Performances

“The Wizard of Oz” by Stevens Puppets, 4/30 at 1 & 3 p.m.

The Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry at the University of Connecticut will present The Wizard of Oz by the ever-popular Stevens Puppets of Indiana on Saturday, April 30, 2016 at 1 & 3 p.m. in the Ballard Institute Theater, located at 1 Royce Circle in Storrs Center.

Lions and tigers and puppets, oh my! In this classic heart-warming tale, beautifully adapted for marionettes by Martin Stevens and Dan Raynor, children of all ages will watch with bated breath as a Kansas cyclone whisks Dorothy off to Oz, where she befriends the Scarecrow, who wants brains; the Tin Woodman, who wants a heart; and the Cowardly Lion, who wants courage. Together they set off on a journey to find the mysterious Wizard of Oz while evading the delightfully silly Wicked Witch of the West. World leaders in puppetry arts for over 80 years, the Stevens Puppets bring this tale to life with artfully hand-carved wooden marionettes and a musical score you are sure to be humming all the way home. Martin Stevens created this version of The Wizard of Oz in 1966. It closely follows both the book and movie versions. In the spring of 2012, The Wizard of Oz went through an extensive renovation, with all-new scenery, newly painted and costumed marionettes, a new digital soundtrack, and all new props. Don’t miss The Wizard of Oz!

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/the-wizard-of-oz/. A surcharge will be added to any purchases made online. Tickets may also be purchased at the Ballard Institute on the day of performances. There will be a limited number of seats. For more information about this show, call 860.486.8580.

2015 Summertime Saturday Puppet Show Series!

The Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry at the University of Connecticut will once more present its popular Summertime Saturday Puppet Shows for family audiences on six Saturdays, June 20-August 1, 2015. Each show will be performed twice, at 1 and 3 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:

June 20 – “A Journey Around the World” by Ants in Your Pants: Anthony the Ant discovers puppet stories and traditions of the globe. Ana Craciun and Kalob Martinez, MFA students in the UConn Puppet Arts Program, present an entertaining and informative performance for globetrotters of all ages.

June 27 – “The Krista and Anders Variety Show” by Krista Weltner and Anders Nerheim: Live music, marionettes, hand puppets, toy theater, and much, much more! Featured pieces include The House That Jack BuiltMr. Sandman, and A Coming of Fang Tale. 

July 11 – “The Nature of Nature” by Anna Fitzgerald and Gavin Cummins: Join current and future UConn Puppet Arts alumni Anna Fitzgerald and Gavin Cummins as they take you on adventures in and about the natural world around us. Some stories are true and some stories are not; bring your imagination and discover which is which.

July 18 – “Hotel Molière” by Sarah Nolen: Hotel Molière is a cockroach hotel murder mystery told in the style of a ridiculous noir shadow show. Detective Agent Gray of Chicago follows the leads to learn what led to the untimely murder of a leading lady roach, Roachel.

July 25 – “Aladdin” by Stevens Puppets: From the pages of The Arabian Nights comes the timeless story of Aladdin!  This Middle Eastern folktale comes alive with the help of Martin Stevens’ hand-crafted marionettes.  Join us for a rare visit to the East Coast by this famed Indiana-based marionette company.

August 1 – “Superheroes, Villains, and Spaceships, Oh My!” by Anatar Marmol-Gagne: A fantastical tale of superheroes, villains, wizards, monsters and space.

Admission is $5 for children, $7 for adults.

 Tickets will be sold in advance through the Connecticut Repertory Theatre Box Office, located in the lobby of the Nafe Katter Theatre at 820 Bolton Rd, Storrs CT 06269. Tickets may be purchased in person at the box office, by calling (860) 486-2113, or online through the CRT website. A $3.00 surcharge will be added to any purchases made online or over the phone. The CRT Box Office is open Monday through Friday, 12-5 p.m. 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, call (860) 486-8580 or email bimp@uconn.edu.

2015 Spring Puppet Performance Series

Afternoon shows for family audiences!

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 2015, featuring outstanding works for puppet theater by professional puppeteers. There will be two showings of each production, at 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m., in the Ballard Institute Theater located at 1 Royce Circle in Storrs Center. Productions and dates include:

elephant_turtleFebruary 21: The Lion and the Mouse and Other Tales by Crabgrass Puppet Theatre.

With beautiful puppets and scenery, and their signature hilarious style, the award-winning Crabgrass Puppet Theatre presents tales from Africa, Asia and Europe that will inspire and enthrall children of all sizes.

linderpix-4456March 14: Squirrel Stole My Underpants by They Gotta Be Secret Agents.

