Events

“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

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

“The Doll Plays” Reunion Online Puppet Forum on 11/4 at 7 p.m. ET

For its second installment of the 2021 Fall Puppet Forum Series, and in conjunction with its Puppetry’s Racial Reckoning exhibition, the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry at the University of Connecticut will host “The Doll Plays” Reunion with Alva Rogers, Heather Henson, and Holly Laws on Thursday, Nov. 4 at 7 p.m. ET. This forum will take place on Zoom (registration required: us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_ewzeFqjpTDa0IcZCbOURSg) and Facebook Live (facebook.com/BallardInstitute/) and will be available afterwards on Facebook and the Ballard Institute YouTube Channel (youtube.com/channel/UC3VSthEDnYS6ZjOwzT1DnTg). This forum is co-sponsored by the UConn Department of Art and Art History and Africana Studies Institute. 

Playwright Alva Rogers based The Doll Plays on the true story of African American doll collector Lenon Holder Hoyte (1905-1999) and her museum in Harlem. When she passes, the dolls in Ms. Hoyte’s collection seek to keep their beloved museum founder alive in their world by transforming her into a doll. The Doll Plays Reunion brings together the creative team of the original production: director Heather Henson, playwright Alva Rogers, and artist Holly Laws, to discuss The Doll Plays’ historical and cultural context, their experience of creating the play, and its relevance today. Shadow puppets made by artist Kara Walker which featured in the original production of 1998 are on display at the exhibition Puppetry’s Racial Reckoning at the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry (closing October 30).

Alva Rogers is the descendant of James Rogers, one of the earliest black landowners in Cary, North Carolina, and Jordan Harrison McNair. Rogers, a descendant of George Rogers, slave, was the property of plantation owner Felix Rogers in Durham/Wake County. McNair, her maternal great, great, grandfather, was a Civil War soldier and then a landowner in Hoke/Robeson County, NC.

Her writing career began with Rodeo Caldonia, a performance/theater collective she co-founded in 1985 (their work was in the traveling exhibit We Wanted A Revolution: Black Radical Women 1965-85, at the Brooklyn Museum). Following an influential early career as a performance artist and film actor (Spike Lee’s School Daze, Julie Dash’s Daughters of the Dust), Rogers concentrated more on writing, earning MFAs in Musical Theatre Writing (NYU/Tisch; 1995) and Playwriting (Brown University; 1998). Rogers lived in Bandung, West Java, Indonesia, enjoying traditional Indonesian wayang kulit shadow puppet theater, and wayang golek rod puppetry. Her collaborations with Heather Henson and Holly Laws began in 1997 (@alvasworld/www.alvasworld.com).

Heather Henson is a contemporary puppet artist whose work promotes harmony and healing for the planet through artistic spectacle and discussion. Heather graduated with a degree from Rhode Island School of Design and studied at the California Institute of the Arts. Heather founded IBEX Puppetry (www.ibexpuppetry.com) in 2000, a multi-platform production company dedicated to promoting the fine art of puppetry in all of its mediums, honoring her work as well as that of other puppetry artists around the world.

Artist and designer Holly Laws’ professional experience is wide and varied. Her work runs the gamut from sculpture and multi-media installation, to puppetry and theater design. She is most interested in exploring work overlapping these disciplines. Laws received a BFA in Sculpture from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, and an MFA in Sculpture from Tyler School of Art and Architecture at Temple University in Philadelphia. She moved to Arkansas in 2008 for a faculty position at the University of Central Arkansas, where she teaches in the Department of Art and Design.

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

Canceled: “Bugsy and Friends” by Pumpernickel Puppets on 10/30

Due to inclement weather, the performance of “Bugsy and Friends” by Pumpernickel Puppets scheduled for this Saturday, along with the Sunday rain date, have been canceled.

We hope to bring Pumpernickel Puppets back to Storrs in the Spring!

The Ballard Institute will still take part in Trick-or-Treat in Downtown Storrs and give away Halloween mask-making kits under the Ballard Institute marquee on Saturday, 10/30 from 3-5 PM. To learn more about Trick-or-Treat in Downtown Storrs visit: https://www.downtownstorrs.org/halloween

 

2021 UConn Fall Puppet Slam: Online! on 10/22 at 8 p.m.

The Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry and the UConn Puppet Arts Program will present an online version of its popular UConn Fall Puppet Slam on October 22, 2021 at 8 p.m. ET on the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry Facebook Live (facebook.com/BallardInstitute/). The 2021 UConn Fall Puppet Slam: Online!, hosted by UConn Puppet Arts student Stoph Scheer and Kunzika, will feature short works by professional puppeteers and performers from around the United States and across the world and new works by UConn Puppet Arts students.

