Author: Wicks, Emily

“Sock Monkey Circus” by Good Hearted Entertainment on 10/15 at 11AM

 

As part of its 2022 Fall Puppet Shows, the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry will present Sock Monkey Circus by Massachusetts-based Good Hearted Entertainment on Saturday, Oct. 15 at 11 a.m. ET in Betsy Paterson Square. In the event of inclement weather, the show will be rescheduled for Sunday, Oct. 16 at 11 a.m. ET. This performance is co-sponsored by the Mansfield Downtown Partnership. 

Sock Monkey Circus is a full circus performed in miniature! This performance features the magical talents of the host “Funny Honey” and her clever monkeys, who are trained to juggle, dance, and swing on a flying trapeze! All this while traveling in their very own circus train car that converts into a miniature stage. This circus can be featured outside to interact with spectators, or also featured on a stage for a more formal presentation. These silly monkeys continually outsmart our host, all while performing a variety of circus routines. Everyone is welcome to monkey around with the Sock Monkey Circus! Recommended for ages 3 and up. The runtime of the show is approximately 40 minutes. 

Due to generous support during our 2022 UConn Gives campaign, admission is free to this show, but donations are encouraged. Reservations are not required. Chairs will not be provided, so groups are encouraged to bring their own blankets and seating. Seating space will be first come, first served. For more information, or if you require accommodation to attend this event, please contact Ballard Institute staff at 860.486.8580 or bimp@uconn.edu.

Honey Goodenough is a puppeteer, educator, children’s party entertainer and creator of Good Heartedd Entertainment. She holds an MA in Educational Theater from New York University, and a BA in Theater Crafts and Technology from the University of Texas, Austin. Her solo show, Sock Monkey Circus toured China in Fall 2017 with the International Clown Comedy Festival, and was also part of the National Puppet Slam at the Center for Puppetry Arts.  Honey is a trained marionette performer and has performed with Paper Moon Marionette Theater, PuppetWorks, and toured with the National Marionette Theatre and Frisch Marionettes. She has produced and performed in Puppet Slams across the country with generous support from Heather Henson’s Puppet Slam Network. After years of experience working with diverse student populations in greater Boston, New York City, Vermont, and Texas, in 2017 she became Puppet Showplace Theater’s first resident teaching artist. She taught a wide variety of professional development courses for educators and aspiring puppeteers at Montserrat College of Art, Brooklyn College, the University of Utah, and City College CUNY. To learn more visit  goodheartedentertainment.com

Free Sendak-Inspired Toy Theater Spectacle and Exhibit Tours on 10/8

(Photo credit: Sydney Herdle/UConn Photo)

In conjunction with its exhibition Swing into Action: Maurice Sendak and the World of Puppetry, the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry will offer an afternoon of free tours and performances. Join Ballard Institute Interim Co-Director Matt Sorensen for free exhibit tours at noon, 2:00 p.m., and 4:00 p.m. UConn Puppet Arts graduate students Abigail Baird and Jaron Hollander present a brief toy theater performance based on Maurice Sendak’s 1993 book, We Are All in the Dumps With Jack and Guy on Oct. 8 at 1:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m., and 5:00 p.m. 

Abigail Baird is a tenacious and dedicated arts educator, director, choreographer, and acrobatic-actor. Her most notable and successful artistic creation is Aerial Animation, a modern adaptation of silent film storytelling which competed through the semifinals on America’s Got Talent and La France a un Incroyable Talent. For over a decade Abigail was the Creative Director of Educational Programming at Kinetic Arts Center in Oakland, California for ten years. She has a self-designed BFA in technical theatre, sculpture and puppetry from the College of Santa Fe in New Mexico. She is returning to her roots to study puppetry at UConn as a graduate student.

Jaron Aviv Hollander is a circus and theater performer, director, teacher, and now a student at UConn to pursue an MFA in puppet arts. He is the founding Artistic Director (now emeritus) of Kinetic Arts Center, a circus center in Oakland where he has been teaching and directing circus for 12 years. He is also known as the co-creator and co-performer of “The Submarine Show” an internationally award-winning, critically acclaimed physical comedy. His 30-year career includes performing in Cirque Du Soleil, The Aurora Theatre, Make*A*Circus and Impact Theatre, to name a few. Jaron has a BA in theatre from the University of California Santa Cruz and studied at Dell’arte School of Physical Theatre, The San Francisco Circus Center (under master Lu Yi) and Circo Arts New Zealand.

Swing into Action, created in partnership with The Maurice Sendak Foundation, looks at the various ways Sendak designed, collected, and collaborated with puppets and puppet productions, from his childhood days making mechanical toys with his brother, to his collections of Mickey Mouse memorabilia, his inventive collaborations with puppeteer Amy Luckenbach, his puppet designs for Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Mozart Opera Goose of Cairo, and the way Sendak’s book inspired Sonny Gerasimowicz’s creatures for Spike Jonze’s film Where the Wild Things Are. 

