Month: November 2021

“Anansi: Story-teller” by String Theory Theater on 12/4 at 11 AM ET

Anansi set

As its last 2021 Fall Puppet Performance, the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry at the University of Connecticut will present Anansi: Story-teller by Baltimore’s String Theory Theater on Saturday, Dec. 4 at 11 a.m. ET via Zoom. 

String Theory Theater presents a fresh take on the famous trickster spider from West Africa folk tales. Anansi is charged with weaving together all of the stories of life on earth and relaying the stories to the sky gods. Daunted by what seems like a never-ending task, Anansi seeks to simplify his effort with an innovative solution, which leads to unexpected results.

String Theory Theater (STT) is a family puppet troupe based in Baltimore MD, consisting of artist Dirk Joseph and his daughters Koi and Azaria. They create and perform shows for families to enjoy together, as well as adult-themed productions. STT is also involved in community arts, using puppetry as a healing and connective cultural technology in some of Baltimore’s underserved communities. 

Ticket price: $10/household. Tickets can be purchased online at bimp.ticketleap.com/anansi-stt/. 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.

“Contemporary Puppetry in Puerto Rico” Online Forum on 12/2 at 7 PM ET

For its last installment of the 2021 Fall Puppet Forum Series, and in conjunction with the Hecho en Puerto Rico: Four Generations of Puerto Rican Puppetry exhibition, the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry at the University of Connecticut will host “Contemporary Puppetry in Puerto Rico” with exhibit co-curators Dr. Manuel Morán and Deborah Hunt, and puppeteers Pedro Adorno, and Tere Marichal on Thursday, Dec. 2 at 7 p.m. ET. This forum will take place on Zoom (registration required: us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_KmxoQCIeTmaJxfBlVgr0Ew) and Facebook Live (facebook.com/BallardInstitute/) and will be available afterwards on Facebook and the Ballard Institute YouTube Channel (youtube.com/channel/UC3VSthEDnYS6ZjOwzT1DnTg). This event is co-sponsored by the UConn Puerto Rican and Latin American Cultural Center (PRLACC) and El Instituto: Institute of Latina/o, Caribbean, and Latin American Studies.

The Contemporary Puppetry in Puerto Rico forum, moderated by Ballard Institute director John Bell, will consider the history of the form in Puerto Rico, as presented in Hunt and Morán’s Hecho en Puerto Rico: Four Generations of Puerto Rican Puppetry exhibition, and the ways that puppetry in Puerto Rico has pursued educational, entertainment, cultural, and activist goals over the past fifty years. “Contemporary Puppetry in Puerto Rico” will also discuss the situation of Puerto Rican puppetry today and its possibilities for the future.

Pedro Adorno is co-founder and artistic director of Agua, Sol y Sereno. He is a theater and film director and works as an actor, visual artist, educator and stilt man. Agua, Sol y Sereno, founded by Pedro Adorno and Cathy Vigo in 1993, is a non-profit organization that promotes the development of Puerto Rican experimental theater and the democratization of art to all sectors of the population. It links artistic work to social reality through pieces that explore a broad aesthetic range, parades with stilters and big heads puppets, creative workshops, and community residences.

Deborah Hunt has lived and worked as a mask maker, mask and object theatre performance artist since 1973, creating and presenting original theatre works, performances and festivals or encounters in the South Pacific, the Caribbean, Europe, and Asia. Born and raised in Aotearoa New Zealand, she has been based in Borikén/Puerto Rico since 1990, where she founded Maskhunt Motions, a nomadic laboratory for experimental object theatre work. Hunt teaches mask work and puppetry in communities worldwide, in a practice exploring puppetry in public and private spaces. Her work ranges in scale from the miniature to creating giant puppets that transform into peepshows. She has created encounters and festivals to promote puppetry for adult audiences and published mask and puppetry manuals in Spanish and English. She is interested in performing in unconventional places and to very intimate audiences. Hunt characterizes her work as “theatre of the useless.” 

