For its first online 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 April 23 at 7 p.m. EST. This forum will take place on Facebook Live (facebook.com/BallardInstitute/) and will be available afterwards on Facebook and the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry YouTube Channel (youtube.com/channel/UC3VSthEDnYS6ZjOwzT1DnTg).
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 Connecticut Repertory Theatre’s production of Little Shop, which was cancelled due to COVID-19.
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 designed and fabricated puppets for Connecticut Repertory Theatre’s production of Little Shop of Horrors, whose performances were cancelled due to COVID-19. 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 (Anatar Marmol-Gagné).
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 worked as dramaturg and puppetry coach for CRT’s production of Little Shop of Horrors, and would have puppeteered in the show. 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).
For more information, please contact Ballard Institute staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.