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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.

“Milo the Magnificent” by Alex & Olmsted on 3/27 at 4 p.m. ET

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As part of its 2021 Spring virtual programming, the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry at the University of Connecticut is pleased to present Milo the Magnificent by the Maryland-based company Alex & Olmsted on March 27, 2021 at 4 p.m. ET via Zoom.

Milo the Magnificent is a highly engaging puppet show about an aspiring magician. This wordless comedy, the winner of a Jim Henson Foundation Grant, is inspired by turn of the century vaudeville entertainers, is as highly physical as it is charming. Using stunningly innovative puppetry, Milo presents a variety of magic tricks which don’t always go as planned. Great for all ages! This performance lasts approximately 40 minutes and will include time for questions and answers with Alex & Olmsted after the show. 

In a review for the New York Times, Laurel Graeber wrote, “Milo is a bit of a cardboard character, but you can’t blame him for that. He’s a puppet: specifically, a huge cutout fellow, whose arms, hands and feet belong to one of his creators, and whose changing facial expressions are recorded on flippable circular cards. The duo Alex & Olmsted—Alex Vernon and Sarah Olmsted Thomas—invented his world, which includes other puppets made of cleverly repurposed materials. Milo […] aspires to be an illusionist, and while his tricks and experiments rarely work out as planned, children will still find them magical.” 

Alex and Olmsted (Alex Vernon and Sarah Olmsted Thomas) is an internationally acclaimed puppet theater company. In recent years, they have toured abroad at the Festival of Wonder in Denmark, the Puppet Festival Chuncheon in South Korea, the Festival de Casteliers in Montréal, and The Festival of Animated Objects in Calgary. In the United States, they have played Symphony Space in New York City, the Detroit Institute of Arts in Michigan, the Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta, and Black Cherry Puppet Theater in Baltimore, among others. Alex and Olmsted was recently awarded the 2020 State Independent Artist Award for Performing Arts from the Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC), the highest honor for performing artists in the State of Maryland and an award that is only given once in the lifetime of an artist or group. Their puppet show, Milo the Magnificent, was awarded a 2017 Jim Henson Foundation Grant, a Greenbelt Community Foundation Grant, and received an excellent mention in the New York Times. They were awarded a second Jim Henson Foundation Grant to further develop their outer space show, Marooned! A Space Comedy. Alex & Olmsted is a resident company at Baltimore Theatre Project. Vernon and Thomas are also proud company members of Happenstance Theater with whom they have created 10 productions since 2012.

Ticket price: $10/household. Tickets can be purchased online at bimp.ticketleap.com/milo-the-magnificent-virtual/. A surcharge will be added to online purchases. Attendees should purchase one ticket per household. While we ask for a minimum payment of $10/household, we greatly appreciate any additional support! A Zoom link will be emailed to households one hour before the performance. 

For more information about these performances or if you require an accommodation to attend this event, please contact Ballard Institute staff at 860-486-8580 or bimp@uconn.edu.

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