“Puppetry and Production Design” Puppet Forum with Carl Sprague on 2/24 at 7 PM ET

For its first installment of the 2022 Spring Puppet Forum Series, the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry at the University of Connecticut will host “Puppetry and Production Design” with stage designer Carl Sprague on Thursday, Feb. 24 at 7 p.m. ET. This forum will take place on Zoom (registration required: us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_zrMzhIPuTeOEaY9FtCrsvw) and Facebook Live (facebook.com/BallardInstitute/) and will be available afterwards on Facebook and the Ballard Institute YouTube Channel (youtube.com/channel/UC3VSthEDnYS6ZjOwzT1DnTg).  

In a conversation with Ballard Institute Director John Bell, puppeteer and production designer Carl Sprague will discuss the nature of images, objects, and puppet performance, in such films as The French Dispatch, Twelve Years a Slave, Amistad, and La La Land, as well as his own work as a puppeteer of Czech marionettes. This forum is co-sponsored by UConn’s Krenicki Arts and Engineering Institute.

Carl Sprague got his start in performance and scene design at age eight – playing with the Czech family marionette theater originally created by his great-grandfather. He went on to work in theater and film, taking a degree in Film (and Philosophy!) at Harvard, which began him on a long career in production design. Notable theater companies he has designed for include Berkshire Theatre, Oldcastle Theatre Company, Mixed Company, Music-Theatre Group, Hubbard Hall Opera, Shakespeare & Company, Moscow Ballet, and the Albany Berkshire Ballet.

Carl’s professional film career has taken him from a long association with special effects wizard Douglas Trumbull to big and small Hollywood features, including Martin Scorsese’s Age of Innocence, The Social Network, Twelve Years a Slave, and Tesla. He is fortunate to have worked with Wes Anderson on six films, beginning with The Royal Tenenbaums, and including Grand Budapest Hotel and The French Dispatch. He has designed three features with Maya Forbes and Wally Wolodarsky. Documentary master Errol Morris has also called on him, and Woody Allen tapped him to design his series for Amazon. Carl’s sets for photographer Gregory Crewdson have been featured in the New York Times.

Carl continues to play with puppets.

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