Performances

“Aesop’s Fables” by Tuckers’ Tales Puppet Theatre on 7/13

As part of its 2019 Summertime Saturday Puppet Show Series, the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry at the University of Connecticut is pleased to present Aesop’s Fables by Tuckers’ Tales Puppet Theatre on July 13, 2019 at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. in the Ballard Institute Theater, located at 1 Royce Circle in Downtown Storrs.

Aesop, one of the greatest storytellers of the ancient world, had a great sense of humor. And it’s a good thing, because when Tuckers’ Tales perform his stories, they take a few unexpected twists. The Tortoise and the Hare is a hare-raising adventure of Olympic proportions; join the rapid racers as they undertake one of the most famous contests of all time. The Fox and the Crow is the story of a hungry fox that notices a crow with a great piece of cheese high up in a tree. Before she finishes, the crow’s meal is interrupted by a lesson in the dangers of self-admiration. In The Ant & the Grasshopper, the grasshopper lives a carefree life, and that’s a wonderful thing, but how will he care for himself when things get difficult? He better take care before he winds up a “grass-sicle” in the frozen winter. The Frog and the Ox asks the question: “what is it that impresses you?” Sometimes trying to prove that you are not impressed with immensity may have immense consequences. This show is 40 minutes long and is recommended for ages 3+.

Tuckers’ Tales Puppet Theatre, the performing division of Puppet Perceptions, Inc., is a performing company from the Philadelphia area founded in 1981. Co-directors Marianne and Tom Tucker have performed at puppet, folk, ethnic, and street festivals; and at craft fairs, shopping centers, theaters and schools around the country. Audiences from small children to senior citizens have enjoyed the variety of styles skillfully displayed in their interesting programs. 

Ticket Prices: Adults: $12; Members/Seniors: $10; Students: $8; Kids: $6 (12 years and under).

Tickets can be purchased in advance at the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry, by calling 860-486-8580, or online at bimp.ticketleap.com. A surcharge will be added to any purchases made online. Tickets may also be purchased at the Ballard Institute on the day of performance starting at 10 a.m. There will be open seating and no reservations. Visitors can park in the Storrs Center Garage located at 33 Royce Circle. Parking is free for the first two hours and $1 per hour thereafter, with a daily maximum charge of $8. 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.

2019 Spring Puppet Performance Series

The Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry at the University of Connecticut will host its Spring Puppet Performance Series on four Saturdays from February to May 2019, featuring outstanding works of puppet theater by professional puppeteers from across New England and beyond. Each show will be performed twice, at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. All performances will take place at the Ballard Institute Theater located at 1 Royce Circle in Downtown Storrs.

The schedule of the Spring Puppet Performance Series includes the following:

February 16: The Three Little Pigs by Liz Joyce & A Couple of Puppets

In this version of The Three Little Pigs, BB (a reformed wolf with allergies) sells real estate to the new pigs in town. This puppet show by acclaimed Long Island puppeteer Liz Joyce features hand-carved marionettes, musical numbers, and lots of laughs. This show is 35 minutes and is recommended for ages 3+.

March 30: Go Home Tiny Monster by The Gottabees

One day, Sylvie and her family of handmade creatures suddenly find themselves in need of a new home. Luckily, they have an audience full of people who can help them out. Go Home Tiny Monster by the Boston-based Gottabees features the company’s trademark mix of puppetry, joyously absurd silliness, physical theater, live music, and surprising poignancy. This show is 40 minutes and is recommended for ages 3+. 

April 27: Goldilocks and the Three Bears by Stevens Puppets

In an enchanted Alaskan forest, join a family of bears as they encounter different perspectives and values, ultimately sharing a common purpose with a salmon and resolving their conflict with a golden-haired trespasser, who learns precious lessons from them as well as from her bald eagle companion about respect, kindness, apologizing, and forgiveness. This show by Indiana’s famed Stevens Puppets is 45 minutes and is recommended for ages 3+.

