As part of its popular Summertime Saturday Puppet Shows for family audiences by UConn Puppet Arts students, the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry at the University of Connecticut will present The Wonderful World of Wonder by UConn Puppet Arts MFA student Gavin Cummins and Philadelphia-based artist and musician Gwendolyn Rooker on Saturday, July 16 at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., at the Ballard Institute Theater located at 1 Royce Circle, Storrs, CT.
The Wonderful World of Wonder bridges the gap between the weird and wonderful. Join the water bear on its MacGuffin-fueled international game of hide and seek! Experience a crustacean’s unseeable art gallery by the lake on the bottom of the ocean! Discover how a corpse flower finds love! This show is guaranteed to be educational and entertaining!
During his three years of study at UConn’s Puppet Arts Program, Gavin Cummins has worked as a Graduate Assistant at the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry. He is delighted to once again be part of the Summertime Saturday Puppet Show series, while also serving as technical assistant for the entire project. He has previously performed George and Martha and The Nature of Nature at the Ballard Institute. Gavin began puppeteering in Seattle, and has presented works as a puppet slam performer across the country, including at La Mama Theater, Puppet Showplace Theater, and the 2013 National Puppet Slam. He is the founder of the Salmagundi Puppet Cabaret at the Ballard Institute and the Fussy Cloud Puppet Slam in Seattle. In 2015 he was named an Emerging Artist at the National Puppetry Conference at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. Gavin recently presented his MFA production Ok, Love You, Bye as part of the Connecticut Repertory Theatre’s MFA Puppet Arts Festival.
Gwendolyn Rooker is an actor, clown, writer, and musician who holds a Certificate of Training from the Dell‘Arte International School of Physical Theatre. As a volunteer for Clowns Without Borders, Gwen shares laughter with children whose communities are in crisis in Egypt, Sudan, Colombia, Kenya, Haiti, and the U.S. She has worked for Brat Productions as a puppeteer in Haunted Poe, as a sassy singer in Three Chord Fiction, and as Dagoo in Moby Dick Rehearsed. She is one of the Six Lady Dancers for singer Johnny Showcase, has appeared in Shakespeare in Clarke Park’s productions of Twelfth Night and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Upcoming Summertime Saturday Puppet Shows by UConn Puppet Arts students include:
July 23 – Victoria’s Not So Bedtime Story by Krista Weltner and Shane McNeal: 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.
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!
August 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 under), $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 http://bimp.ticketleap.com/. 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, visit bimp.uconn.edu or call 860.486.8580.