Tere Marichal began studying theater in 1971 in Theatron de P.R. with Victoria Espinosa. In 1974 she went to Spain and studied at Instituto de Teatro de Barcelona and began to create paper marionettes. In 1976 she began her workshop on creating puppets from solid waste and began writing for the theater in 1977. In 1985 Marichal was awarded the René Marqués Prize for her play, The Night Gods Hours. In addition to being a playwright, Marichal is also an accomplished television writer (two EMMY awards), storyteller, performer, illustrator and puppeteer. She works on her own offering workshops, writing and illustrating and narrating. Marichal works with the narration techniques Kaavad, Kamishibai, Damarkurung, Cantastoria, Blankets and Story boxes (puppets and story) and offers workshops on these techniques. For her work with environmental stories and environmental education, she received the national award from the EPA. Marichal integrates puppets and storytelling and has been developing the art of oral storytelling in Puerto Rico since 2000, and at this time, she is the only storyteller representing Puerto Rico at international festivals. Marichal has offered two intensive seminars on kamishibai technique (Japanese oral storytelling technique) sponsored by the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture and the NEA. 

Dr. Manuel Morán (www.manuelmoran.com) was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and studied at the University of Puerto Rico and New York University, where he earned a doctorate degree in Educational Theater. He is the Founder, CEO and Artistic Director of Society of the Educational Arts, Inc. (SEA). A writer, director, and producer for theater, television, and film, he is also an actor, singer and composer, and created the International Puppet Fringe Festival of NYC in 2018. He is a former Vice-President (2012-2021) of UNIMA (Union Internationale de la Marionnette). His three-part documentary film Títeres en el Caribe Hispano/Puppetry in the Caribbean premiered at the Havana Film Festival in Cuba in 2016 and has been screened in festivals around the world. Dr. Morán’s theater and literary work has been published in Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the United States, including his books Migrant Theater for Children: A Caribbean in New York (2016), and Mantequilla/Butter; Adventures and Tribulations of a Puerto Rican Boy (2017). He is currently starring in the web series El Avión The Airplane (www.elaviontheairplane.com), and is the proud dad of Manuel Gabriel, with whom he lives in New York City and San Juan, Puerto Rico. 

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

Títeres contemporáneas Comunicado de Prensa

Hecho en Puerto Rico: Four Generations of Puerto Rican Puppetry

On display through May 7, 2022

This exhibition is co-sponsored by the UConn Puerto Rican and Latin American Cultural Center (PRLACC) and El Instituto: Institute of Latina/o, Caribbean, and Latin American Studies.

Hecho en Puerto Rico invites the spectator to discover over fifty years of puppet productivity, by four distinct generations of builders and performers in and from Puerto Rico. Although puppetry first appeared on the island of Puerto Rico in the 19th century, this exhibit is divided into four periods of creation from the 1960s to current times, demonstrating a shift in focus from purely educational content, to culturally and politically relevant themes, to a focus on adult audiences, and now into the current generation of emerging puppeteers. A young but thriving puppet movement, despite economic and political turmoil as well as natural disasters, Puerto Rican puppetry continues to evolve and grow.  

The exhibition highlights the work of such puppeteers and companies as Agua, Sol y Sereno; Brenda Plumey; Daniel y sus Muñecos; Deborah Hunt; Edward Cardenales; El Mundo de los Muñecos; José López; Luis Villafañe; Mario Donate; Mary Anne Hopgood; Papel Machete; Poncili Creación; Pura Belpré; Santin y sus Muñecos; Teatro SEA and Manuel Morán; Tere Marichal; Vueltabajo Teatro; and Y No Había Luz.

Deborah Hunt has lived and worked as a mask maker, mask and object theatre performance artist since 1973, creating and presenting original theatre works, performances and festivals or encounters in the South Pacific, the Caribbean, Europe, and Asia. Born and raised in Aotearoa New Zealand, she has been based in Borikén/Puerto Rico since 1990, where she founded Maskhunt Motions, a nomadic laboratory for experimental object theatre work. Hunt teaches mask work and puppetry in communities worldwide, in a practice exploring puppetry in public and private spaces. Her work ranges in scale from the miniature to creating giant puppets that transform into peepshows. She has created encounters and festivals to promote puppetry for adult audiences and published mask and puppetry manuals in Spanish and English. She is interested in performing in unconventional places and to very intimate audiences. Hunt characterizes her work as “theatre of the useless.” 