May 11: Everybody Loves Pirates by Frogtown Mountain Puppeteers

Eight-year-old Lucy and her goofy pal, Little Chucky, are searching for buried treasure, but a gang of bumbling pirates keeps getting in the way! The kids get some help from their new ocean-dwelling friends, including enthusiastic superhero Lobster Boy, his reluctant sidekick Crabby, and an overgrown sea monkey. This show by Maine’s popular Frogtown Mountain Puppeteers is 50 minutes and is recommended for ages 4+.

Ticket Prices: Adults: $12; Members/Seniors: $10; Students: $8; Kids: $6 (12 years and under)

Tickets can be purchased in the near future at the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry, by calling 860-486-8580, or online at bimp.ticketleap.com. A surcharge will be added to any purchases made online. Tickets may also be purchased at the Ballard Institute on the day of performance starting at 10 a.m. There will be open seating and no reservations. Visitors can park in the Storrs Center Garage located at 33 Royce Circle. Parking is free for the first two hours and $1 per hour thereafter, with a daily maximum charge of $8. For more information about these performances or if you require an accommodation to attend an event, please contact Ballard Institute staff at 860-486-8580 or bimp@uconn.edu.

“The Case of the Missing Kitten” by WonderSpark Puppets on 9/23 at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

As part of its Fall Puppet Performance Series, the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry at the University of Connecticut will present The Case of the Missing Kitten by WonderSpark Puppets of New York City on September 23, 2017 at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. in the Ballard Institute Theater, located at 1 Royce Circle in Storrs Center.

When a cute kitten goes missing, only one detective is clever enough, brave enough, and smart enough to solve the case—Mystery Max! Join Max on a wild adventure to find Nancy’s missing kitten. Along the way we’ll meet crazy characters, make new friends, sing songs and find clues in this classic whodunit. Featuring puppets by Montreal artist Mathieu René and costumes by Sarah Lafferty, the performance runs approximately 40 minutes in length and is recommended for children ages 3+

WonderSpark Puppets, comprised of Chad Williams, UConn Puppet Arts alumna Lindsey “Z” Briggs, and Jenny Hann, performs highly interactive puppet shows throughout the New York City area and beyond! Since 2009 they have been entertaining family audiences at New York City landmarks like Central Park, the New York Public Library, Mt Sinai Kravis Children’s Hospital, Bryant Park, and more. Fusing puppetry and storytelling with memorable characters and silly songs, WonderSpark performs at public and private venues.

Ticket Prices: Adults: $12; Members/Seniors $10; Students: $8; Kids: $6 (12 years and under)

Tickets can be purchased in advance at the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry, by calling 860-486-8580, or online at bimp.ticketleap.com. A surcharge will be added to any purchases made online. Tickets may also be purchased at the Ballard Institute on the day of performance starting at 10 a.m. There will be open seating and no reservations. Visitors can park in the Storrs Center Garage located at 33 Royce Circle. Parking in the Storrs Center Garage is free for the first two hours and $1 per hour thereafter, with a daily maximum charge of $8. For more information about these performances, call 860-486-8580.

All sales are final-no refunds.

“Cardboard Explosion!” by Brad Shur on 2/11 at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

As part of its Spring Puppet Performance Series, the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry at the University of Connecticut will present Cardboard Explosion! by Puppet Showplace Theater Resident Artist Brad Shur. Performances will take place on Saturday, February 11, 2017 at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the Ballard Institute Theater located at 1 Royce Circle in Storrs Center.

Cardboard Explosion! brings five original stories to life using nothing but cardboard and the power of the imagination. With help from the audience, puppeteer Brad Shur transforms simple cardboard shapes into elaborate puppet characters, then brings them to life right before the audience’s eyes. Get ready to outsmart dragons, choose your own superpower, and train adorable animal sidekicks in this fun, energetic, participatory show. The show is 55 minutes long, and recommended for children ages 5 and up. Cardboard Explosion! was developed in Puppet Showplace Theater’s Incubator Program with support from the Jim Henson Foundation, the Bob Jolly Charitable Trust, and the Sakharoff Family Trust.

