“The Business of Puppetry,” a Spring Puppet Forum on 2/8 at 7 p.m.

As part of the 2017 Spring Puppet Forum Series, the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry at the University of Connecticut will present a discussion with professionals in the puppetry field entitled The Business of Puppetry on Wednesday, February 8, 2017 at 7 p.m. in the Ballard Institute Theater, located at 1 Royce Circle in Storrs Center.

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.


Matt Acheson is a puppet and theater artist living in Brooklyn. Matt was the Resident Puppetry Director for Warhorse at Lincoln Center Theater and Associate Puppetry Director for the Warhorse North American tour. Matt has designed, built, and directed puppets for productions including Radio City’s Spring Spectacular and Sarah Ruhl’s play The Oldest Boy. In 2015, Matt and UConn Puppet Arts Program Adjunct Professor Fergus J. Walsh founded AchesonWalsh Studios. Most recently, they designed and fabricated a Tyrannosaurs Rex for On The Town, and masks for the 2015 revival of The King and I at Lincoln Center Theater. Currently, Matt is directing and curating the annual St. Ann’s Warehouse Puppet Lab with Krissy Smith.

Bonnie Duncan has blended puppetry, dance, and physical theatre in surprising and delightful ways for the past 16 years. She currently heads up The Gottabees, making super-fun theater for families. She tours two shows for families (Squirrel Stole My Underpants & Lollipops for Breakfast) that are selling out theaters and inspiring homemade puppet shows throughout the U.S. and abroad. She also creates small shows for adult audiences. Prior to her work with The Gottabees, Bonnie was a company member of Snappy Dance Theater for eight years, performing sculptural, acrobatic dances internationally.

Roxanna Myhrum is the Artistic Director of Puppet Showplace Theater, where she has produced and directed hundreds of puppetry events, from Boston’s annual First Night Puppetry Festival to the site-specific Halloween attraction The Midnight Zoo. She is a sought-after puppetry coach and director in Greater Boston. Roxanna has taught puppetry to students of all ages and has been a guest teaching artist at several colleges and universities. Roxanna recently completed a term on the Puppeteers of America Board of Trustees and was part of the Artistic Committee for the 2015 National Puppetry Festival at UConn.
Admission to this event 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.