Two new exhibitions dedicated to Frank Ballard, now open!

Come see our newly opened exhibitions—Frank Ballard: An Odyssey of a Life in Puppetry(curated by UConn Puppet alumna Rolande Duprey) and Frank Ballard: Roots and Branches—examine Ballard’s life and work, his creation of the UConn’s famed Puppet Arts Program, and his many spectacular puppet productions.

Frank Ballard: An Odyssey of a Life in Puppetry

Frank Ballard’s rich career as a director, designer, and teacher is celebrated in this retrospective curated by UConn alumna Rolande Duprey.  The exhibition presents the stories, designs, construction processes, and performance of Ballard’s many productions, including rare video footage, as well as the many personal challenges Ballard faced in his career.  Featuring puppets and sets from The BluebirdTwo By TwoH.M.S. PinaforeThe Magic Flute,Peer GyntThe Golden Cockerel and other productions.

Frank Ballard: Roots and Branches

What made Frank Ballard, born in Alton, Illinois in 1929, pursue a life in puppetry?  This exhibition examines the many influences on Ballard’s work, from the 1930s traveling shows of Romain and Ellen Proctor, to the puppet modernism of Tony Sarg, Rufus and Margo Rose, Marjorie Batchelder McPharlin, and Jim Henson.  Frank Ballard’s fascination with the Kungsholm Miniature Opera and Sidney Chrysler’s toy theater operas is explored, as well as the influences of a wide range of global puppet traditions Ballard studied, including Karagöz, Javanese rod-puppet theater, and Chinese shadow theater.