Brad Shur, a lifelong artist, regards puppetry as a medium that allows him to share his passion for all forms of creativity: sculpting, writing, performing, and more. Brad began performing in puppet shows while he was a student at the Rhode Island School of Design, and went on to become an accomplished puppet builder and teaching artist. Shur has been the Resident Artist at Puppet Showplace Theater since 2009, where he has created four original shows: Dr. Doohickey’s Monster Machine, The Magic Soup and Other Stories, Tall Tales, and Robin Hood. Shur’s newest creation, Cardboard Explosion! brings together puppetry, design, and creative improvisation to energize audiences become art makers themselves!

Ticket Prices: Adults: $12; Members/Seniors $10; Students: $8; Kids: $6 (12 years and under)

Tickets can be purchased in advance at the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry, by phone at 860.486.8580, or online at http://bimp.ticketleap.com/. A surcharge will be added to any purchases made online. Tickets may also be purchased at the Ballard Institute on the day of performance starting at 10 a.m. There will be open seating and no reservations. For more information about these performances, call 860.486.8580.

2017 Spring Puppet Performance Series

The Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry at the University of Connecticut will host its Spring Puppet Performance Series on four Saturdays from February to May 2017, featuring outstanding works for puppet theater by professional puppeteers from across the Northeast and beyond. Each show will be performed twice, at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. All performances will take place at the Ballard Institute Theater located at 1 Royce Circle, Storrs, CT. Productions and dates include:

cardboard-explosion-3February 11: Cardboard Explosion! by Brad Shur- Cardboard Explosion! brings five original stories to life using nothing but cardboard and the power of the imagination. With help from the audience, Puppet Showplace Theater Resident Artist Brad Shur transforms simple cardboard shapes into elaborate puppet characters, then brings them to life right before the audience’s eyes.
 

wordplay-2March 25: Word Play by Good Hearted Entertainment- Word Play uses clowning and puppetry to take audiences on an adventure through the alphabet. Audiences can make friends with vowels, teach tricks to a “C-A-T” and “D-O-G,” and visit a Word Zoo full of surprises. It’s the perfect blend of education and entertainment- a play on words, literally!

 

hansel-and-gretel-3April 22: Hansel and Gretel by National Marionette Theatre In their newest production, National Marionette Theatre brings the most famous of the Grimm Brothers’ stories to life. Featuring exquisitely crafted marionettes, scrolling scenery, and the beautiful music of Engelbert Humperdinck, Hansel and Gretel is sure to delight audiences of all ages!

 

banana-kid-1May 13: The Legend of the Banana Kid by Frogtown Mountain Puppeteers– Little Chucky heads to the Wild West to outwit outlaws in this cowboy adventure! The Legend of the Banana Kid features 20 of Frogtown Mountain Puppeteers’ hand-crafted glove, mouth, and rod puppets, and a slew of flying and twirling Styrofoam bananas.

 

Ticket Prices: Adults: $12; Members/Seniors $10, Students: $8; Kids: $6 (12 years and under).

Tickets can be purchased at the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry, by phone at 860.486.8580, or online at http://bimp.ticketleap.com/. A surcharge will be added to any purchases made online. Tickets may also be purchased at the Ballard Institute on the day of performance starting at 10 a.m. There will be open seating and no reservations. For more information about these performances, call 860.486.8580.

All sales are final — there are no refunds.

“The Snowflake Man” by Puppetkabob on 12/3 at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

snowflake-man-2As the final production of its Fall Puppet Performance Series, the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry at the University of Connecticut will present The Snowflake Man by UConn Puppet Arts Program alumna Sarah Frechette of Puppetkabob on Saturday, December 3, 2016. There will be two showings, at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., in the Ballard Institute Theater located at 1 Royce Circle, Storrs, CT.

The Snowflake Man is inspired by the life of Wilson “Snowflake” Bentley, the self-educated Vermont farmer and scientist who attracted world attention when he became the first person to photograph a single snow crystal.  The Snowflake Man swings audiences into the historic 1920s through creative storytelling, intricately designed Czech-style marionettes, and a striking pop-up book of watercolor scenery. This UNIMA-USA award-winning show combines art, science, and a little-known piece of New England history to magical effect!

