July 26 – 31

The Egoless Actors Workshop

EGOLESS ACTORS: A Puppetry Intensive
with Eric Bass & Ines Zeller Bass of Sandglass Theater

Sandglass Theater believes that the puppet, as a theatrical medium, unlocks doors to our more secret sides and to integrating parts of ourselves. This includes the worlds of our dreams and memories, as well as all the metaphorical possibilities of theater. Sandglass teaches a method of manipulation developed in over 20 years of workshops in the US and abroad.

Daily sessions include breath development with relation to puppet performance, training in manipulation technique and its relation to artistic statement, and training and discussion in theory and aesthetics.

  1. Manipulation: We work strongly with breath training to connect the manipulator’s breath to the puppet
  2. Materials and Metaphor: We work to have students understand that all materials have a metaphoric potential, and choosing them is the beginning of knowing what your piece is about
  3. The relationship between puppets and actors: Why use a puppet?, and What are the distinctive worlds that interact in a play or story?


Artistic Statement

In the microcosm of theater, the puppet is a means of integrating, of pulling back together pieces torn apart from each other. The puppet is the embodiment of a world no longer ours, an abstraction of a memory, a dream which is recalled. It is other than us, but it lives through us. We grasp it, and in grasping it, it takes hold of us. In dancing with the puppet, we are dancing with our more secret side. We are integrating parts of ourselves. hold of us. In dancing with the puppet, we are dancing with our more secret side. We are integrating parts of ourselve


Sandglass Theater is an internationally known theater company specializing in combining puppets with music, actors and visual imagery. Since 1982, the company’s productions have toured 24 countries, performing in theaters, festivals and cultural institutions and winning numerous international prizes. Their most recent honor, awarded this February, was the Vermont Governor’s Award.

Sandglass Theater produces works for both adult audiences and young audiences—two repertoires that tour separately and together. Sandglass also performs and teaches in its own 60-seat renovated barn theater in Putney, Vermont. They are members of the Network of Ensemble Theaters (NET) and the National Performance Network (NPN).

What the Critics Have Said

“Eric Bass is known all over the world today for having brought puppets out of their traditional toy closets. His shows are each time more stunning…. Like all great art, it is a constellation of humorous touches and tenderness. The magic is born of gesture, from the movement of these dolls, as if they were animated, with the real breath of life.” —Le Courrier, Geneva, Switzerland

…the artistry of Ines Zeller Bass does not rely on crude devices to make us laugh or to draw us into a mood; everything is magnificently suggested, and rapport with the children is sustained…. —La Nouvelle Republique de Pyrénées, Tarbes, France

That Bass can conjure so much history and soul out of a two-foot puppet is its own mystery…. Rivka’s wispy gray hair and Gershon’s frail chest actually seem to stir with the puppet’s every breath. —The Village Voice, New York City, USA

WANT TO KNOW MORE? Visit www.sandglasstheater.org


Workshops are geared for participants of all levels of experience, whose ages have run from 18-85.

Workshops will meet from 10 am – 4 pm, Monday through Saturday, in Studio II or Studio III of Webster Hall on the Amherst College campus in Amherst, MA.

Driving Instructions to Amherst College

Amherst College campus map.

Workshops cost $399. There is a $50 discount for registration by May 15.
NOTE: Contact us to apply for limited pool of financial aid, or for discounts for KoFest workshop or intern alums, ATHE, N.E.T. (Network of Ensemble Theaters) members or staff/artists from TCG member theatres.

Optional room and board are available on the Amherst College campus for an additional fee.
Workshop housing is $195, for a single with a shared bath in an Amherst College dorm. A meal ticket for the Dining Commons (delicious, healthy food, much of it local) is $175.

Email us, if you are interested in alternative housing. There are a number of hotels, motels and bed & breakfasts in the area.

Studios, theatre, dining commons and dorms are all within walking distance.

To register, download a PDF of the registration form and mail it to:

The Ko Festival of Performance
498 South Gulf Road
Belchertown, MA 01007
Questions? For further information email us
or call (413) 427-6147.

NOTE: Some people have been having trouble downloading the PDF registration form. Click HERE to download the form in MS-WORD. If that also fails, either email or call us (see above), and we will send you a registration form via email or post.