Month: August 2011

Join us for the Fall 2011 UConn Puppet Slam, Saturday September 17, for Free!

Katy Laguzza in a 2010 Slam


Join us on Saturday, September 17 on UConn’s Main Campus in Storrs for the Fall 2011 UConn Puppet Slam–an exciting array of bold new works for puppet theater by vibrant puppet artists from New York City, Boston, and the University of Connecticut!

The Ballard Institute and UConn’s Puppet Arts Program will host the Fall 2011 UConn Puppet Slam on Saturday, September 17 at 8 p.m. in the Studio Theater of UConn’s School of Dramatic Arts, on 820 Bolton Road in Storrs, Connecticut.

Video by Lani Asuncion from a 2010 Puppet Slam

This UConn Puppet Slam will feature the following artists:

–Jenny Romaine of Great Small Works: “La Ciudad: Magic Box of New York City”

Alissa Hunnicutt: “The Red Dress”

–Sara Peattie and Theresa Linnihan of the Puppeteers Cooperative

… and a sparkling spectrum of new works by students from UConn’s famed Puppet Arts Program!

The performance is free and open to the public!

For more information, contact, or 860 486 0806.

Join us to build and perform puppets for the 2011 Celebrate Mansfield Parade!


Puppet building workshop for 2010 Celebrate Mansfield Parade.

We invite YOU to join the Ballard Institute and the Mansfield Downtown Partnership on Saturday and Sunday, September 17 and 18, to build puppets celebrating Mansfield’s history; and then to parade with us the following Sunday, September 25 in the Ballard Institute contingent of the 2011 Celebrate Mansfield Parade, which starts at noon.

Our free puppet workshop sessions will once again be lead by nationally acclaimed puppeteer Sara Peattie of Boston’s Puppeteers Cooperative, and will be open to one and all–children, adults, and senior citizens.  The workshops will take place Saturday, September 17 and Sunday, September 18 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 2 p.m. – 5 p.m. each day, in the Arts and Crafts Room of the Mansfield Community Center, on 4 South Eagleville Road in downtown Mansfield.  Workshop participants can drop in anytime during the day to take part in the design and creation of puppets, masks, banners, and other parading elements.  We will once again collaborate with Ann Galonska of the Mansfield Historical Society to choose images, characters, and stories reflecting the rich history of Mansfield.


Matt Weathers on stilts in the Ballard Institute contingent of the 2010 Celebrate Mansfield Parade.

The following Sunday, September 25, we need YOU–children, adults, and senior citizens–to help us parade with the puppets we have made as a colorful and vibrant contingent of the Celebrate Mansfield Parade.  We will meet at  at 11:00 a.m. at the Storrs-Mansfield Post Office (2 South Eagleville Road Extension) for the parade, which will start at 12 noon and end about 25 minutes later in front E. O. Smith High School, where Mansfield’s Festival on the Green will be held.  The whole parade is less than a mile long.

For more information or to register for the workshops and parade, please contact the Partnership at 860 429 2740 or by email at

Ballard Institute Director awarded Jalal Sattari Prize for Shalako Puppet Essay

Dr. John Bell, Director of the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry, was given Iran’s Jalal Sattari award for his essay “Shalako Puppets and Nineteenth-Century Ritual” at the Third International Traditional-Ritual Performances Seminar in Tehran on July 16, 2011.  The award, according to Dr. Hamid Reza Ardalan, the Seminar’s organizer, is “one of the most prestigious scientific and scholarly awards of our country.”  Jalal Sattari is a prominent Iranian scholar in the areas of mythology, philosophy of art and ritual dramatic arts.  Dr. Bell’s essay appears in his 2008 book American Puppet Modernism: Essays on the Material World in Performance (Palgrave/Macmillan).