Reservations are not required. Masks are recommended but not required. For more information, or if you require accommodation to attend this event, please contact Ballard Institute staff at 860.486.8580 or bimp@uconn.edu.

2022 Celebrate Mansfield Workshops on 9/17 and 9/18

The Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry will once again offer fall community puppet-building workshops to design and build life-size and over-life-size puppets for a new Fancy Frog Festival Puppet Pond Pageant to be performed at the Celebrate Mansfield Festival in Downtown Storrs. These free workshops will take place Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 17 and 18, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day at the Ballard Institute, located at 1 Royce Circle in Downtown Storrs. 

The Fancy Frog Festival Puppet Pond Pageant will explore the life, drama, and complicated relationships that occur in our local ponds. Working together, workshop participants will create over-life-sized masks and puppets representing species found in Connecticut ponds. Workshop participants will be invited to perform the masks and puppets in the community Fancy Frog Festival Puppet Pond Pageant at the 19th annual Celebrate Mansfield Festival on the afternoon of Saturday, Sept. 24.

No experience is necessary to participate in these free community puppet-building workshops. Space is limited, so advance registration is strongly encouraged. Participants can come for one or both days, but should register for the 10 a.m. to 1p.m. or/and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. time slot(s). Minors must be accompanied by an adult. Masks are recommended but not required. To register for the workshop, visit bimp.ticketleap.com/2022-cmf/. If you require accommodation to participate, contact the Ballard Institute at bimp@uconn.edu or 860-486-8580. 

This community puppet project is sponsored by the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry and the Mansfield Downtown Partnership, Inc. For more information about the 19th Annual Celebrate Mansfield Festival, visit downtownstorrsfestival.org.

“Spike Jonze, Maurice Sendak, and the World of Puppetry”: A Pre-Recorded Online Puppet Forum, 9/22

As a special Fall Online Puppet Forum event, in conjunction with its current exhibition Swing Into Action: Maurice Sendak and the World of Puppetry, the Ballard Institute will present “Spike Jonze, Maurice Sendak, and the World of Puppetry,” a discussion with the famed director of Where the Wild Things Are, Being John Malkovich, and other acclaimed films, including Tell Them Anything You Want, a documentary portrait of Sendak. In conversation with Ballard Institute director John Bell, Jonze discusses his artistic relationship with Maurice Sendak, the making of his film Where the Wild Things Are, his other film work that incorporates puppets and objects, and the nature of objects in performance. This Puppet Forum will be available online on the Ballard Institute’s Facebook page and YouTube channel, beginning Sept. 22, at 7 p.m.

Spike Jonze’s arms, legs, head, shoes, teeth, and thoughts are copyrighted and controlled by Universal Comcast Disney Corporation trademark 2019. He’s a Fulbright scholar, an MIT Media Lab guest, and half a MacArthur genius. He’s made 84 movies and three birthday cakes and has cried at 32% of the movie trailers on YouTube. He’s not allowed in the city of Vancouver.

Swing Into Action, on display at the Ballard Institute Wednesday-Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. through Dec. 16, 2022, looks at the various ways Sendak designed, collected, and collaborated with puppets and puppet productions, from his childhood days making mechanical toys with his brother, to his collections of Mickey Mouse memorabilia, his inventive collaborations with puppeteer Amy Luckenbach, his puppet designs for Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Mozart Opera Goose of Cairo, and the way Sendak’s book inspired Sonny Gerasimowicz’s creatures for Spike Jonze’s film Where the Wild Things Are.

“Jack and the Beanstalk” by Dream Tale Puppets on 9/10 at 11AM

As part of its 2022 Fall Puppet Shows, the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry at the University of Connecticut will present Jack and the Beanstalk by Massachusetts-based Dream Tale Puppets on Saturday, Sept. 10 at 11 a.m. ET in Betsy Paterson Square. In the event of inclement weather, the show will be rescheduled for Sunday, Sept. 11 at 11 a.m. ET. This performance is co-sponsored by the Mansfield Downtown Partnership. 

Jack and the Beanstalk is a joyous, original adaptation of the classic tale about poor Jack who went to sell his cow and came home with three magic beans.This imaginative production transports audiences up the beanstalk using every style of puppet character, from hand puppets and masks to marionettes. Lively narration, beautiful design, and hilarious physical comedy make this an inspiring and memorable show for all ages.

