Puppet Survival: The Art of Producing and Performing Puppet Shows with Crabgrass Puppet Theatre and Liz Joyce on 10/12 at 7 p.m.

As part of the 2017 Fall Puppet Forum Series, the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry at the University of Connecticut will present a discussion with Bonny Hall and Jamie Keithline of Crabgrass Puppet Theatre and Liz Joyce from Long Island’s Goat on a Boat Puppet Theatre titled Puppet Survival: The Art of Producing and Performing Puppet Shows on Thursday, October 12, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. in the Ballard Institute Theater, located at 1 Royce Circle in Storrs Center.

At the forum, the three speakers will consider the outlandish question of how puppeteers might possibly make a living by practicing their age-old arts in the 21st century. Join in on a lively and detailed discussion about economics, small-business survival, entrepreneurship, and the fascinating worlds of contemporary puppetry.

Jamie Keithline ’80 (SFA) and Bonny Hall ’81 (SFA) met in 1979 while studying at the University of Connecticut. After graduation, they both toured with Bart. P. Roccoberton, Jr. (now Director of UConn’s Puppet Arts Program) and the Pandemonium Puppet Company. In 1982 Bonny and Jamie moved to San Francisco and started their own company, Puppetwork of San Francisco. After moving back to the Northeast in 1989, they renamed their company Crabgrass Puppet Theatre. Jamie and Bonny focus on creating puppet theater and performing for children’s and family audiences, with theaters, museums, and elementary schools as their primary markets. They have created 26 full-length productions, performed at dozens of regional, national, and international puppet festivals, and have been awarded two UNIMA-USA Citations of Excellence. Their production of The Pirate, the Princess and the Pea was named “Best Performance” of the Puppeteers of America 2015 National Festival.

Trained as a fine artist, Liz Joyce is also certified in K-12 Art Education. Her artistic approach to puppetry has been influenced by European traditions and the eccentric energy of New York’s downtown performance artists. She honed her carving skills working with traditional puppet carvers in Prague, Czech Republic. Liz’s puppet operetta, Sing a Song of Sixpence, was awarded an UNIMA-USA Citation. For the past 15 years Liz has hosted many talented puppeteers at Goat on a Boat Puppet Theatre in Sag Harbor, New York, where she is founder and artistic director. She recently served on the Board of Directors for the Jim Henson Foundation.

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. 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. Forums will be broadcast via Facebook Live. Call 860-486-8580 for more information.