2018 UConn Winter Puppet Slam on 1/26 at 8 p.m.

The Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry and the UConn Puppet Arts Program will present the 2018 UConn Winter Puppet Slam on Friday, Jan. 26, 2018 at 8 p.m. in UConn’s Studio Theatre located at 802 Bolton Road, Storrs, Conn. 06269. The UConn Winter Puppet Slam will feature short works by professional puppeteers and performers from around New England, including Bonnie Duncan, Jim Napolitano, John O’Donnell, and Paul Spirito, as well as new works for puppet and object theater by students from UConn’s School of Fine Arts.

UConn Puppet Slams provide an opportunity for established artists and neophyte students alike to try out new and experimental work in all areas of object performance before an audience eager to experience exciting puppetry in all its forms. The 2018 Winter Slam will include Boston-based dancer and puppeteer Bonnie Duncan performing Seraphina, a dark and sexy love story between two hands, presented on a table top. Popular Connecticut-based puppeteer Jim Napolitano (a UConn Puppet Arts alumnus) will perform I Hate Brenda using an innovative projection format, “Way Yang Zerox,” that Napolitano invented with fellow puppeteer Tim Lagasse. Napolitano will also present Bedtime Story with Uncle Nappy, a cautionary tale of procreation. Paul Spirito, UConn Puppet Arts technical supervisor and director of online programs, will be experimenting with combining poetry with objects from the natural world. New media artist John O’Donnell, professor of printmaking in UConn’s Department of Art and Art History, will present Ghost of a Wall, a timely performance piece with elaborate costumes, music, and stacks of boxes. The UConn Winter Puppet Slam will also feature new works by UConn graduate and undergraduate students studying puppetry, digital animation, and stop-motion filmmaking. Funding for the UConn Winter Puppet Slam is made possible in part by the HBH Fund, created by Heather Henson.

The UConn Winter Puppet Slam is free and open to the public; donations are greatly appreciated. Seating is limited and is on a first-come, first served basis. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. The event will take place in UConn’s Studio Theatre located at 802 Bolton Rd, Storrs, Conn. For directions to the Studio Theatre, visit crt.uconn.edu/directions/. These performances are recommended for mature audiences. For more information, call the Ballard Institute at 860-486-8580, visit bimp.uconn.edu, or email us at bimp@uconn.edu.