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.