Month: May 2016

2016 Summertime Saturday Puppet Show Series!

The Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry will once more present its popular Summertime Saturday Puppet Shows for family audiences by UConn Puppet Arts students on six Saturdays, July 2 through August 6, 2016. Each show will be performed twice, at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. All performances will take place at the Ballard Institute Theater located at 1 Royce Circle, Storrs, CT.

The schedule of Summertime Saturday Puppet Shows includes the following:

me on stairsJuly 2 – Canteen Tales: Quest for the Golden Spork by Shane McNeal

Join us in the kitchen as everyday objects tell the story of Sir Toby, a valiant knight from the Kingdom of Spün. Watch as he battles ogres, outwits wizards, and saves the day from a terrible dragon!

July 9 – Jacks in the Box by Mark BlashfordBlashfordPromo (1)

Mark Blashford, a third-year Puppet Arts graduate student, performs classic Appalachian Jack Tales and lyric vignettes with suitcases, shadows, rod puppets, and marionettes.


JGavinCummins2016SummerSeriesImageuly 16 – The Wonderful World of Wonder by Gavin Cummins and Gwendolyn Rooker

Discover the world of creatures impossible to see, yet who live in this blue marble we call earth. Sea crabs, corpse flowers, and water bears, oh my!



July 23 – Victoria’s Not So Bedtime Story by Krista Weltner and Shane McNeal

The two sisters Victoria and Margaret don’t always get along, but when the goal is avoiding bedtime, there is no end to what this dynamic duo will do. Come watch several stories unfold, including The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, The Clockmaker and the Elves, and The House That Jack Built.

DSC_0111_phixr (2)July 30 – Luminary by Ana Crăciun-Lambru

Luminary is the tale of a second chance! When humankind takes the world for granted, Raven, its supreme creator, hides the Sun. His daughter, Little Darkness, sets on a quest to bring back the light to the world. Join a rogue storyteller on a journey of light and shadow, found objects and empowering adventures!

Superhero%2c villains and spaceshipt oh my! The ReturnAugust 6 – Superheroes, Villains, and Spaceships, Oh My!–The Return by Anatar Marmol-Gagné and Zach Broome

Anatar Marmol-Gagné & Zach Broome bring you a fantastical tale of intergalactic battles between good and evil.
Admission is $6 for children (12 years and younger), $8 for adults.

Tickets can be purchased in advance at the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry, by phone at 860.486.8580, or online at A surcharge will be added to any purchases made online. Tickets may also be purchased at the Ballard Institute on the day of performance starting at 10 a.m. There will be a limited number of seats. For more information about these performances, call 860.486.8580.

All sales are final — there are no refunds.

“The Bureau of Small Requests: Puppetry and Animation of Laura Heit,” April 23-October 9, 2016

The Bureau of Small Requests includes multiple examples of the masterful small-scale puppets and objects from Laura Heit’s varied repertoire of performances, films, and installations. A West-Coast-based artist whose work has crossed many disciplines, Heit has deep roots in puppetry and animation and all things miniature. After studying at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and London’s Royal College of Art, Heit co-directed the Experimental Animation Program at the California Institute of Arts before moving to Portland, Oregon, where she teaches at the Pacific Northwest College of Art. The Bureau of Small Requests features artworks and objects from puppet productions and films Heit has created over the past 15 years, involving toy-theater stages and shrines, matchbox-sized puppet shows, and the unheralded work of women paleontologists of the 19th century. As part of the exhibition, visitors will experience Two Ways Down, a multi-media installation covering the walls of the largest Ballard Institute gallery with mechanized moving shadows and figments of digital animation. The Bureau of Small Requests will be on display through October 9, 2016.


“The Superhero Within” by Anatar Marmol-Gagne, 5/13-5/15

The University of Connecticut’s Puppet Arts Program and Department of Dramatic Arts present The Superhero Within, an entertaining and informative hand puppet production created by Puppet Arts MFA candidate Anatar Marmol-Gagné. The Superhero Within will be presented at The Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry located at 1 Royce Circle, Storrs, CT according to the following schedule:

Friday, May 13, 2016, 7:00pm
Saturday, May 14, 1:00pm & 3:00pm
Sunday, May 15, 3:00pm: Show; 3:30pm: Talkback

The Superhero Within presents a final test at Superhero Academy, which is threatened by evil. The young superheroes-in-training contend with the dangerous intrusion and discover that the strength they need is not physical; they carry it from within.

This show is a hand puppet production focused upon active shooter safety awareness training designed for children from Pre-K to 6th grade. The Superhero Within carefully draws from the core protocol established by FEMA, and is presented to young school children in a non-threatening puppet play. It is the story of three characters, who reveal to one another, through playful interaction, their own discovery of superpowers. The superpowers they demonstrate are abilities that we all possess—our own senses. This production focuses on how to be aware of surroundings by using the senses of sight, hearing, smell, and intuition. The Superhero Within is a bilingual production, which can be performed in English or Spanish.

The Superhero Within is a puppet production for all ages. Admission is free. Seating is limited.