Month: October 2012

Friday Evening Puppet Forums Bring the Wide World of Puppetry to UConn This Fall

Join us on selected Friday evenings this fall for exciting and scintillating discussions about the complex, colorful, and thought-provoking world of puppetry around the globe–from Hartford to Mexico City, from New York City to Java–as performers, playwrights, filmmakers, artists, and scholars appear in our compelling Fall Puppet Forum series.  All forum presentations begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Ballard Institute on UConn’s Depot Campus.  **The Eric Bass Forum will be in the Puppet Arts Complex on Depot Campus

Friday, October 12, Winnie Lambrecht, Los Cueto: Four Generations of Puppeteers: The History of a Family of Mexican Artists

Filmmaker and Rhode Island School of Design Senior Lecturer Winnie Lambrecht presents her film about the Cueto family of puppeteers from Mexico City, who over four generations, from the 1930s to the present, have been inventing and performing puppet shows and training puppeteers to create the modern face of Mexican puppetry.

Friday, October 19, Sumarsam, Cultural Encounters: Javanese Puppetry and the West

Gamelan musician, amateur dalang, and Wesleyan University Professor of Music Sumarsam will discuss the fascinating and complex relationships between traditional Javanese puppetry and the West, based on Professor Sumarsam’s extensive research and personal experience.

Friday, November 2: Anne Cubberly, How I Became the Puppet Lady: Art Performance, and Giant Puppets

Hartford visual artist and puppeteer Anne Cubberly talks about her work in kinetic sculpture, installation art, parades, and performance.

Friday, November 16: Eric Bass, Cross-Cultural Connections in Puppet Theater

Eric Bass, co-founder and director of Vermont’s Sandglass Theater, is an internationally renowned puppeteer whose innovations in puppet and object design, manipulation, and dramaturgy have garnered multiple awards and honors in Europe and the United States. He will talk about the influence of such global puppet traditions as Japanese bunraku on contemporary western puppet theater.

**The Eric Bass Puppet Forum will be held in the Puppet Arts Complex on Depot Campus**

Friday, November 30: Erik Ehn, Puppets and Extreme Violence: How They Withstand and What They Teach

Brown University professor and acclaimed playwright Erik Ehn will discuss his ongoing Soulographie project, a seventeen-part series of puppet plays about the history of the U.S. in the 20th Century, from the point of view of its genocides.  It will be produced at La MaMa Theater in New York City this November.  Ehn conducts annual trips to Rwanda/Uganda, taking students and professionals in the field to study the history of these countries, and to explore the ways art is participating in recovery from violence.   He is also the producer the annual Arts in the One World conference at Brown University, which engages themes of art and social change. 


Friday, December 7: Allelu Kurten, A Life in Puppetry

One of America’s most revered puppeteers, Allelu Kurten, will talk about her 50 years at the center of the development of United States puppetry, her work with husband John Kurten in the Kurten Puppets, with Jim Henson, Dick Myers, the Puppeteers of America, Bread and Puppet Theater, UNIMA (the Union Internationale de la Marionnette) and other fascinating aspects of American puppetry in which she has played a central role.



The Fall Forum Series is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.  Our current exhibitions–Red Gate: Pauline Benton and Chinese Shadow Theater and Frank Ballard: Roots and Branches–will be open to view immediately before and after the events.

The Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry is at 6 Bourn Place, Mansfield, Connecticut, just off Route 44, 2 miles south of Route 195.

For more information see or contact

Join Us for the Fall UConn Puppet Slam! This Saturday, November 10th at 8 p.m.

On Saturday, November 10th the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry and the UConn Puppet Arts Program will host the Fall UConn Puppet Slam! This evening of fascinating new works for short-form puppetry will bring together active puppeteers from across the United States, and current Puppet Arts Program students, in an amazing array of entertaining and compelling work that will expand your notions of the art of puppetry.  Please note that many of these shows are geared for mature audiences, and are not appropriate for children.

The Fall UConn Puppet Slam will include works by performance artist, sculptor, and videographer J.R. Uretsky (a UConn graduate in Visual Arts and member of the feminist collective Dirt Palace); S.B. Parks (UConn Puppet Arts graduate and currently Costume Crafter at Hartford Stage); Paul Spirito (Technical Supervisor at the Puppet Arts Program); current Puppet Arts graduate students Penny Benson, Sarah Nolen, Seth Shaffer, Carianne Hoff,  and Anna Fitzgerald; and, from Los Angeles, special guests Caitlin Lainoff and DanRae Wilson.

The Fall UConn Puppet Slam starts at 8 p.m. on UConn’s main campus in the Studio Theater in the Drama and Music Building and it is FREE!

*Again, please note that some material in these pieces is geared for mature audiences*