A lonely, awkward girl is sent out to the backyard to hang up the laundry and keep herself busy. The moment Sylvie’s back is turned, a mischievous squirrel appears, steals her favorite piece of clothing and runs off. When the girl gives chase, she finds herself lost in strange lands. As the story unfolds, an entire world emerges from her laundry basket and Sylvie learns that she is a strong girl with magic within herself. 

Sheep HandpuppetsApril 11: Hao Bang Ah, Sheep! by Chinese Theatre Works.

Co-sponsored by the Asian and Asian American Studies Institute. This variety-style program directed by Kuang-Yu Fong and Stephen Kaplin, features a jolly selection of hand-puppet vignettes, many based on popular songs and well-known Chinese sayings. While some parts of the program are performed in Chinese, all include English translations and explanations. The audience will be introduced to other animals of the Chinese zodiac, and also learn about Chinese New Year customs and foods. Audience participation makes this Chinese culture and language-learning experience accessible to even the youngest audience member.

ADalanginSearchofWayangCohenMay 2: Arjuna’s Meditation by Matthew Cohen, with Gamelan Si Betty, directed by Jody Diamond.

Co-sponsored by the Asian and Asian American Studies Institute. Renowned scholar and Javanese wayang kulit shadow puppet performer Matthew Cohen is joined by Harvard University’s Gamelan Si Betty, directed by Jody Diamond, to present a classic Javanese puppet play about one of the great heroes of the Hindu epic The Mahabharata.

Ticket Prices: Adults: $10; Students: $7; Kids: $5

Tickets will be sold in advance through the Connecticut Repertory Theatre Box Office located in the lobby of the Nafe Katter Theatre at 820 Bolton Rd, Storrs CT 06269. Tickets may be purchased in person at the box office, by calling (860) 486-2113, or online through the CRT website. A $3.00 surcharge will be added to any purchases made online or over the phone. Tickets may be purchased at the Ballard Institute on the days of performances. There will be a limited number of seats. For more information about these shows, call (860) 486-8580.

“Biblical Rapper’s Trilogy,” October 15 at 7:30 p.m.

Amy Trompetter collaborates with East Harlem poet (not4)Prophet in reconfiguring her Punch and Judy show to create Biblical Rapper’s Trilogy.  References include the Bible, Medieval mystery plays, Commedia scenarios and the daily news, including recent events in Ferguson, Missouri. The stage is an automated, vertical box with painted backdrops reminiscent of cantastoria balladeers’ picture stories. 

Amy Trompetter designs, directs and performs puppet shows. Her roots are in the Bread and Puppet Theater in 1960’s NYC. She is the founder of the Redwing Blackbird Theater, a workshop and performance space in the Hudson Valley.

(not4)Prophet creates and performs hip-hop aesthetic poetry. He is an experimentalist, performance poet, singer, song writer,-activist and Nuyorican-style emoter, with roots in the Nuyorican Poet’s Café. He regularly presents original work in East Harlem and throughout NYC including the Bowery Poetry Club. Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry and the UConn Co-op Bookstore at Storrs Center.

The event will take place in the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry/UConn Co-op Bookstore performance space at 7:30 p.m. on October 15, 2015. Admission is free. Donations are gratefully accepted.

The Ballard Institute Presents its 2014 Fall Puppet Performance Series!

The Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry at the University of Connecticut will host its first-ever Fall Puppet Performance Series on four Saturdays from September to December 2014, featuring outstanding works for puppet theater by professional puppeteers from the Northeast. There will be two showings of each production, at 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m., in the Ballard Institute Theater located at 1 Royce Circle in Storrs Center. Productions and dates include:

ShoshFlea-2September 27: Punschi, an enchanting performance for the whole family featuring hand puppets and a miniature circus, by Sandglass Theater in collaboration with Jana Zeller and Shoshana Bass.

Adults: $10; Students: $7; Kids: $5

chi-chicago-international-puppet-festival-anno-001October 25: The Selfish Giant, by Chicago puppeteer Blair Thomas and singer/songwriter Michael Smith, who use original puppets and music to tell the story of this Oscar Wilde classic about a grumpy old giant and the children of his village who rejuvenate his garden. Special performance in conjunction with the gala opening of Stages of Enchantment: The Little Puppet Theaters of Blair Thomas & Company.

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

Wayan MarshmallowNovember 15: Shadows around the World, a production by famed Connecticut puppet master Jim Napolitano focusing on global history, oral traditions of storytelling, and the international development of shadow puppetry as an art form.

Adults: $10; Students: $7; Kids: $5

LavaFossil2esmithersFlipped2December 13: Lava Fossil, by Beth Nixon, a suitcase-theater show about a dad, a crab, a dentist, and where things go when they are gone. Plus! The secret life of eel grass, an ash-encrusted visitor from Pompeii, and how to measure grief with a ruler.  Recommended for children aged 11 and above due to show content.

