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Ballard Institute galleries closed 2/13-2/22 (Museum still open!)

From February 13 through February 22, 2017, Ballard Institute staff will be deinstalling our current exhibitions Frank Ballard’s Marionette Modernism: ‘Peer Gynt’ and ‘The Love for Three Oranges’ and Object, Image, Text: The Bread & Puppet Press and installing our new exhibition Banners and Cranks: Paintings and Scrolls in Performance.  While the main galleries at the Ballard Institute will be closed during this process, the museum will remain open during normal business hours, and our exhibit titled The World of Puppetry: From the Collections of the Ballard Institute will be on display in the lobby.

We  invite you to join us for the grand opening of Banners and Cranks: Paintings and Scrolls in Performance on Thursday, February 23 at 5:00 p.m.  at the Ballard Institute. The opening events will include a free tour by exhibit curator Clare Dolan and live performances of crankies and cantastorias by the curator, as well as by Great Small Works theater company.

“The Business of Puppetry,” a Spring Puppet Forum on 2/8 at 7 p.m.

As part of the 2017 Spring Puppet Forum Series, the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry at the University of Connecticut will present a discussion with professionals in the puppetry field entitled The Business of Puppetry on Wednesday, February 8, 2017 at 7 p.m. in the Ballard Institute Theater, located at 1 Royce Circle in Storrs Center.

What combinations of artistry, entrepreneurship, and management are needed for success in 21st-century puppetry? Join Roxie Myhrum, Artistic Director of Puppet Showplace Theater; acclaimed Boston-area puppeteer and dancer Bonnie Duncan; and New York City puppet designer, builder and performer Matt Acheson for an incisive discussion about how to make a living in the arts today.

BusinessofPuppetryHeadshots

Matt Acheson is a puppet and theater artist living in Brooklyn. Matt was the Resident Puppetry Director for Warhorse at Lincoln Center Theater and Associate Puppetry Director for the Warhorse North American tour. Matt has designed, built, and directed puppets for productions including Radio City’s Spring Spectacular and Sarah Ruhl’s play The Oldest Boy. In 2015, Matt and UConn Puppet Arts Program Adjunct Professor Fergus J. Walsh founded AchesonWalsh Studios. Most recently, they designed and fabricated a Tyrannosaurs Rex for On The Town, and masks for the 2015 revival of The King and I at Lincoln Center Theater. Currently, Matt is directing and curating the annual St. Ann’s Warehouse Puppet Lab with Krissy Smith.

Bonnie Duncan has blended puppetry, dance, and physical theatre in surprising and delightful ways for the past 16 years. She currently heads up The Gottabees, making super-fun theater for families. She tours two shows for families (Squirrel Stole My Underpants & Lollipops for Breakfast) that are selling out theaters and inspiring homemade puppet shows throughout the U.S. and abroad. She also creates small shows for adult audiences. Prior to her work with The Gottabees, Bonnie was a company member of Snappy Dance Theater for eight years, performing sculptural, acrobatic dances internationally.

Roxanna Myhrum is the Artistic Director of Puppet Showplace Theater, where she has produced and directed hundreds of puppetry events, from Boston’s annual First Night Puppetry Festival to the site-specific Halloween attraction The Midnight Zoo. She is a sought-after puppetry coach and director in Greater Boston. Roxanna has taught puppetry to students of all ages and has been a guest teaching artist at several colleges and universities. Roxanna recently completed a term on the Puppeteers of America Board of Trustees and was part of the Artistic Committee for the 2015 National Puppetry Festival at UConn.
Admission to this event is free (donations greatly appreciated!), and refreshments will be served. Come early, and experience our puppet exhibitions, as well as the video resources in our library nook. Forums will be broadcast via Facebook Live. Visit bimp.uconn.edu or call 860-486-8580 for more information.

