2020 Fall Puppet Forum: “Out of the Shadows: the Henson International Puppet Festivals” with Leslee Asch on 9/17 at 7 p.m.

For its first online installment of the 2020 Fall Puppet Forum Series the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry at the University of Connecticut will host “Out of the Shadows: the Henson International Puppet Festivals” with Leslee Asch on September 17 at 7 p.m. ET. 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 puppeteer Leslee Asch and Ballard Institute Director John Bell for an in-depth discussion about her new book Out of the Shadows: The Henson Festivals And Their Impact on Contemporary Puppet Theater. Between 1992 and 2000, the Jim Henson Foundation hosted five International Festivals of Puppet Theater in New York City, and developed a national touring program. The Jim Henson Foundation’s International Puppet Festivals brought puppet theater into mainstream American theater. Leslee Asch served as Producing Director, working with Jim’s daughter Cheryl, who served as Executive Producer, to present five award-winning festivals that would equal European festivals and put U.S. puppet artists on the international stage. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the last Henson Festival and the 30th Anniversary of Jim Henson’s death. Taking this timely opportunity for reflection and drawing from a wealth of first-hand experience, in Out of the Shadows Asch presents a visually rich narrative of the festivals and their continued legacy, including a comprehensive look at the contemporary puppet theater landscape. This forum is co-sponsored by the UConn Arts Leadership and Cultural Management program (sfa.uconn.edu/arts-leadership-cultural-mgmt/).

Leslee Asch began her career as a puppet builder and went on to serve as the Director of Exhibitions for Jim Henson Productions, curating and managing exhibitions world-wide. Asch later worked as the Executive Director of the Jim Henson Foundation and Producing Director of the Henson International Festivals of Puppet Theater. Asch has been a long-time trustee of the Jim Henson Foundation. She is a recognized expert in the field and has published articles and catalogs on the subject, including The Art of Contemporary Puppet Theater, for the Katonah Museum of Art.

For more information and to learn about other online programming, email bimp@uconn.edu.