“ISH” by Felicia Cooper, March 19-21

The Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry and the UConn Puppet Arts Program present ISH, an MFA performance by UConn Puppet Arts graduate student Felicia Cooper, co-sponsored by the Mansfield Downtown Partnership. This 45-minute, family-friendly puppet show will be performed outdoors on March 19, 20, and 21 at 7 p.m. in Betsy Paterson Square in Downtown Storrs. These outdoors shows will be socially distanced and follow State of Connecticut COVID-19 safety protocols. The performance will also be streamed on March 21 at 7 p.m. on Ballard Institute’s Facebook Live (facebook.com/BallardInstitute/) in celebration of World Puppetry Day.
This show is a whale of a time and a (very) loose homage to New England’s own Moby-Dick, if Ishmael was a hyper-curious eleven-year-old girl and the whale was a little friendlier! With the help of her stuck submarine, Ish explores her perspective in isolated circumstances, a maker’s approach, and our relationship to the ocean. Join us underwater for shadow puppets, object performance, and three-dimensional cantastoria as we search for a whale from right where we are.
Suitable for kids 6-11, ISH uses shadow puppets from an overhead projector, object performance in a suitcase, and original music from Juliana Carr. Calling on traditional performance techniques updated with new technology, this kick in the pants to Melville will spark curiosity in kids and parents alike. ISH uses technology as performance and performance as technology. This story is filled with creative problem solving and shifting perspectives. We want to encourage kids to use their imagination, take a step back, and try on new ideas! This show is supported by the Marks Family Endowment in Fine Arts, Connecticut Sea Grant, and the UConn Women’s League. 
Felicia Cooper is a third-year MFA candidate studying Puppet Arts at the University of Connecticut, with a BA in Theater from Point Park University. At UConn she moderated the Ballard Institute’s forum on Women in Puppetry, organized the inaugural Women in Making Forum with the Learning Community Innovation Zone, and presented research at the 2019 National Puppetry Festival. She has performed with Bread and Puppet Theater, Puppet Bucket Productions, and at the Eugene O’Neill National Puppetry Conference. She has held artistic residencies with the New Hazlett Theater, PearlArts, folkLAB, the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Creative ReUse, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, and Propel Schools. She loves giving tours and workshops and sharing her exuberance for puppetry in all its forms.
Admission is free, but due to COVID-19 safety precautions, seating reservations must be made in advance by visiting bimp.ticketleap.com/ish-by-felicia-cooper/. This event is being offered in accordance with State of Connecticut reopening guidelines, including the Phase III sector rules for outdoor events. For safety, six feet of space will be required between seated family groups and masks are required for all attendees, staff, and volunteers ages two and up. There will be limited, socially-distanced seating available based on family or quarantine units. Chairs will be made available, but groups are encouraged to bring blankets. Hand sanitizer will be available at the entrance and exit of the seating area. Please note that public restrooms are not available. To learn more about the Ballard Institute’s COVID-19 protocols and to reserve seats visit: bimp.ticketleap.com/ish-by-felicia-cooper/
For more information, or if you require an accommodation to attend this event, please contact Ballard Institute staff at 860.486.8580 or bimp@uconn.edu.