The 2021 UConn Fall Puppet Slam: Online! will showcase the work of Thai pantomime and artist TaLent Show; Puerto Rican puppeteer Brenda Plumey; Boston-based quintet Firepit Coven; Linda Wingerter of The Stringpullers Puppet Company; independent artist Sandi Green Baker of Missouri; Hawaii-based artist Bonnie Kim; Kenyan puppeteer Fedelis Kyalo; puppeteer team Norah Solorzano and Alex Young, and recent UConn Puppet Arts graduate Felicia Cooper. 

The UConn Fall Puppet Slam will also feature fascinating new works by UConn graduate and undergraduate students from the UConn Puppet Arts Program. Funding for the UConn Fall Puppet Slam: Online! is made possible in part by the Puppet Slam Network.

The UConn Fall Puppet Slam is free, but donations are greatly appreciated. These performances are recommended for mature audiences. The UConn Fall Puppet Slam will be available through November 30, 2021 on the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry Facebook page (facebook.com/BallardInstitute/) and the Ballard Institute YouTube channel (youtube.com/channel/UC3VSthEDnYS6ZjOwzT1DnTg). 

For more information about these performances, please contact Ballard Institute staff at 860-486-8580 or bimp@uconn.edu.

“Exhibiting Racism in Museums” Online Puppet Forum with William F. Condee and Schroeder Cherry on 10/14 at 7 p.m. ET

For its second installment of the 2021 Fall Puppet Forum Series, and in conjunction with the Puppetry’s Racial Reckoning exhibition, the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry will host “Exhibiting Racism in Museums” with professor William F. Condee and puppeteer and museum educator Schroeder Cherry on Thursday, Oct. 14 at 7 p.m. ET. This forum will take place on Zoom (registration required: us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_MY1VOc-gQoOzaXYOTgGWvw) and Facebook Live (facebook.com/BallardInstitute/) and will be available afterwards on Facebook and the Ballard Institute YouTube Channel (youtube.com/channel/UC3VSthEDnYS6ZjOwzT1DnTg). 

The exhibition Puppetry’s Racial Reckoning at the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry (closing October 30) raises important questions about displaying objects that are explicitly or implicitly racist. Is it right to give such objects a place in a museum? How to contextualize and introduce the objects and generate productive and meaningful conversations based on the exhibition? Addressing these questions are Dr. William F. Condee, who is writing about puppets representing minorities and foreigners at five major collections in Germany, and Dr. Schroeder Cherry, a puppeteer and a curator at James E. Lewis Museum of Arts who has extensive experience discussing racism in museum contexts with exhibition visitors. This forum will be an opportunity to think through ethics and methods of curating racist objects and how to broaden perspectives on the roles of museums in relation to anti-racism. This forum is co-sponsored by the UConn Human Rights Institute. 

Originally  from Washington, D.C., Schroeder Cherry, Ed.D. is now a Maryland-based artist and 2019 Sondheim competition finalist who captures everyday scenes of African diaspora life. He earned a bachelor’s degree in painting and puppetry from The University of Michigan; a master’s degree in museum education from George Washington University; and a doctorate in museum education from Columbia University. His works are found in private and public collections across the US. In 2020 He was awarded the Municipal Art Society of Baltimore City Artist Travel Prize for research in Bahia, Brazil.  In 2021 he received an Individual Artist Award from Maryland State Arts Council. Cherry’s museum career spans more than thirty years, with positions held at the Smithsonian’s Anacostia Museum in Washington, D.C.; Studio Museum in Harlem; J. Paul Getty Museum in Malibu; The Baltimore Museum of Art; and Maryland Historical Society. He served eight years at The Institute of Museum and Library Services, first as Deputy Director for Museums, and later as Counselor to the Director. He was recently appointed Curator at James E. Lewis Museum, Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland.

Dr. William Condee (J. Richard Hamilton Professor Emeritus of Humanities, Ohio University) is the author of Coal and Culture: The Opera House in Appalachia (Ohio, 2005) and Theatrical Space: A Guide for Directors and Designers (Scarecrow, 1995). His articles on Southeast Asian puppetry have been published in Puppetry International, Studies in Theatre and Performance and Asian Journal of University Education. Articles on other subjects have appeared in Theatre Survey, Theatre Topics, and Theatre Annual. He has co-authored work (with Thomas Irmer) on German theater in A History of German Theatre (Cambridge University Press, 2008) and Theatre Journal. His most recent work on Nonmaterial Performance has appeared in Imagined Theatres andTDR: The Drama Review, co-authored with Barry Rountree. Condee was the Kohei Miura Visiting Professor at Chubu, Japan; a Fulbright Senior Specialist at University of Leipzig and University of Malaya; and has lectured at universities including East China Normal, Tsinghua, Nanjing, Dankook, and Hindu Dharma Institute (Bali).

