Month: January 2016

2016 Spring Puppet Forum Series

As part of its Spring Puppet Forum Series, the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry at the University of Connecticut will host three forum events on Wednesdays in February through April at 7 p.m. in the Ballard Institute Theater located at 1 Royce Circle in Storrs Center. The Spring Puppet Forum schedule includes:

February 3: Roger Danforth, Playwriting for Puppet Theater

Noted director and dramaturg Roger Danforth, who also leads playwriting for puppetry workshops at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, will talk about the particular needs and possibilities playwrights face when writing for actors and objects

February 24: Alexander Gref and Elena Slonimskaya, Russian Puppet Theater

Join us in a discussion with two of Russia’s most dynamic puppeteers as they show us how the rich traditions of Russian vertep and Petrushka puppetry survive and flourish in contemporary performance and art therapy in the Russian Republic.

April 20: Laura Heit, The Puppetry and Animation of Laura Heit

In conjunction with her exhibition at the Ballard Institute—The Bureau of Small Requests—artist and professor Laura Heit (Northwest Pacific College of Art) will discuss her richly varied work in stop-motion film, live-action puppetry, drawing, and computer animation.

Admission to these events is free (donations greatly appreciated!), and refreshments will be served. Come early and experience our puppet exhibitions, as well as the video resources in our library nook. Visit for more information.

2016 Spring Puppet Performance Series

The Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry at the University of Connecticut will host its Spring Puppet Performance Series on four Saturdays from January to April 2016, featuring outstanding works for puppet theater by professional puppeteers. There will be two showings of each production, at 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m., in the Ballard Institute Theater located at 1 Royce Circle in Storrs Center. Productions and dates include:

January 30: Of Bread and Paper by Finn Campman

Of Bread and Paper is the story of a poor refugee trying to find his way home. His exile is self imposed but enforced by the struggles of the world: poverty, conflict, indecision, and love. Recommended for children aged 9 and above.

February 13: The Autobiography of James Mars: A Slave Born and Sold in Connecticut by Puppetsweat Theater

Using flat cut-out puppets and projected images, this show tells the story of James and Jupiter Mars, a father and son owned by a parson in Norfolk, Connecticut, demonstrating how these two remarkable men negotiated the complicated slavery laws of the nineteenth century. Recommended for children aged 9 and above.

 March 5: The Great Red Ball Rescue by Faye Dupras

A family trip to the beach goes awry when a young boy’s favorite Red Ball is whisked away by the tides. Join Jasper, a timid kid with a big imagination, as he sets out on an adventure across the ocean, under the waves, and up into the clouds.

April 9: Help Save the Monkey! by Liz Hara and Marta Mozelle MacRostie

8-year-old Howard and 80-year-old Lillian must rush to save her monkey who is about to land from space. Despite setbacks, anxieties, and lasers, their friendship helps them on this epic adventure.

Ticket Prices: Adults: $10; Students: $7; Kids: $5

Tickets will be sold in advance through the Connecticut Repertory Theatre Box Office located in the lobby of the Nafe Katter Theatre at 820 Bolton Rd, Storrs CT 06269. Tickets may be purchased in person at the box office, by calling (860) 486-2113, or online at A $3.00 surcharge will be added to any purchases made online or over the phone. Tickets may be purchased at the Ballard Institute on the days of performances. There will be a limited number of seats. For more information about these shows, visit or call (860) 486-8580.

“The World of Puppetry: From the Collections of the Ballard Institute”

The World of Puppetry: From the Collections of the Ballard Institute showcases an array of different puppets carefully selected from over 2,600 puppets in the Ballard Institute collections to reflect the amazing richness of global puppet traditions and contemporary innovations in puppetry.  The exhibition’s array of handpuppets, marionettes, rod puppets, toy theaters, and shadow figures from around the world will include work by Rufus and Margo Rose, Charles Ludlam, Janie Geiser, Marjorie Batchelder McPharlin, Tony Sarg, Bil Baird, Frank Ballard, and puppets from Indonesia, Africa, Iran, Germany, England, Latin America, and France.