D-Generation: An Exaltaion of Larks

D-Generation Final Performance

BRATTLEBORO- After seven years of touring, Sandglass bids farewell to their award-winning show, D-Generation: An Exaltation of Larks, on May 24th and 25th at 7:30pm at the New England Youth Theater in Brattleboro. Tickets are $18 general and $16 for students and seniors. NEYT is a fully accessible theater.

From playful story circles to dark private terror… From lyrical inner visions to demanding confrontations… From the reflections of caregivers to the fragmented memories of residents of care facilities… D-Generation evokes a complex world of people living with dementia.

D-Generation: An Exaltation of Larks is a full-length theater piece based on stories written collaboratively by groups of people with dementia at Brattleboro’s Pine Heights and Holton Home care facilities. The work is performed by three puppeteers (the caregivers) and five puppets (the residents of a care-facility). Beautifully sculpted puppets by Coni Richardson and an exquisite lighting design by Sabrina Hamilton enhance the performance. Set to a compelling original score by Paul Dedell and striking animated video segments by Michel Moyse, D-Generation takes us into a world that is all too much a part of our lives.

Roberto Salomon, from El Salvador, won “Best Direction” for this work on this piece form Puppet Festival (r)evolution, and the piece received a Citation of Excellence in the Art of Puppetry from UNIMA, USA.

“What does it mean to put away a performance that has been so much a part of one’s life for 11 years?  …Performing D-Generation took us to places in the country where we had never been.  We played in 14 towns, from Helena MT to Santa Fe NM, from Sheboygan WI to Knoxville TN, and of course, New York, Chicago, Atlanta, and several towns in Vermont.  In addressing issues of access, we found doors opening to us, too, all around the US, and on three tours to Germany as well. When I look at it this way, I’m quite moved by how this work, coming at the time it did, struck a chord that resonated and continues to resonate throughout our communities.” -Eric Bass, Ensemble performer

D-Generation explores the rich creative potential and ability to communicate that exists in people with late-stage dementia. Their words, their images, and 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 acceptance, the despair and the joy, that is equally present and possible, in both the person with dementia and in their caregivers and family members.

“I feel I stepped into this experience on a fairly naive note and, 10 years later, am coming out forever changed, forever grown, and forever devoted and focused to using art to foster space and energy for generating dialogues that help us to find empathy, compassion, and tools for better understanding this challenging and beautiful world around us.” –Kirk Murphy, ensemble performer

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 method called Timeslips. These stories reveal a humor, and playfulness, as well as the dark reality of the disease. They stand on their own as dramatic material from a remarkable source. These stories, combined with the compelling process of writing them, form the inspiration for D-Generation.

Performer member, Ines Zeller Bass, spoke about the 5 puppet cast members she toured with: “I tend to see them for what they are: inanimate objects who get stuffed back into their traveling box after they are done. But as time went by, I made sure they were more tenderly packed away after each performance. I guess they also crept slowly into my heart.”
D-Generation: An Exaltation of Larks
 is a production of Sandglass Theater, funded in part by: The New England Foundation for the Arts National Theater Project with lead funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The National Endowment for the ArtsThe Jim Henson Foundation,The Clowes FundVermont Arts CouncilFresh Sound FoundationThe McKenzie Family Charitable Trust and donations from all those who generously contributed to our Kickstarter campaign.

For tickets and information please visit our newly rebranded website: sandglasstheater.org. Tickets are $18 general and $16 for students and seniors. NEYT is a fully accessible theater.

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