents.

In 2015, artist Shoshana Bass experienced an unimaginable fall from the trapeze. Not only did the fall result in the immediate end of her circus career, but it significantly limited her movement, which had been her trusted means of expression for her whole artistic life. While struggling with questions of identity in the face of physical inability, Shoshana’s father, Eric Bass, decided to teach her Autumn Portraits, his signature puppet vignettes. The pieces deal with the themes of identity, loss, mortality, and surrender and they became the framework for Shoshana’s newest work, When I Put on Your Glove.

Theater-by-the-Grove will host Sandglass Theatre and Shoshana Bass’s performance of When I Put on Your Glove at Waller Hall’s Mainstage Theater on Tuesday, March 19, at 7:30 p.m. It is a puppetry, dance, and spoken word piece exploring a daughter’s relationship to her father’s work. The performance builds upon the premise that puppets are containers of memory. In it, a daughter explores what it means for her to slip into her father’s art—and not just the form, but the actual pieces. 

This work addresses universal questions of belonging, childhood, fear of loss, death, and the complicated nature of navigating generational artistic legacy. According to reporter Chris Rohman, “The show…is a kind of coming-of-age, as the daughter comes into her own as an artist and as the father, rather than simply retiring the show and the handmade, love-made puppets, passes his glove to the next generation.”

Testify! Would you like to give voice to your own story? Sandglass Theatre’s Shoshana Bass will also present a Six O’Clock Series event: Translating Memoir Into Performance on Monday, March 18, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. in the Great Room in Elkin Hall. This workshop explores the potential of puppets to embody our own stories and the possibilities we have in giving these stories voice. The process looks at song, movement, and the actor/puppet relationship, to explore what makes the puppet a special medium for evoking testimony.

The Details

When I Put On Your Glove is open to the public and will be presented in Waller Hall’s Mainstage Theater on March 19 at 7:30 p.m.  It explores what legacy means through puppetry, dance, and spoken word.  This performance is free, but it is a ticketed event. 

Advance tickets can be obtained either online at the Lively Arts or by phone. Patrons who have questions or wish to obtain tickets by phone may call the Lively Arts office at 724-357-2787, Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. when classes are in session for assistance. There are no advance in-person tickets before the show.  However, any remaining tickets may be obtained in person one hour before the show at the door. 

 Translating Memoir Into Performance is a free workshop open to IUP students during the Six O’Clock Series, Elkin Hall Great Room, March 18, 6:00–8:00 p.m. It is a hands-on workshop to explore the potential for puppets to embody our own stories and to give these stories voice.

IUP Connection

IUP theater professor Brian Jones used his fall 2023 sabbatical to study puppetry through an intensive workshop with Sandglass Theater, an internationally acclaimed puppet theatre company from Putney, VT.  This spring semester, Prof. Jones is teaching a course in puppetry using what he learned. The medium lends itself to one of the features of IUP’s theater program, teaching students to create and present their own work in ensemble. Puppetry can be an especially evocative medium for bringing personal stories to life.  Each student is learning to bring inanimate objects to life for the purpose of storytelling. The class is working toward a showing of five small performances on a theme of “acquiring a fortune/giving a gift.”