Dr. Manuel Morán (www.manuelmoran.com) was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and studied at the University of Puerto Rico and New York University, where he earned a doctorate degree in Educational Theater. He is the Founder, CEO and Artistic Director of Society of the Educational Arts, Inc. (www.teatrosea.org). A writer, director, and producer for theater, television, and film, he is also an actor, singer and composer, and created the International Puppet Fringe Festival of NYC in 2018. He is a former Vice-President (2012-2021) of UNIMA (Union Internationale de la Marionnette). His three-part documentary film Títeres en el Caribe Hispano/Puppetry in the Caribbean premiered at the Havana Film Festival in Cuba in 2016 and has been screened in festivals around the world. Dr. Morán’s theater and literary work has been published in Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the United States, including his books Migrant Theater for Children: A Caribbean in New York (2016), and Mantequilla/Butter; Adventures and Tribulations of a Puerto Rican Boy (2017). He is currently starring in the web series El Avión The Airplane (www.elaviontheairplane.com), and is the proud dad of Manuel Gabriel, with whom he lives in New York City and San Juan, Puerto Rico. 

 

The Pura Belpré Project by Teatro SEA on 11/20

As part of its 2021 Fall virtual programming and in conjunction with the opening of Hecho en Puerto Rico: Four Generations of Puerto Rican Puppetry, the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry at the University of Connecticut is pleased to present The Pura Belpré Project by Teatro SEA on November 20 at 11 a.m. ET via Zoom. This event is co-sponsored by UConn’s Puerto Rican and Latin American Cultural Center (PRLACC).

Pura Belpré (1901-1982) was a talented author, collector of folktales, puppeteer, and storyteller who wrote and reinterpreted Puerto Rican folk tales. As the first Puerto Rican librarian in the New York Public Library system, she pioneered many programs for the Latino community. Teatro SEA’s The Pura Belpré Project is a re-enactment of her legendary “Bilingual Story Hour.” Her famous tales–Pérez & Martina, Juan Bobo, and The Three Magi–come to life in a creative and interactive experience that combines storytelling with puppets! Recommended for pre-k to 3rd grade. This is a bi-lingual performance.  

Established in 1985, SEA (Society of the Educational Arts, Inc.), is the premiere bilingual arts-in-education organization and Latino children’s theater in the United States. SEA has created and produced a combination of educational theater productions and art workshops/programs specifically designed to examine, challenge, and create possible solutions for current educational, social, and community issues. Its internationally celebrated programs include school, outdoor, community, and mainstage performances, workshops, and residencies, among others, reaching over 75,000 children and young adults every year. The organization, established by Dr. Manuel A. Morán, currently has offices in San Juan, New York, and Florida. Teatro SEA has its performance space at the Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural and Educational Center on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

Ticket price: $10/household. Tickets can be purchased online at bimp.ticketleap.com/pura-belpre/. 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.

El Proyecto Pura Belpré Comunicado de Prensa

Opening of Hecho en Puerto Rico: Four Generations of Puerto Rican Puppetry on 11/18

The Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry at the University of Connecticut will present the grand opening of its new exhibition Hecho en Puerto Rico: Four Generations of Puerto Rican Puppetry, curated by Dr. Manuel Morán and Deborah Hunt, on Thursday, Nov. 18, 2021, with a virtual tour led by the curators on Ballard Institute Facebook Live that day at 5 p.m. ET. The exhibition will be on display through May 8, 2021 at the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry, located at 1 Royce Circle, Storrs, CT 06268. This exhibition is co-sponsored by the UConn Puerto Rican and Latin American Cultural Center (PRLACC) and El Instituto: Institute of Latina/o, Caribbean, and Latin American Studies.

