“Puppetry, Ritual, and Performance in Turkey” Forum on 2/22

Join Ballard Institute Director John Bell in a discussion of his puppet performance, workshop, and exhibition projects at last fall’s Istanbul Biennial, in the first Ballard Institute 2023 Spring Puppet Forum: “Puppetry, Ritual, and Performance in Turkey: The Istanbul Biennial and Beyond” on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2023 at 7 p.m. at the Ballard Institute Theater, located at 1 Royce Circle in Downtown Storrs. 

In a conversation with Puppet Arts Interim Technical Supervisor Matthew Sorensen, Dr. Bell will discuss his work on Demons of Society, an outdoor Bread and Puppet Theater pageant production, as well as his two Biennial exhibitions—Annals of Object Performance: Puppetry, Street Performance, and Activism, and Peter Schumann’s Bedsheet Paintings; and his work with theater and arts organizations in Diyarbakir, Kurdistan. Dr. Bell’s talk will touch on the history of Turkey as a center of puppet and object performance from the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires to the present, and the ongoing challenges Turkish artists and performers face living and working within an authoritarian society.

Admission to this event is free (donations greatly appreciated!), and refreshments will be served. Forums will be broadcast via Ballard Institute Facebook Live (facebook.com/BallardInstitute). For more information or if you require accommodation to attend a forum, please contact Ballard Institute staff at 860.486.8580 or bimp@uconn.edu

About the Speaker

Puppeteer and historian John Bell is Director of the Ballard Institute and Associate Professor of Dramatic Arts at the University of Connecticut. A member of the Bread and Puppet Theater company from 1976 to 1986, he received his Ph.D. in theater history from Columbia University in 1993. 1993. He is the author of American Puppet Modernism: Essays on the Material World in Performance and co-editor of The Routledge Companion to Puppetry and Material Performance. John is a member of the Brooklyn-based theater collective Great Small Works, and one of the creators of the Honk! Festival of Activist Street Bands.