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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.

CANCELLED: “Puppets and Little Shop of Horrors” with Martin P. Robinson on 3/26 at 7 p.m.

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For its second installment of the 2020 Spring Puppet Forum Series the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry at the University of Connecticut will host “Puppets and Little Shop of Horrors” with Martin P. Robinson and UConn Puppet Arts graduate students Robert Ian Cutler and K. William Smith on Thursday, March 26 at 7 p.m. at the Ballard Institute Theater, located at 1 Royce Circle in Downtown Storrs.

Join famed Sesame Street puppeteer Martin P. Robinson and UConn Puppet Arts graduate students Robert Ian Cutler and K. William Smith in a discussion of puppetry and Little Shop of Horrors. Robinson, who designed, built, and performed all of the Audrey II puppets for the original Off-Broadway production of Little Shop, as well as for its Broadway incarnation, will talk with Cutler and Smith about the design and performance of puppets for the professional stage, in the context of Smith and Cutler’s work on the upcoming Connecticut Repertory Theatre’s April 23-May 3 production of Little Shop. Special ticket discounts for the CRT production will be available at this event!

Martin P. Robinson has written, designed, directed, and performed for Broadway, film, and television for many years, including such productions as Little Shop of Horrors, Muppets Take Manhattan, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Sesame Street, Allegra’s Window, and more. He has performed on Sesame Street as Mr. Snuffleupagus, Telly Monster, Slimey, and other characters since 1981. He acts as a Sesame Street International Senior Muppet Coordinator/Teacher in numerous countries worldwide. He recently wrote, designed, and directed the musical All Hallows Eve in New York City, and is currently performing as Mr. Primm in the Apple+ production Helpsters.

William Smith is a second-year UConn Puppet Arts MFA candidate. He received his BFA in puppetry at West Virginia University. Will is designing and fabricating new puppets for Connecticut Repertory Theatre’s upcoming production of Little Shop of Horrors. Will has worked as a staff member at the National Puppetry Conference at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center, as a resident artist at WVU, and has been featured as puppeteer for various productions over his career. Favorites include Dr. Stein: A Puppet Prometheus (WVU), Spacebus 9 (UConn MFA Project),  and Calle Allende (Black Cherry Puppet Theatre).

Robert Ian Cutler is a second-year UConn Puppet Arts MFA candidate. Rob came to UConn following a career in Philadelphia as an actor, carpenter, improvisor, and puppeteer. Rob will be performing the puppets for CRT’s upcoming production of Little Shop of Horrors, as well as serving the production as dramaturg. Favorite credits include Spacebus 9 (UConn MFA project), Puppets: Here and There (ComedySportz Philly), Welcome to Ahnedonia (Monkey Boys Productions) and Waterbears in Space (Transmissions Theatre).  

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. 

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