“Direction and Collaboration: Making Theater with Actors and Puppets” on 4/12 at 7 p.m.

As part of the 2018 Spring Puppet Forum Series, the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry will present a discussion with director Madeline Sayet and puppet designer Zach Broome entitled Direction and Collaboration: Making Theater with Actors and Puppets on Thursday, April 12, 2018 at 7 p.m. in the Ballard Institute Theater, located at 1 Royce Circle in Storrs Center.

Exciting young director, writer, performer, and educator Madeline Sayet, together with puppet designer and UConn Puppet Arts graduate student Zachary Broome discuss puppetry and the collaborative process in the making of Connecticut Repertory Theatre’s production of Qui Nguyen’s play She Kills Monsters, a performance which integrates traditional acting as well as elaborate costumes and puppets. This forum is co-sponsored by the Connecticut Repertory Theatre. 

She Kills Monsters, which runs from March 22 to March 31 at UConn’s Studio Theatre, finds an intriguing balance between comedy and themes of death and loss, while appealing to the geek in us all. After the loss of her little sister Tilly in a car accident, Agnes attempts to get to know her better through the Dungeons and Dragons notebook she left behind. Immersed in a wild adventure of a fantasy world full of monsters, homicidal fairies and elves, and 90s pop culture, Agnes learns more about her sister and the misunderstood gaming world she was a part of before she was abruptly taken away. Find out more and buy tickets by visiting crt.uconn.edu.

Madeline Sayet is a director of new plays, classics and opera, and was just named to Forbes magazine’s “30 under 30” List of “youthful visionaries” for 2018 in the category of Hollywood & Entertainment. She is a TED Fellow, MIT Media Lab Director’s Fellow, an O’Neill/Kennedy Center/NNPN National Directing Fellow and a Ph.D. candidate at the Shakespeare Institute (Stratford-upon-Avon, UK), where she is writing about Native representation in 21st-century Shakespearean performance and the long history from which it stems. Sayet was the Resident Director at Amerinda (American Indian Artists) Inc. in New York from 2013-2016 where she developed new plays by Native playwrights and launched the Native American Shakespeare Ensemble. In 2011, she received The White House Champion of Change Award from President Barack Obama for her work as a writer, director, performer, and educator. Her work uses minimalist magical realism to interrogate questions of gendering and indigenous perspectives, and to reimagine classic plays to give voice to those that have been silenced. You can read more at www.madelinesayet.com.

Zach Broome is a graduate student pursuing an MFA degree in Puppet Arts at UConn. He has a background in technical theater and visual art and enjoys designing and fabricating puppets. Two of his puppets recently appeared in the gallery exhibit at the National Puppetry Festival in St. Paul, Minnesota. Zach hopes to find work that allows him to blend his love for puppetry, art, and traditional theater.

Admission to this event is free (donations greatly appreciated!), and refreshments will be served. Come early, and visit our new “American Puppet Modernism: The Early 20th Century” exhibition, 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.