School of Fine ArtsBallard Institute and Museum of Puppetry
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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.

Online Event! “Object Performance in African American Theater History” with Dr. Paulette Richards on 6/4 at 4 p.m.


Join the Ballard Institute for our first Summer 2020 Online Puppet Forum Series event on Facebook Live! These forums, hosted by Ballard Institute director and puppet historian John Bell, will consist of discussions with notable scholars and practitioners around the world about the past, present, and future of puppetry and puppetry studies.  

On June 4, Dr. Paulette Richards will speak with John Bell about “Object Performance in African American Theater History”. Object performance has been a central element of African dramatic spectacle, and African American theater has been attempting to reclaim many elements of African drama ever since William Alexander Brown opened the African Grove Theatre in New York City in 1821. How do puppetry and object performance continue to function in African American performance?

Paulette Richards is an independent researcher and teaching artist who uses animatronic puppetry to introduce K-12 students to basic robotics concepts. She has taught animatronic puppetry workshops at Decatur Makers, the Dekalb County Public Library, the Center for Puppetry Arts, and the Puppeteers of America 2017 National Festival. She served as co-curator with Dr. John Bell of the Ballard Institute and Museum’s Living Objects: African American Puppetry exhibit and was recently elected to the UNIMA-USA board.

Forums will be available afterwards on our Facebook page and YouTube channel.


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