2016 UConn Winter Puppet Slam on 2/20 at 8 p.m.

The Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry and the UConn Puppet Arts Program will present the 2016 UConn Winter Puppet Slam on Saturday, February 20 at 8:00 p.m. in UConn’s Studio Theatre. The UConn Winter Puppet Slam will feature short works by professional puppeteers and performers including Papel Machete (Puerto Rico); Great Small Works (Brooklyn); Kim Mikenis (Hamden, CT); and Zach Dorn (Florida), as well as new works for puppet and object theater by students and faculty from UConn’s School of Fine Arts, including object performance by Printmaking Professor John O’Donnell, new video animation by Digital Media and Design students; works-in-progress by Puppet Arts Program students, and a special appearance by UConn’s Rolling Tones a cappella group. The UConn Winter Puppet Slam is supported by the Puppet Slam Network.

The Puppet Slam movement is a nation-wide flowering of short puppet productions for adult audiences, encouraged by the Puppet Slam Network created by Heather Henson and Marsian De Lellis. UConn Puppet Slams have been taking place since 2008, thanks to the generous support of the Network. This year’s Winter Puppet Slam will again feature an exciting array of object-oriented performance forms that will expand the definitions of puppetry. Great Small Works’ Ode to Common Things is a “cranky” panorama performance based on a Pablo Neruda poem; Zach Dorn’s live webcast puppet video Jade features miniature cut-out puppets; and Papel Machete will perform a cantastoria picture performance about the Prison Industrial Complex titled If all lives matter ’cause we’re all created equal, why are some lives more equal than others? John O’Donnell’s Candle in my Carrot is an excerpt of a larger object performance piece he presented at the New Britain Museum of Art last fall; and New Haven-area puppeteer Kim Mikenis’s The Statue of Liberty Takes a Holiday combines puppets with live video projection. The Winter Puppet Slam will also feature sneak peaks of works from the upcoming MFA Puppet Arts Festival by Kalob Martinez, Anatar Marmol-Gagné, and Gavin Cummins; and Digital Media and Design professor Anna Lindemann’s students will present short digital animation films. The show will also include movement experiments by Puppet Arts students, and the dynamic unaccompanied singing of the Rolling Tones. The UConn Winter Puppet Slam is guaranteed to be visually and mentally captivating!

The UConn Winter Puppet Slam is free and open to the public; donations are greatly appreciated. The event will take place in the Studio Theatre located at 820 Bolton Rd, Storrs, CT. For directions to the Studio Theatre, visit crt.uconn.edu/directions/. These performances are recommended for mature audiences. For more information, call the Ballard Institute at (860) 486-8580 or email us at bimp@uconn.edu.

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