Adults: $10; Students: $7; Kids: $5

Tickets will be sold through the Connecticut Repertory Theatre Box Office located in the lobby of the Nafe Katter Theatre.

2014 UConn Fall Puppet Slam

 

Little Did ProductionsThe Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry and the UConn Puppet Arts Program will present the 2014 , on  The  will feature short works by professional puppeteers from the Northeast, including Little Did Productions from New York City; Great Small Works from Cambridge; and Connecticut’s Xing Xin Liu; as well as new works by talented students from UConn’s Puppet Arts Program. The  is supported by a generous grant from the Puppet Slam Network.

The Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry and the UConn Puppet Arts Program will present the 2014 UConn Fall Puppet Slam, on Saturday, September 13 at 8:00 p.m. in the Dramatic Arts Department’s Studio Theatre. The UConn Fall Puppet Slam will feature short works by professional puppeteers from the Northeast, including Little Did Productions from New York City; Great Small Works from Cambridge; and Connecticut’s Xing Xin Liu; as well as new works by talented students from UConn’s Puppet Arts Program. The UConn Fall Puppet Slam is supported by a generous grant from the Puppet Slam Network.

Little Did Productions’ The Lost Children, directed by Jessica Lorence and designed by Lorence and Katarra Peterson, is a shadow puppet show retelling the French folk tale which inspired Hansel and Gretel, with original music by Luke Santy.

Trudi Cohen and John Bell, Cambridge-based members of the Great Small Works theater company, will perform Sidewalk Ballet, which considers the world history of public space, and the 1960s battle between developer Robert Moses and urban activist Jane Jacobs over the future of Washington Square Park; and includes a new song by Woody Guthrie and Frank London of the Klezmatics.

UConn Puppet Arts alumna Xing Xin Liu will perform a traditional Chinese shadow show, Monkey’s Kung-Fu Lesson, based on the popular trickster figure Monkey King, whose exploits feature in the great Chinese epic Journey to the West.

The Puppet Slam movement is a nation-wide flowering of short puppet productions for adult audiences, encouraged by the Puppet Slam Network created by Heather Henson and Marsian De Lellis.  UConn Puppet Slams have been taking place since 2008, thanks to the generous support of the Puppet Slam Network.

The UConn Fall Puppet Slam is free and open to the public; donations are greatly appreciated. The event will take place in the Studio Theatre located at 820 Bolton Rd, Storrs, CT. For directions to the Studio Theatre, visit crt.uconn.edu/directions/. For more information, call the Ballard Institute at (860) 486-8580, visit bimp.uconn.edu, or email us at bimp@uconn.edu.

Summertime Saturday Puppet Show Series

The Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry at the University of Connecticut will once more present its popular Summertime Saturday Puppet Shows for family audiences on seven successive Saturdays, June 28-August 9, 2014.  Each show will be performed twice, at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.  All performances will take place at the Ballard Institute at Storrs Center.  Admission is $5 for children, $7 for adults.  Tickets will be sold at the door on the day of performance.

The series begins on June 28 with special guest performances of Raccoon Tales by Boston-based puppeteer Brad Shur, artist-in-residence at Brookline’s Puppet Showplace Theater.  It continues with new works by UConn Puppet Arts students and alumni through August 9.

The schedule of Summertime Saturday Puppet Shows includes the following:

June 28 – Raccoon Tales: a handpuppet show performed by Brad Shur, written by Paul Vincent Davis.

July 5 – George & Martha: performance by Puppet Arts student Gavin Cummins, based on the stories of James Marshall.

July 12 – Bits & Pieces Puppet Show: performances by Puppet Arts students Anatar Marmol and Ana Craciún.

July 19 – A Show of Shadows: shadow puppets from western and Chinese traditions by Puppet Arts alumni Xing Xin Liu.

July 26 – Lisa the Wise & Other Tales: shadow puppet performance by Puppet Arts student Sarah Nolen.

August 2 – Toy Theater Extravaganza: new works for toy theater by Penny Benson, Gavin Cummins, Sarah Nolen, and Dana Samborski.

August 9 – Family Friendly Pot-Pourri: marionettes and handpuppet performances by Puppet Arts students Krista Weltner, Anatar Marmol, and Sarah Nolen.

