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First Weekend of the Puppets in the Green Mountains International Festival: Walking to the Borders!

Brattleboro, September 8, 2015 – This weekend, Sandglass Theater will launch the ninth edition of the Puppets in the Green Mountains International Festival, a rich selection of events and performances taking place all around Brattleboro and Putney, Vermont. The festival will feature an action-packed gala opening, a massive outdoor performance by Bread and Puppet Theater, and two of the last local performances of Sandglass Theater's own award-winning D-Generation, a show about the effects of dementia upon individuals, families, and communities.

Visiting artists are arriving from Cuba, Germany, England, Mexico, Quebec, and all around the United States to present this vast array of performances for adults and children of all ages. In addition to an incredibly diverse range of shows, performers will present public dialogues and workshops in a meticulously-curated festival that truly has something for everyone. 

It all begins on Friday night at 5:30 p.m., when Puppets in the Green Mountains will host a sumptuous festival gala at the Brattleboro Museum and Art Center. Join visiting artists and community members for a night of local food and drink and performances: Magali Chouinard’s mysterious and poetic La Femme Blanche and Paul Zaloom’s hilarious political satire, White Like Me. From the museum, guests will form a processional with live music, and parade in style to the New England Youth Theatre for Zaloom’s performance.

On Saturday at 11 a.m., this year’s festival theme of Walking to the Borders will come to light with a thoughtful and enlightening keynote speech by Erik Ehn, Director of Writing for Performance at Brown University. Ehn's work in the fields of puppetry, playwriting, and art for social justice will set the tone for 10 days of theater and dialogues that take a deep look at immigration and otherness. Following the address, Sandglass will present the first of five Brown Bag lunch events, a series of lunchtime interviews with pairs of artists and activists dedicated to social change. The first, Let’s Talk about Race, will feature Christal Brown and Paul Zaloom, interviewed by Jon Potter. Next, at 3 p.m. on Saturday afternoon, audiences will be treated
to the biggest event of this year’s festival: Bread and Puppet Theater will transform Living Memorial Park with their latest larger-than-life creation, The Underneath the Above Show.

On Sunday, Bell, Cohen, Facto and Steinitz—three countries meeting on one stage—will perform Made of Paper, an event entirely devoted to the enchanting art of toy theater! Benitez and Wallin will be interviewed for Two Sides of the Border, and Sandglass will wrap up the evening with D-Generation: An Exaltation of Larks. Now with several awards under its belt, D-Generation
returns to the area for two final presentations completing a three-year tour.

Through integration of festival performances with community-based discussions, Sandglass Theater works to underscore the relevance and importance of art while addressing and inspiring engagement with national and international issues.  Eric Bass, Co-Artistic Director of Sandglass Theater, adds, “One of our aims with this festival is to interconnect arts and issues. This is not to say that all art is necessarily political, but we feel that our programming needs to resonate with relevance in our communities, local and wide.”

Puppets in the Green Mountains is widely known and celebrated as the signature event of Sandglass Theater in Southern Vermont. This year’s festival is made possible by support from the Clowes Fund, the Vermont Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Fresh Sound Foundation, the Vermont Community Fund, the National Performance Network, the Brattleboro Museum and Arts Center, Next Stage Arts Project, Landmark College, ArtPlace America, Chroma Technology Corp., and local supporters and sponsors.

For tickets and more information about Puppet in the Green Mountains performances and events, please visit our festival website at www.puppetsinthegreenmountains.com, or call 802-387-4051. Advance purchase of
tickets is highly encouraged, as shows are beginning to sell out. All venues are wheelchair-accessible.


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