Sarah Frechette is an artist, puppeteer and founder of Puppetkabob, a company that has toured nationally to schools, libraries, theaters, museums and festivals. She graduated from the University of Connecticut’s Puppet Arts Program, mentored with German master puppeteer Albrecht Roser, and created costumes for the stop-motion film ParaNorman. Her solo production of The Snowflake Man was awarded an UNIMA-USA Citation of Excellence, and this past summer, Sarah performed the production at the Detroit Institute of Arts and the Puppets Up! International Puppet Festival in Ontario, Canada. The Ballard Institute is excited and proud to welcome Sarah back to UConn for these performances. For more information about Sarah Frechette, visit www.puppetkabob.com.

Ticket Prices: Adults: $12; Students: $8; Kids: $6 (12 years and under)

Tickets can be purchased in advance at the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry, by phone at 860.486.8580, or online at http://bimp.ticketleap.com/. A surcharge will be added to any purchases made online. Tickets may also be purchased at the Ballard Institute on the day of performance starting at 10 a.m. There will be a limited number of seats. For more information about these performances, visit bimp.uconn.edu or call 860.486.8580.

“Rumpelstilskin” by Dream Tale Puppets on 10/15 at 11 a.m. & 2 p.m.

As part of its Fall Puppet Performance Series, the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry at the University of Connecticut will present Rumpelstilskin by Dream Tale Puppets on Saturday, October 15, 2016. There will be two performances, at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., in the Ballard Institute Theater located at 1 Royce Circle, Storrs, CT.

In this adaptation of Rumpelstiltskin, the well-known German folktale, Dream Tale Puppets uses beautifully crafted table-top puppets to tell the story of a girl, Kathleen, whose father puts her life in danger after he lies to the king about her ability to spin straw into gold. An odd-looking stranger appears and offers to help her if she will give him her first-born child with the King–a promise she does not think she will have to keep. After the King marries Kathleen and they have a child, she is faced with losing him to the stranger if she cannot pass one more test!

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. Preschool teacher and storyteller Mary Almeida co-founded the troupe with Jacek. Working at the Cape Cod Children’s Museum, Dream Tale has created a series of shows–Little Red Riding Hood and Three Little Pigs, Rumpelstilskin, and Jack and the Beanstalk–which they perform in schools, libraries, cultural centers and private functions. Today Dream Tale Puppets is a community of artists whose members perform, teach, design, build puppets, and write plays.

Ticket Prices: Adults: $12; Students: $8; Kids: $6 (12 years and under)

Tickets can be purchased in advance at the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry, by phone at 860.486.8580, or online at http://bimp.ticketleap.com/. A surcharge will be added to any purchases made online. Tickets may also be purchased at the Ballard Institute on the day of performance starting at 10 a.m. There will be a limited number of seats. For more information about these performances, visit bimp.uconn.edu or call 860.486.8580.

2016 Summertime Saturday Puppet Show Series!

The Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry will once more present its popular Summertime Saturday Puppet Shows for family audiences by UConn Puppet Arts students on six Saturdays, July 2 through August 6, 2016. Each show will be performed twice, at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. All performances will take place at the Ballard Institute Theater located at 1 Royce Circle, Storrs, CT.

The schedule of Summertime Saturday Puppet Shows includes the following:

me on stairsJuly 2 – Canteen Tales: Quest for the Golden Spork by Shane McNeal

Join us in the kitchen as everyday objects tell the story of Sir Toby, a valiant knight from the Kingdom of Spün. Watch as he battles ogres, outwits wizards, and saves the day from a terrible dragon!

 
July 9 – Jacks in the Box by Mark BlashfordBlashfordPromo (1)

Mark Blashford, a third-year Puppet Arts graduate student, performs classic Appalachian Jack Tales and lyric vignettes with suitcases, shadows, rod puppets, and marionettes.

 

JGavinCummins2016SummerSeriesImageuly 16 – The Wonderful World of Wonder by Gavin Cummins and Gwendolyn Rooker

Discover the world of creatures impossible to see, yet who live in this blue marble we call earth. Sea crabs, corpse flowers, and water bears, oh my!

