“American Puppet Modernism” Forum on 3/1 at 7 p.m.

As part of the 2018 Spring Puppet Forum Series, the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry at the University of Connecticut will present a discussion with Steve Abrams, John Bell, and Bart. P. Roccoberton, Jr. entitled American Puppet Modernism: The Early 20th Century on Thursday, March 1, 2018 at 7 p.m. in the Ballard Institute Theater, located at 1 Royce Circle in Storrs Center.

Puppetry Journal editor Steve Abrams, UConn Puppet Arts Program Director Bart. P. Roccoberton, Jr., and Ballard Institute Director John Bell discuss the fascinating discoveries and innovations of early 20th-century puppetry in the U.S., from cross-country touring shows to inflatable puppets and avant-garde operas. This forum is presented in conjunction with the Ballard Institute exhibition American Puppet Modernism: The Early 20th Century, which will be on display from Feb. 22 – July 1, 2018.

Steve Abrams became Editor of Puppetry Journal in 2016 after 16 years as Associate Editor, and is also the North American Editor of the World Encyclopedia of Puppetry Arts. Abrams has served as the President of Puppeteers of America, and was a delegate to the 20th international puppetry congress in Perth, Australia. He is a recipient of the George Latshaw Award for writing about puppetry. 

Bart. P. Roccoberton, Jr. is the Director of the University of Connecticut’s Puppet Arts Program, a unique offering in the United States, granting BFA, MA, and MFA degrees in the Art of Puppetry. His professional projects include work in film, television and the stage, including Broadway. He serves the National Puppetry Conference at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center as Director of Production. Roccoberton is recognized internationally as an advocate for the puppet arts in the United States.

John Bell is Director of the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry and an Associate Professor of Dramatic Arts at the University of Connecticut. He is a founding member of Great Small Works theater company, and was a member of the Bread and Puppet Theater from 1975 to 1985. He earned his Ph.D. in theater history from Columbia University in 1993. Bell is the author of American Puppet Modernism (2008); edited Puppets, Masks, and Performing Objects (2001); and co-edited The Routledge Companion to Puppetry and Material Performance (2014). He has been a contributing editor of Puppetry International since 1994.

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. This forum will be broadcast via Facebook Live. Call 860-486-8580 for more information or visit bimp.uconn.edu.