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The University of Connecticut (UConn) is a public research university in the U.S. state of Connecticut. UConn was founded in 1881 and is a Land Grant and Sea Grant college & member of the Space Grant Consortium. The university serves more than 30,000 students on its six campuses, including more than 8,000 graduate students in multiple programs.

“Women in Puppetry” Forum on 9/13 at 7 p.m.

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As part of the 2018 Fall Puppet Forum Series, the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry at the University of Connecticut will present a discussion with Dey Hernández Vázquez, Clare Dolan, and Stephanie D’Abruzzo titled “Women In Puppetry: Identity, Gender, And Performance” on Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018 at 7 p.m. in the Ballard Institute Theater, located at 1 Royce Circle in Downtown Storrs.

In the first puppet forum of the season, co-sponsored by the UConn Women’s Center, three acclaimed puppeteers will discuss the situation of women in contemporary U.S. puppetry: architect and puppeteer Dey Hernández Vázquez; curator, director and puppeteer Clare Dolan; and voice actress, singer, and puppeteer Stephanie D’Abruzzo. Kathleen Holgerson, Director of the UConn Women’s Center, will moderate this forum.

Stephanie D’Abruzzo started her career as a Muppet Performer in 1993. Since then she has played more than 450 puppet and animated characters for film and television. In addition to her 25 seasons on Sesame Street, television highlights include puppetry for The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Julie’s Greenroom, Last Week Tonight With John Oliver, and Oobi, voiceovers for Nature Cat and Sheep in the Big City, and guest-starring on the musical episode of Scrubs. In addition to being a Tony and Drama Desk-nominated actress for Avenue Q, Stephanie is a 1993 graduate of Northwestern University, and 1991 Burger King Employee of the Month. www.stephaniedabruzzo.com.

Clare Dolan is a painter, director, and performer of cantastoria, toy theater, outdoor puppet pageantry, and stilt dancing – while simultaneously living a secret double life as a nurse in a small Vermont town. She’s a veteran of the Bread and Puppet Theater, co-curator of Banners and Cranks (an annual festival of cantastoria performance www.bannersandcranks.org) and Founder/Chief Operating Philosopher of The Museum of Everyday Life, an eight-year-old museum experiment in Glover, Vermont, whose goal is to explore, analyze and celebrate everyday life objects (www.museumofeverydaylife.org).

Deymirie (Dey) Hernández Vázquez is an architect, interdisciplinary artist, and educator. She holds a Master of Architecture from the University of Puerto Rico, and is a board member of the activist arts organization AgitArte. Issues of race, identity, language, and community are fundamental to her work. She is a teaching artist throughout the city of Boston and has designed and directed art workshops with AgitArte since 2008, and is also a puppeteer of the radical workers’ theater collective, Papel Machete. Dey was the art director and curator of the book When We Fight, We Win! and collaborates with Danza Orgánica, a social justice oriented dance theater company based in Boston.

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. For more information or to request an accommodation to attend this forum, please contact Ballard Institute staff at 860.486.8580.

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