 

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July 23 – Victoria’s Not So Bedtime Story by Krista Weltner and Shane McNeal

The two sisters Victoria and Margaret don’t always get along, but when the goal is avoiding bedtime, there is no end to what this dynamic duo will do. Come watch several stories unfold, including The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, The Clockmaker and the Elves, and The House That Jack Built.

DSC_0111_phixr (2)July 30 – Luminary by Ana Crăciun-Lambru

Luminary is the tale of a second chance! When humankind takes the world for granted, Raven, its supreme creator, hides the Sun. His daughter, Little Darkness, sets on a quest to bring back the light to the world. Join a rogue storyteller on a journey of light and shadow, found objects and empowering adventures!

Superhero%2c villains and spaceshipt oh my! The ReturnAugust 6 – Superheroes, Villains, and Spaceships, Oh My!–The Return by Anatar Marmol-Gagné and Zach Broome

Anatar Marmol-Gagné & Zach Broome bring you a fantastical tale of intergalactic battles between good and evil.
Admission is $6 for children (12 years and younger), $8 for adults.

Tickets can be purchased in advance at the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry, by phone at 860.486.8580, or online at http://bimp.ticketleap.com/. A surcharge will be added to any purchases made online. Tickets may also be purchased at the Ballard Institute on the day of performance starting at 10 a.m. There will be a limited number of seats. For more information about these performances, call 860.486.8580.

All sales are final — there are no refunds.

“The Superhero Within” by Anatar Marmol-Gagne, 5/13-5/15

The University of Connecticut’s Puppet Arts Program and Department of Dramatic Arts present The Superhero Within, an entertaining and informative hand puppet production created by Puppet Arts MFA candidate Anatar Marmol-Gagné. The Superhero Within will be presented at The Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry located at 1 Royce Circle, Storrs, CT according to the following schedule:

Friday, May 13, 2016, 7:00pm
Saturday, May 14, 1:00pm & 3:00pm
Sunday, May 15, 3:00pm: Show; 3:30pm: Talkback

The Superhero Within presents a final test at Superhero Academy, which is threatened by evil. The young superheroes-in-training contend with the dangerous intrusion and discover that the strength they need is not physical; they carry it from within.

This show is a hand puppet production focused upon active shooter safety awareness training designed for children from Pre-K to 6th grade. The Superhero Within carefully draws from the core protocol established by FEMA, and is presented to young school children in a non-threatening puppet play. It is the story of three characters, who reveal to one another, through playful interaction, their own discovery of superpowers. The superpowers they demonstrate are abilities that we all possess—our own senses. This production focuses on how to be aware of surroundings by using the senses of sight, hearing, smell, and intuition. The Superhero Within is a bilingual production, which can be performed in English or Spanish.

The Superhero Within is a puppet production for all ages. Admission is free. Seating is limited.

“Beauty and the Beast” by Stevens Puppets, 5/22 at 2 p.m.

The Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry at the University of Connecticut will present Beauty and the Beast by the acclaimed Stevens Puppets of Indiana on Sunday, May 22 at 2:00 p.m. in the Ballard Institute Theater, located at 1 Royce Circle in Storrs Center.

Beauty and the Beast is a touching and humorous marionette play full of chuckles and drama. Artistic staging and clever effects accented with beautiful harp music bring this ever-popular classic triumphantly to life. Zan Raynor created Beauty and the Beast in 1999. After taking four years to make, it is the first new show to tour under the Stevens’ name since Aladdin in 1980. All the marionettes are fully carved of wood, hand painted, and dressed in hand-made costumes.

Ticket Prices: Adults: $12; Students: $8; Kids: $6

Tickets can be purchased in advance at the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry, by calling 860.486.8580, or online at http://bimp.ticketleap.com/beauty-and-the-beast/. A surcharge will be added to any purchases made online. Tickets may also be purchased at the Ballard Institute on the day of performance. There will be a limited number of seats. For more information about this show, call 860.486.8580.