D-Generation: An Exaltation of Larks

Sandglass Theater (USA)

9/13, 8PM, NEYT, Brattleboro Tickets
9/18, 8PM, NEYT, Brattleboro Tickets

Directed by Roberto Salomon
Performed by Eric Bass, Ines Zeller Bass, Kirk Murphy
Music by Paul Dedell
Video by Michel Moyse
Lighting by Sabrina Hamilton
Puppets by Coni Richards, Ines Zeller Bass, Jana Zeller

Stories created by the Residents of Pine Heights at Brattleboro Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation using TimeSlips, (a collective creative storytelling model developed by Anne Basting)

A piece about play, joy, and communication. A piece about dementia.

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 late-stage dementia. The work is performed by three puppeteers (the caregivers) and five puppets (the residents of a care-facility). Set to a compelling original score and striking animated video segments, D-Generation takes us into a world that is all too much a part of our lives.

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.

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.

“It is one of the most beautiful and affecting theater pieces I’ve ever seen. I laughed and cried (literally) and was blown away by the supreme artistry of these puppeteers and actors. You come away with all kinds of fresh thoughts about aging, and time, and living in the moment, and you have a deeper understanding of those who have travelled down the road before us.” – Douglas Anderson, Executive Director of Town Hall Theater, Middlebury, Vermont