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School of Fine ArtsBallard Institute and Museum of Puppetry
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The University of Connecticut (UConn) is a public research university in the U.S. state of Connecticut. UConn was founded in 1881 and is a Land Grant and Sea Grant college & member of the Space Grant Consortium. The university serves more than 30,000 students on its six campuses, including more than 8,000 graduate students in multiple programs.

“Uncle Vlad’s Summer Spook-tacular” by Shane McNeal, 7/22 at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

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As part of its popular Summertime Saturday Puppet Show Series of new works by UConn Puppet Arts students and alumni for family audiences, the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry will present Uncle Vlad’s Summer Spook-tacular by Puppet Arts MFA student and Connecticut native Shane McNeal on Saturday, July 22 at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the Ballard Institute Theater located at 1 Royce Circle, Storrs Center.

Join us for an afternoon of merry monsters, whimsical werewolves, and groovy ghouls, as our batty host, Uncle Vlad, uses hand and shadow puppetry to regale audiences with not-so-spooky stories he’s discovered while on his annual summer road trip! Audiences will laugh along as they witness the softer side of the creatures of the night. Bring a touch of the witching hour to your summer season with this terror-ific puppet show! This show is recommended for all ages.

Shane McNeal, MFA candidate in the UConn Puppet Arts Program, has been creating, designing, and performing for puppet theater and film since 2008. He has worked as a puppeteer with a wide range of artists and organizations including the Silk City Chorus, Hartford-based artist Anne Cubberly, Connecticut Repertory Theatre and the Boston Pops. He returns to the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry after his family-friendly performances of Canteen Tales: Quest for the Golden Spork and Victoria’s Not So Bedtime Stories, which debuted in last year’s Summertime Saturday Puppet Show Series, and his performance of Canteen Tales: The Curse of Bread Beard earlier this summer.

Upcoming Summertime Saturday Puppet Shows include:

July 29 – 100 Birds by John Cody

The 100 Birds, an intergalactic troupe of feathered friends, come to help Jada Jones, captain of her middle school’s basketball team, after she wishes upon a shooting star for help in getting her team to their playoff game. Using their love of math, the avian crew bands together with Jada to host the biggest fundraiser ever and create the world’s largest pizza! Recommended for ages 5+.

August 5 – Sheldon Explains It All by Zach Broome

Sheldon is a turtle, and he is scared of everything: absolutely everything. What scares him the most are the things he doesn’t yet know. Join Sheldon as he learns about everything under the sun and shares all of his new knowledge with you. Recommended for ages 5+.

August 12 – The Superhero Within: Episode 2! by Anatar Marmol Gagné

It’s summer break from Superhero Academy and Alex and Sage can’t wait for their summer adventures. They quickly learn that even though they are superhero cadets, villains will try everything to ruin their holiday. With the help of the Vigilantes, Alex and Sage will stop at nothing to get their summer back! Recommended for all ages.

Admission is $6 for children (12 years and under), $8 for adults.

Tickets can be purchased in advance at the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry, by calling 860.486.8580, or online at bimp.ticketleap.com. A surcharge will be added to any purchases made online. Tickets may also be purchased at the Ballard Institute on the day of performance starting at 10 a.m. There will be open seating, and no reservations. Visitors can park in the Storrs Center Garage located at 33 Royce Circle. Parking in the Storrs Center Garage is free for the first two hours and $1 per hour thereafter, with a daily maximum charge of $8. For more information about these performances, visit bimp.uconn.edu or call 860.486.8580.

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