Hecho en Puerto Rico invites the spectator to discover over fifty years of puppet productivity, by four distinct generations of builders and performers in and from Puerto Rico. Although puppetry first appeared on the island of Puerto Rico in the 19th century, this exhibit is divided into four periods of creation from the 1960s to current times, demonstrating a shift in focus from purely educational content, to culturally and politically relevant themes, to a focus on adult audiences, and now into the current generation of emerging puppeteers. A young but thriving puppet movement, despite economic and political turmoil as well as natural disasters, Puerto Rican puppetry continues to evolve and grow.  

The exhibition highlights the work of such puppeteers and companies as Agua, Sol y Sereno; Brenda Plumey; Daniel y sus Muñecos; Deborah Hunt; Edward Cardenales; El Mundo de los Muñecos; José López; Luis Villafañe; Mario Donate; Mary Anne Hopgood; Papel Machete; Poncili Creación; Pura Belpré; Santin y sus Muñecos; Teatro SEA and Manuel Morán; Tere Marichal; Vueltabajo Teatro; and Y No Había Luz.

Deborah Hunt has lived and worked as a mask maker, mask and object theatre performance artist since 1973, creating and presenting original theatre works, performances and festivals or encounters in the South Pacific, the Caribbean, Europe, and Asia. Born and raised in Aotearoa New Zealand, she has been based in Borikén/Puerto Rico since 1990, where she founded Maskhunt Motions, a nomadic laboratory for experimental object theatre work. Hunt teaches mask work and puppetry in communities worldwide, in a practice exploring puppetry in public and private spaces. Her work ranges in scale from the miniature to creating giant puppets that transform into peepshows. She has created encounters and festivals to promote puppetry for adult audiences and published mask and puppetry manuals in Spanish and English. She is interested in performing in unconventional places and to very intimate audiences. Hunt characterizes her work as “theatre of the useless.” 

Dr. Manuel Morán (www.manuelmoran.com) was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and studied at the University of Puerto Rico and New York University, where he earned a doctorate degree in Educational Theater. He is the Founder, CEO and Artistic Director of Society of the Educational Arts, Inc. (www.teatrosea.org). A writer, director, and producer for theater, television, and film, he is also an actor, singer and composer, and created the International Puppet Fringe Festival of NYC in 2018. He is a former Vice-President (2012-2021) of UNIMA (Union Internationale de la Marionnette). His three-part documentary film Títeres en el Caribe Hispano/Puppetry in the Caribbean premiered at the Havana Film Festival in Cuba in 2016 and has been screened in festivals around the world. Dr. Morán’s theater and literary work has been published in Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the United States, including his books Migrant Theater for Children: A Caribbean in New York (2016), and Mantequilla/Butter; Adventures and Tribulations of a Puerto Rican Boy (2017). He is currently starring in the web series El Avión The Airplane (www.elaviontheairplane.com), and is the proud dad of Manuel Gabriel, with whom he lives in New York City and San Juan, Puerto Rico. 

In conjunction with the exhibition opening and as part of 2021 Fall Puppet Performance Series, the Ballard Institute will present a virtual performance of The Pura Belpré Project by Teatro SEA via Zoom on Saturday, Nov. 20 at 11 a.m. ET. To learn more and make a reservation, visit bimp.ticketleap.com. The Ballard Institute will also host Dr. Manuel Morán, Deborah Hunt, Pedro Adorno, and Tere Marichal for a 2021 Online Fall Puppet Forum titled “Contemporary Puppetry in Puerto Rico” on Thursday, Dec. 2 at 7 p.m. ET to discuss the situation of Puerto Rican puppetry today and its possibilities for the future.

Due to restrictions and safety precautions related to COVID-19, the museum will reopen on Nov. 19 on Wednesday through Saturday only, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., by reservation. Only one group of up to six visitors from a family or quarantine unit will be allowed in the museum at a time during each time slot. Face masks are required at all times when visiting the museum for ages two and up. Hand sanitizer is available throughout the museum and staff clean high-touch surfaces once per hour. To learn more about the Ballard Institute’s COVID-19 protocols and to reserve a time slot, visit: bimp.uconn.edu/visit/reservations/. Visitors may also reserve a time slot by calling 860.486.8580.

Hecho en Puerto Rico Comunicado de Prensa