2017 Spring Puppet Forum Series

For its 2017 Spring Puppet Forum Series, the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry at the University of Connecticut will host four free scintillating discussions with puppeteers, animators, designers, producers, and writers on Wednesday evenings at 7 p.m. in February through April at in the Ballard Institute Theater, located at 1 Royce Circle in Storrs Center. The Spring Puppet Forum schedule will include the following talks:

BusinessOfPuppetryImageFebruary 8: The Business of Puppetry with Bonnie Duncan, Roxie Myhrum, and Matt Acheson

What combinations of artistry, entrepreneurship, and management are needed for success in 21st-century puppetry? Join Roxie Myhrum, Artistic Director of Puppet Showplace Theater; acclaimed Boston-area puppeteer and dancer Bonnie Duncan; and New York City puppet designer, builder and performer Matt Acheson for an incisive discussion about how to make a living in the arts today.

Bannon_Little_Bob_CURESIVEDMarch 8: Puppetry and Animation with Michael Bannon

Stop-motion animation artist Michael Bannon’s Wreckless Abandon Studios has produced and directed award-winning commercials for scores of companies across the United States, as well as the famous “Little Bob” spokespuppet for Connecticut-based Bob’s Discount Furniture. Hear Michael explain the dynamics and opportunities of contemporary visual storytelling with the arts of stop-motion puppet animation.

BruceKennett1200March 29: W.A. Dwiggins: Puppetry and Graphic Design with Bruce Kennett

While William Addison Dwiggins (1880-1956) has long been recognized in American puppetry as a singularly innovative early 20th-century modernist, he had an equally influential career as an illustrator, type designer, calligrapher, and book designer. Join Bruce Kennett, author of a forthcoming monograph on Dwiggins, in a fascinating and enlightening discussion of this unique polymath of visual design.

Dolly Wagglers2April 12: Banners and Cranks with Clare Dolan and Dave Buchen

In conjunction with the concurrent Banners and Cranks exhibition at the Ballard Institute, curator Clare Dolan, puppeteer and director of Vermont’s Museum of Everyday Life; and Puerto-Rico based puppeteer, author, and visual artist Dave Buchen talk about the old-and-new international painting and performance medium they have nurtured since the first Banners and Cranks festival in 2010.

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. Forums will be broadcast via Facebook Live. Visit bimp.uconn.edu or call 860-486-8580 for more information.