School of Fine ArtsBallard Institute and Museum of Puppetry
About Us

You can add a brief statement here briefly describing your office, school, or group. For example:

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.

Join us for Puppet-Building Workshops on Facebook Live!


While the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry is closed through mid-May, we still want to bring you exciting puppetry-related events online!

We will offer short, puppet-building and craft workshops via Facebook Live every Wednesday and Friday at 2 p.m. EST!

Upcoming Workshops:

Wednesday, 4/8: “Paper Shadows Workshop” with Tracy Becker
Make and perform simple paper shadow puppets with materials you already have at home! Recommended ages: 6+
Materials needed:
-light source (flashlight recommended, but a lamp or phone light will also work)
-wall or floor space to project shadows
-handles for the puppets (this can be skewers, chopsticks, pencils, straws, popsicle sticks)
-tape or glue to attach handles
-markers, crayons, or colored pencils can be fun but aren’t required
-white fabric (can be hung up to make a shadow screen, but isn’t required )
-optional to play with: Any object that might have an interesting shadow
-pastic wrap and markers are optional supplies to use as an alternative to lighting gel
Friday, 4/10: “Anything Can Be A Puppet! Object Performance Exploration!” with Felicia Cooper
Use household objects to explore movement, expression, and storytelling! We’ll discover movement patterns and gesture, working towards character development. Recommended ages: 6+
Materials needed:
-anything around you- check in with a grown up if it doesn’t belong to you!

Past Workshops:

Wednesday, 3/25:  “Paper Puppets” led by Ballard Institute graduate assistant and UConn Puppet Arts student Felicia Cooper

Using paper, tape, and scissors, create fun and funky characters! Recommended ages: 4+

Materials needed: paper, tape, scissors, markers, crayons, pencils



Friday, 3/27: “Fun Toy Theater Workshop!” with Ballard Institute Director John Bell

Make and perform a miniature 2-D puppet spectacle about anything your heart desires, using household materials and re-purposed images. See Great Small Works’ “Short, Entertaining History of Toy Theater” here: Recommended ages: 7+


Materials needed:
-a cardboard box (any size will do; small is good)
-cardboard (cereal box cardboard is best)
-colored paper
-images from magazines, newspapers, or the internet
-gluestick or white glue
-coathanger wire, barbecue skewers, pencils, or other like objects
-if you want to get fancy: hot glue gun, pliers, string or fishline

Wednesday, 4/1: Simple Dinosaur Marionette Workshop led by UConn Puppet Arts graduate student Abby Bosley

Make a simple dinosaur or dragon string puppet using things you have laying around your home. Recommended ages:  7+ (adult help may be required as there may be poking sharp things into paper or plastic cups)


Materials needed:
-2 toilet paper rolls (or a paper towel roll cut in half) or 2 paper cups (plastic also works)
-string, yarn, or ribbon
-popsicle sticks, straws, sticks, or pencils
-something for feet like bottle caps from soda bottles, washers, buttons, beads
-masking tape
-hole punch
-anything else to decorate your puppet (pipe cleaners, beads, tissue paper, fabric, etc)
-hot glue is optional

Friday, 4/3: Hand Shadows Workshop led by UConn Puppet Arts student Tracy Becker

Have you ever made hand shadows on a wall? Learn how to create hand shadow shows with shadow people, animals, and more! Recommended ages 5+



Materials needed (besides your hands!):
-light source (flashlight, phone light, or lamp will all work, as long as the light is projected somewhere)
-wall or floor space to project shadows
-paper and scissors is helpful for some puppets, but not required

Follow the Ballard Institute on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram for updates on upcoming performances, forums, and workshops online!


About Author

Comments are closed.