Dream Tale Puppets was founded in 2003 by Jacek Zuzanski, a puppeteer, stage director and theater teacher who, before coming to the United States in 2001, studied, practiced, and taught theater and art in his native Poland. Dream Tale Puppets is a community of artists whose members perform, teach, design, build puppets, and write plays. To learn more about Dream Tale Puppets, visit dreamtalepuppets.com

Due to generous support during our 2022 UConn Gives campaign, admission is free to this show, but donations are encouraged. Reservations are not required. Chairs will not be provided, so groups are encouraged to bring their own blankets and seating. Seating space will be first come, first served. For more information, or if you require accommodation to attend this event, please contact Ballard Institute staff at 860.486.8580 or bimp@uconn.edu.

Workshop and Performances of Migraciones / Migrations by Paradox Teatro on 8/20 and 8/21

The Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry at the University of Connecticut will present two performances of Migraciones / Migrations by Paradox Teatro on Saturday, August 20 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, August 21 at 2 p.m. In addition, Paradox Teatro will lead a puppet building and performance workshop on Saturday, Aug. 20 from 1-3 p.m. All events will take place at the Ballard Institute Theater located at 1 Royce Circle, Storrs, CT 06268.  

Migraciones / Migrations follows a photojournalist’s journey to learn the story of refugees migrating across sand, water, and shadows. The theme of migrations in the production is informed by the increasing border conflicts between the Paradox Teatro co-founders’ home countries, the United States and Mexico. This performance creates a unique layering of hybrid body puppets, sand drawings, and shadow puppetry projections to reveal each character’s search for a new home. These visual mediums are scored by live music and poetry in English and Spanish so that Migraciones / Migrations can communicate with audiences across languages and cultures. To learn more about the performances and purchase tickets, visit bimp.ticketleap.com/migraciones/.

Paradox Teatro will also lead a two-hour workshop to demonstrate techniques and technologies for sand drawing and shadow puppetry on light tables, as well as camera techniques for large-scale video projection in live performance. Spaces for the workshop are limited. Registration is $15/person. To reserve a spot, visit bimp.ticketleap.com/paradox-workshop/

Paradox Teatro is a multidisciplinary performing arts company founded in 2017 by Artistic Co-Directors Sofía Padilla and Davey T Steinman. They have toured performances and taught artistic residencies in Europe, United States, and Mexico.

For more information, or if you require accommodation to attend this event, please contact Ballard Institute staff at 860.486.8580 or bimp@uconn.edu.

Paradox Teatro’s visit is funded in part by the Mexican Coinversiones Grant from the Sistema de Apoyos a la Creación y Proyectos Culturales, the Jim Henson Foundation, and the New England States Touring program of the New England Foundation for the Arts, made possible with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts Regional Touring Program and the six New England state arts agencies.

The Lion & The Mouse by WonderSpark Puppets on 7/23 at 11 a.m.

As the final performance of its 2022 Summertime Saturday Puppet Show Series, the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry at the University of Connecticut will present The Lion & The Mouse by New York-based WonderSpark Puppets on July 23 at 11 a.m. ET in Betsy Paterson Square. In the event of inclement weather, the show will be rescheduled for Sunday, July 24 at 11 a.m. ET. This performance is co-sponsored by the Mansfield Downtown Partnership. 

New York City’s acclaimed WonderSpark Puppets presents two Aesop’s Fables in a highly interactive double feature: The Lion and the Mouse and The Tortoise and the Hare, two shows which also demonstrate forgiveness, the power of kindness, and good sportsmanship.

WonderSpark Puppets is a New York City-based puppet theater company led by Chad Williams and UConn Puppet Arts alumna Z Briggs.  The company’s mission is to spread joy, spark imagination and share laughter through high-quality puppet performances. They have partnered with brands like Bed Bath & Beyond, CAMP, NYC Public Schools and the New York Public Library, and have toured internationally, bringing original productions and puppetry workshops to festivals in Thailand and Taiwan. Since mid-March 2020 they have streamed live puppet shows for families in quarantine and streaming schools.

Due to generous support during our 2022 UConn Gives campaign, admission is free, but donations are encouraged. Reservations are not required. Chairs will not be provided, and audience members are encouraged to bring their own blankets and seating. Seating space will be first come, first served. 

For more information, or if you require accommodation to attend this event, please contact Ballard Institute staff at 860.486.8580 or bimp@uconn.edu.

Bugsy and Friends by Pumpernickel Puppets on 7/16 at 11 a.m.

As part of its 2022 Summertime Saturday Puppet Show Series, the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry at the University of Connecticut will present Bugsy and Friends by Pumpernickel Puppets of Worcester, Massachusetts on July 16 at 11 a.m. ET in Betsy Paterson Square. In the event of inclement weather for outdoor performances, the show will be rescheduled for Sunday, July 17 at 11 a.m. ET. This performance is co-sponsored by the Mansfield Downtown Partnership. 