“Tito’s Dream” at the Ballard Institute Performance Space, April 4-5

We invite you to see Tito’s Dream, a work-in-progress production at the new Ballard Institute devised by UConn Guest Professor Carlos Garcia, Paulo Serantes, and several graduate and undergraduate students from the UConn School of Fine Arts, including Puppet Arts graduate student Anna Fitzgerald, who will be performing puppetry elements of the production.  Tito’s Dream will be performed this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday in our new theater space.  For tickets:

FRI  4 APR at 7PM (reservations: (860)486-8580)
SAT 5 APR at 8PM (reservations: (860)486-2113)
SAT 5 APR at 10PM (reservations: (860)486-2113)

Carlos Garcia writes: “Tito’s Dream is a collection of short poems that describe the poetic journey of a boy (Tito) searching for his mother who left forever.  Tito, naively believing that his mother moved to the moon, confronts many elements as he tries to reach her.  He will also feel the pain of saying goodbye to his childhood friend, Paulina.  This journey is an allegory of the passage from childhood to adulthood.

Cast: Darek Burkowski, Posy Knight, James Jelkin and Sarah Jensen

Puppetry: Anna Fitgerald

Music: Nick Trautman, Michael Albaine

Drawings: Kayla Blanchard

Costumes: Pat Ubaldi

Production: UCONN, Scott Ripley and Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry

Directed by Carlos García Estévez

Assistant Director: Paulo Serantes

at Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppertry, Storrs (CT)

Punto en el cielo

Go beyond the space,
get here.
Go beyond the time,
get now.
The here and now
is a beautiful star,
punto en el cielo
con ojos azules como la vida!

Little point,
there is no time, no space
but only here and now…
-pure state of an emotion-
Then sleep! Beyond it…
in that point
where you dream!

Tito’s Dream, 2nd Poem

Carlos García Estévez

“Reverse Cascade” – A New Puppet Arts Production – Premieres at The Ballard Institute March 1st!

A scene from Reverse Cascade (Photo by Richard Termine).

On Saturday, March 1st the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry will inaugurate its brand-new black-box theater in its Storrs Center home with Reverse Cascade, a new Puppet Arts Production by MFA candidate Anna Fitzgerald.  The premiere performances of the production at 1:00 and 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 1 will coincide with the grand opening of the Storrs Center complex that day at 2 p.m.

In Fitzgerald’s new found-object puppet production juggling clubs, rings, scarves and clown noses transform before the audience to tell a story based on the life of Judy Finelli, the renowned San Francisco-based “new circus” performer and juggler whose body began to betray her. Eventually diagnosed with rapidly progressing Multiple Sclerosis, Finelli confronts the fact that she will lose the use of her body, and, it seems, her life’s work.

Reverse Cascade highlights the humanity of an artist and performer. At times both funny and tragic, the show the reveals the ups and downs of a life that seems to follow the bell curve of a “reverse cascade”  juggling pattern. In addition to careful puppetry manipulation, the production also features Michael Albaine and Nicholas Trauttman of UConn’s Music Department, who  accompany the performers with live original music.

There are nine chances to see this unique puppet performance, but seating is limited so reserve your tickets now at the Connecticut Repertory Theatre’s website. Tickets are $10 if purchased ahead online, $12 at the door, and $8 for students.

Performances:

Opening – Saturday March 1st – 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. (Ribbon Cutting  for the new Ballard Institute at 2 p.m.)
Sunday March 2 – 8 p.m.
Tuesday March 4 – 8 p.m.
Friday March 7 – 8 p.m.
Saturday March 8 – 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Sunday March 9 – 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

UConn Spring Puppet Slam next Saturday, February 1

The first performance event of the Ballard Institute’s 2014 season will be the UConn Spring Puppet Slam, on Saturday, February 1 at 8 p.m. at UConn’s Studio Theater.  Admission is free, and donations are greatly appreciated.  This event is produced with generous support from the Puppet Slam Network.

The Spring Puppet Slam will feature, as always, innovative new works and experiments by the talented students of UConn’s Puppet Arts Program, as well as productions by guest artists from around the Northeast.
  Our guest productions next Saturday include the following:

– Fable of the Flying Fox: In this production by the Brooklyn-based Alphabet Arts company, Lawrence Carrillo and Jamie Moore, assisted by Amber West and Chris Borchardt, perform a tabletop show about a gluttonous fox who soars through treetops stealing eggs from unguarded nests.

 

 

– Lover’s Waltz: Another Alphabet Arts production, performed by Lawrence Carrillo and Jamie Moore, this show is a love song between two elders, one with dementia, who have not seen each other for many years, performed with pop-up book scenery designed by Kirsten Kammermeyer. Music/story by Annie Bacon.

 

 

– Michelina De Cesare, La Brigantessa: cantastoria, or picture performance, performed by puppeteers Maryann Colella and Angela DiVeglia, of Boston and Providence respectively, taking on one of the richest traditions of southern Italian popular culture: the romantic lives of the bandits.

 

 

Please join us for what will surely be an exciting and rewarding evening of compelling puppet theater!  These shows will be good for adults, teens, and kids.

 

Let us know if you have any questions!