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

“Fox Fables” by WonderSpark Puppets on 8/7 at 11 a.m. in Betsy Paterson Square

As part of its Summertime Saturday Puppet Show Series, the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry at the University of Connecticut will present Fox Fables by New York City-based WonderSpark Puppets on Aug. 7 at 11 a.m. ET in Betsy Paterson Square. This show will be socially distanced and follow Town of Mansfield and UConn safety guidelines. In the event of inclement weather for outdoor performances, the show will be rescheduled for Sunday, Aug. 8 at 11 a.m. ET. For this outdoor performance, seating is first come, first seated. Reservations are not required. Due to generous support during our 2021 UConn Gives campaign, admission is free, but donations are encouraged. This performance is co-sponsored by the Mansfield Downtown Partnership. 
What makes you–YOU? Fox Fables is a combination of several Aesop’s Fables, inspired by the works of the 12th century storyteller Rabbi Berechiah ha-Nakdan. The story is about a fox who loses his precious tail and with it his identity. He tries to be several other animals instead–with hilarious results–before realizing the moral lesson of this ancient fable. Themes in this tale include self-worth, anti-bullying, test taking, and the five senses. Theater Review NYC stated, “This sweet little adventure, a mix of ancient fables, is wonderfully performed … and is not without its lessons in self-worth and anti-bullying.”
Fox Fables was selected for the first International Puppet Fringe Festival NYC and the Siam Paragon World Fascinating Puppets Festival in Thailand. Since its world premiere, Fox Fables has become a staple of Jewish family programming throughout the NYC area in chabads, shuls, JCCs and theaters.
WonderSpark Puppets is a New York City-based puppet theater company led by Chad Williams and 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. They have toured internationally, bringing original productions and puppetry workshops to festivals in Thailand and Taiwan.
This outdoor performance will take place in Betsy Paterson Square, reservations will not be required. Chairs will not be provided, so groups are encouraged to bring their own blankets and chairs. Seating space will be first come, first served. To comply with UConn safety guidelines, masks are required for all attendees and staff ages two and up at all times. For safety, six feet of space will be required between seated family groups. Hand sanitizer will be available at the entrance and exit of the seating area. Please note that public restrooms are not available.
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.

Virtual: “ScreenPLAY!: Journey into Space” by The Gottabees on 7/31 at 11 a.m.

As part of its 2021 Summertime Saturday Puppet Show Series, the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry at the University of Connecticut will present Journey into Space, an episode of the irresistible, interactive family ScreenPLAY! Zoom adventure series by the Boston-based Gottabees ensemble, on July 31 at 11 a.m. ET, via Zoom. Due to generous support during our 2021 UConn Gives campaign, admission is free, but donations are encouraged. A household reservation is required for this performance. 
Calling all families! The intrepid artists of the Gottabees are gathering our community for a brand-new all-ages at-home adventure called ScreenPLAY! This super-interactive experience allows you to channel your household’s creativity into an inspiring work of participatory art. Each ScreenPLAY episode is non-stop interactive FUN, where your whole family becomes part of the story. The Gottabees explore movement, puppetry, theater, and the irresistible power of being ridiculous. It’s really fun and exciting… but a little hard to describe until you’ve given it a try. So, clear some space at home, jump into your Zoom square, and get ready for imagined adventures!
As part of the Summertime Saturday Puppet Show Series, the Gottabees will perform the Journey into Space episode of ScreenPLAY!. Hang onto your astronaut helmet as you blast off into outer space with Bonnie as your captain. While our rocket ship may be cozy, it does tend to veer off course where meteors and aliens come smashing into view.
The Gottabees are a Boston-based ensemble who have been happily making “super fun theater for the whole family” for the past seven years. The company includes creator and performer Bonnie Duncan and composers Brendan Burns and Tony Leva. They have performed for audiences across the region, throughout the U.S., and beyond. You may recognize them from their shows Squirrel Stole My Underpants, Lollipops for Breakfast, and Go Home Tiny Monster. The Gottabees’ mission is to inspire community, connection, and joy by providing an outlet for families to giggle, gasp, sigh, and cheer together. The Gottabees want children (and adults!) to know in their hearts that they, too, can make theater wherever they are and whomever they are. Learn more about their work at thegottabees.com.
For virtual performances via Zoom, a household reservation must be made in advance due to limited availability. Reservations can be made by visiting bimp.ticketleap.com. A link to the Zoom event will be emailed to registrants an hour before the performance. 
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.