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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.

“The Royal de Luxe Giants in Montreal” with Mark Sussman on 3/27 at 7 p.m.

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For its second installment of the 2019 Spring Puppet Forum Series, and as a part of 2019 UConn Gives activities, the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry at the University of Connecticut will host The Royal de Luxe Giants in Montreal: Poetics and Logistics in the Animation of Urban Space with Dr. Mark Sussman on Wednesday March 27 at 7 p.m. at the Ballard Institute Theater, located at 1 Royce Circle in Downtown Storrs. This event also takes place as part of the 2019 UConn Gives, a 36-hour giving initiative on March 27 and 28, where you can celebrate your favorite aspects of the University through giving. At this forum, attendees will have the opportunity to donate to the Ballard Institute, receive UConn giveaways, and make a puppet.

This presentation will discuss a rare 2017 appearance of the world-famous Royal de Luxe company in North America. Based in Nantes, France and led by director Jean-Luc Courcoult, the company comprises a large number of designers, mechanics, builders, and engineers who are also, by necessity, storytellers, performers, and community artists. Commissioned by various cities, the company tours the globe with a collection of giants: marionette-like figures operated by expertly trained teams of Lilliputian performers in a series of monumental and architectural interventions in the fabric of daily life.

Mark Sussman is a theatre artist, performance scholar, and a founding member of the Brooklyn-based collective Great Small Works. Dr. Sussman currently lives in Montreal, Quebec, where he is Associate Professor in the Department of Theatre at Concordia University, teaching courses in puppetry and performance studies. He is the founder of Café Concret, Montreal’s experimental puppetry cabaret series now in its 13th year, and is a member of the Canadian Consortium for Performance and Politics in the Americas. In 2019, he will be working again with Great Small Works on a new episode of the surreal news serial, The Toy Theater of Terror As Usual.

Upcoming 2019 Spring Puppet Forums include:

April 10: Holy Puppets: Performing Objects in the Middle Ages with Michelle Oing

From puppets of Christ to fire-breathing dragons, the medieval world was full of performing objects. In this talk, art historian Michelle Oing explores the ways in which puppets were used in late-medieval European culture to understand humanity’s place in the cosmos.

May 1: Wayang Puppet Theatre of Indonesia: Collective Creativity and Individual Agency with Matthew Cohen

This talk, illustrated by puppets from the unmatched Dr. Walter Angst and Sir Henry Angest Collection of Indonesian Puppets at Yale University Art Gallery, explores the dynamics of collective and individual agency in wayang during the colonial and postcolonial periods as a reflex of the changing world.

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. Forums will be broadcast via Facebook Live. For more information, or if you require an accommodation to attend a forum, please contact Ballard Institute staff at 860.486.8580 or bimp@uconn.edu. For more information about UConn Gives, visit givingday.uconn.edu.

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