“Canteen Tales: The Curse of Bread Beard” by Shane McNeal on 7/1 at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

As part of its popular Summertime Saturday Puppet Show Series of new works by UConn Puppet Arts students and alumni for family audiences, the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry at the University of Connecticut will present Canteen Tales: The Curse of Bread Beard by UConn Puppet Arts MFA student and Connecticut native Shane McNeal on Saturday, July 1 at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the Ballard Institute Theater located at 1 Royce Circle, Storrs Center.

In Canteen Tales, McNeal’s Chef Bernard serves up a second helping of fun as he tells the story of wannabe pirate Sidney Salts, who hunts for the legendary treasure of Bread Beard the Pirate, the most feared privateer to sail the Peppercorn Sea! But Sidney’s journey won’t be all cinnamon and sugar. He’ll have to deal with beguiling buccaneers, salty sea monsters, and ghastly ghosts in order to dig up fame, fortune and glory! Making clever use of object theater, improvisation and audience interaction, The Curse of Bread Beard is a seaworthy second chapter in McNeal’s Canteen Tales series. This show is recommended for all ages.

Shane McNeal, MFA candidate in the UConn Puppet Arts Program, has been creating, designing, and performing for puppet theater and film since 2008. He has worked as a puppeteer with a wide range of artists and organizations including the Silk City Chorus, Hartford-based artist Anne Cubberly, Connecticut Repertory Theatre, and the Boston Pops. He returns to the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry after his family-friendly performances of Canteen Tales: Quest for the Golden Spork and Victoria’s Not So Bedtime Stories, which debuted in last year’s Summertime Saturday Puppet Show Series.

Upcoming Summertime Saturday Puppet Shows include:

July 8 – Punch & Jilly by Mark Blashford

A rollicking hand-puppet spectacle performed in the British Punch & Judy show tradition, with a Connecticut Yankee twist. Mr. Punch the trickster is back again, and this time he is joined by a stubborn dairy cow named Jilly. Watch Punch and Jilly look after a baby, escape a crocodile, outsmart the Devil, and cause all sorts of mischief. Recommended for ages 5+.

July 15 – Sweven by Anatar Marmol-Gagné

Dotty sees monsters, under the bed. But are they real, or just in her head? Recommended for ages 5+.

July 22 – Uncle Vlad’s Summer Spook-tacular by Shane McNeal

Join us for an afternoon of merry monsters, whimsical werewolves, and groovy ghouls, as our batty host, Uncle Vlad, uses hand and shadow puppetry to regale audiences with not-so-spooky stories he’s discovered while on his annual summer road trip! Audiences will laugh along as they witness the softer side of the creatures of the night. Bring a touch of the witching hour to your summer season with this terror-ific puppet show! This show is recommended for all ages.

July 29 – 100 Birds by John Cody

The 100 Birds, an intergalactic troupe of feathered friends, come to help Jada Jones, captain of her middle school’s basketball team, after she wishes upon a shooting star for help in getting her team to their playoff game. Using their love of math, the avian crew bands together with Jada to host the biggest fundraiser ever and create the world’s largest pizza! Recommended for ages 5+.

August 5 – Sheldon Explains It All by Zach Broome

Sheldon is a turtle, and he is scared of everything: absolutely everything. What scares him the most are the things he doesn’t yet know. Join Sheldon as he learns about everything under the sun and shares all of his new knowledge with you. Recommended for ages 5+.

August 12 – The Superhero Within: Episode 2! by Anatar Marmol Gagné

It’s summer break from Superhero Academy and Alex and Sage can’t wait for their summer adventures. They quickly learn that even though they are superhero cadets, villains will try everything to ruin their holiday. With the help of the Vigilantes, Alex and Sage will stop at nothing to get their summer back! Recommended for all ages.

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 calling 860.486.8580, or online at 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 open seating, and no reservations. Visitors can park in the Storrs Center Garage located at 33 Royce Circle. Parking in the Storrs Center Garage is free for the first two hours and $1 per hour thereafter, with a daily maximum charge of $8. For more information about these performances, visit bimp.uconn.edu or call 860.486.8580.