Join Bugsy and his puppet friends for a musical variety show featuring hand, string, and life-size puppets. Plus, Bugsy and Friends also includes a puppet-making demonstration! This fun and interactive show is appropriate for children of all ages. 

For nearly 40 years Pumpernickel Puppets has captivated audiences of all ages with humorous and colorful adaptations of classic folk and fairy tales. Worcester-based puppeteer John McDonough and his puppets present over 250 shows a year at schools, libraries and private parties throughout the New England area. McDonough’s work appeared at the Ballard Institute in 2019 as part of the exhibition Living Objects: African American Puppetry.

Due to generous support during our 2022 UConn Gives campaign, admission is free, but donations are encouraged. Reservations are not required. Chairs will not be provided, and audience members are encouraged to bring their own blankets and seating. Seating space will be first come, first served. 

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.

Our Magnificent Monster Circus by CactusHead Puppets on 7/9 at 11 AM

As part of its 2022 Summertime Saturday Puppet Show Series, the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry at the University of Connecticut will once again present Our Magnificent Monster Circus by Massachusetts-based CactusHead Puppets on July 9 at 11 a.m. ET in Betsy Paterson Square. In the event of inclement weather for outdoor performances, the show will be rescheduled for Sunday, July 10 at 11 a.m. ET. This performance is co-sponsored by the Mansfield Downtown Partnership. 

Come one, come all, to a circus like no other! Encounter magnificent creatures from the wilds of your imagination as their quirky human caretaker tries to teach them new tricks. Kids can lend a hand to Eustice the Unicycling Unimonster, make friends with a Fiery Fanged Worm, cheer for Agnes the many-legged Acropod, and more! This colorful, silly, multi-sensory show full of friendly monsters is a perfect match for young audiences.

CactusHead Puppets was started in 2010 by married couple John and Megan Regan. Since then they have created several fun family shows, often based on favorite, familiar folktales, and have toured throughout the Northeast. They are a Resident Touring Company with Puppet Showplace Theater, and  Megan and John are both graduates of the UConn Puppet Arts program. Megan is originally from the Kansas City area, where she worked with Paul Mesner Puppets, now known as Mesner Puppet Theater. John is from western Massachusetts, and is honored to be performing in the same venues where he saw puppet shows growing up.

Due to generous support during our 2022 UConn Gives campaign, admission is free, but donations are encouraged. Reservations are not required. Chairs will not be provided, so groups are encouraged to bring their own blankets and seating. Seating space will be first come, first served. 

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.

2022 Summertime Saturday Puppet Shows!

The Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry will present its Summertime Saturday Puppet Show Series with outdoor performances at 11 a.m. ET on three consecutive Saturdays from July 9 through July 23, 2022 in Betsy Paterson Square in Downtown Storrs. In the event of inclement weather, performances will take place at the same time the following day, Sunday. Admission for all Summertime Saturday Puppet Show performances is free; donations are greatly appreciated. The Summertime Saturday Puppet Show Series is co-sponsored by the Mansfield Downtown Partnership.

The schedule of Summertime Saturday Puppet Shows includes the following:

July 9: Our Magnificent Monster Circus by CactusHead Puppets

Rain date: July 10 at 11 a.m. ET

Welcome back this talented Massachusetts company, created by UConn Puppet Arts alumni Megan and John Regan, as they present a circus like no other! Encounter magnificent creatures from the wilds of your imagination as their quirky human caretaker tries to teach them new tricks. Thrill to Eustice the Unicycling Unimonster, the Fiery Fanged Worm, Agnes the many-legged Acropod, more magnificent monsters from this puppet menagerie!

July 16: Bugsy and Friends by Pumpernickel Puppets

Rain date: July 17 at 11 a.m. ET

Join John McDonough’s Pumpernickel Puppets, from Worcester, Massachusetts, as they present Bugsy and his puppet friends in a musical variety show featuring hand, string, and life-size puppets. Plus, Bugsy and Friends also includes a puppet-making demonstration! This fun and interactive show is appropriate for children of all ages. 

July 23: The Lion & The Mouse by WonderSpark Puppets

Rain date: July 24 at 11 a.m. ET

New York City’s acclaimed WonderSpark Puppets presents two Aesop’s Fables in a highly interactive double feature: The Lion and the Mouse and The Tortoise and the Hare, two shows which also demonstrate forgiveness, the power of kindness, and good sportsmanship.

Due to generous support during our 2022 UConn Gives campaign, admission is free to all shows, but donations are encouraged.

Reservations are not required. Chairs will not be provided, so groups are encouraged to bring their own blankets and seating. Seating space will be first come, first served. 

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.