Ballard Institute Galleries Closed from October 10-21, 2016

From October 10 through October 21, 2016, Ballard Institute staff will be deinstalling our current exhibition The Bureau of Small Requests: Puppetry and Animation of Laura Heit and installing our new exhibitions Frank Ballard’s Marionette Modernism: ‘Peer Gynt’ and ‘The Love for Three Oranges’ and Object, Image, Text: The Bread & Puppet Press.  While the main galleries at the Ballard Institute will be closed during this process, the museum will remain open during normal business hours, and our exhibit titled The World of Puppetry: From the Collections of the Ballard Institute will be on display in the lobby.

We  invite you to join us for the grand opening of Frank Ballard’s Marionette Modernism: ‘Peer Gynt’ and ‘The Love for Three Oranges’ and Object, Image, Text: The Bread & Puppet Press on Saturday, October 22 at 4:00 p.m. at the Ballard Institute. The opening events will include free tours by John Bell, Director of the Ballard Institute, and Peter Schumann of Bread & Puppet Theater.

UConn School of Fine Arts Student Short Film Festival, 9/23-9/25

UConn’s Theatre Studies Program, Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry, Digital Media & Design Department, Department of Art and Art History, and the Dean’s Office of the School of Fine Arts will present the first-ever UConn School of Fine Arts Student Short Film Festival from Friday, September 23 through Sunday, September 25 at von der Mehden Recital Hall located on UConn’s Main Campus at 875 Coventry Road, Storrs CT 06269. Admission to this event is free.

The newly created UConn School of Fine Arts Student Short Film Festival will present works by cutting-edge young filmmakers enrolled at the University of Connecticut. The categories include animation, short fiction, and documentary films. On the final night, a reception will be held in the lobby of von der Mehden Recital Hall after the screening.

The three-day schedule includes:

Friday, September 23, 7:00 p.m.: Animation Films, including both shorts and animated storytelling, and short-shorts and animated experiments. The screening will feature commentary by UConn faculty members and a post-screening talkback.

Saturday, September 24, 7:00 p.m.: Short Fiction Films, including films related to the themes of cause and effect and wander and seek. The screening will feature commentary by UConn faculty members and a post-screening talkback.

Sunday, September 25, 6:00 p.m.: Documentary Films, including works that reflect on personal identity and identity in the UConn community, as well as UConn faculty member Alison Paul’s new film “Equinox.” The screenings will feature commentary by UConn faculty members and post-screening talkbacks. After these events, we invite attendees to stay for a reception in the lobby of von der Mehden Recital Hall.

For more information about the festival, screening times, and scheduled presentations, see sfa.uconn.edu/sfa-film-festival or contact Robyn Genzano at robyn.genzano@uconn.edu.

Free Tour at the Ballard Institute before ET on the Town Square on 8/19

As part of its Moonlight Movies series, the Mansfield Downtown Partnership will offer a free screening of E. T.: THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL on Friday, August 19. Activities begin at 7 p.m. and the movie begins at dusk on the Mansfield Town Square.
Before the movie starts, come to Storrs Center for family-friendly activities starting at 7 p.m., including a themed dinner at Dog Lane Cafe, the UConn Dairy Bar Ice Cream Truck, and hands-on fun for kids in the Town Square.

The Ballard Institute will join in the fun with extended museum hours and a free guided tour at 7:30 p.m. of our current exhibits, The Bureau of Small Requests: Puppetry and Animation of Laura Heit and The World of Puppetry: From the Collections of the Ballard Institute.

For more information about this event, visit https://www.downtownstorrs.org/calendar

 

Free Tour of the Ballard Institute and Screening of “Muppet Treasure Island” on the Town Square on 6/24!

On Friday, June 24, the Ballard Institute will offer a free tour of current exhibitions and have extended hours for the Mansfield Downtown Partnership’s free screening of Muppet Treasure Island on the Mansfield Town Square at dusk.

Before the movie starts, come to Storrs Center for family-friendly activities starting at 7 p.m., including a themed dinner at Dog Lane Cafe, the UConn Dairy Bar Ice Cream Truck, and hands-on fun for kids in the Town Square.

At 7:30 p.m., the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry will offer a free guided tour of the current exhibitions, The World of Puppetry: From the Collections of the Ballard Institute and The Bureau of Small Requests: Puppetry and Animation of Laura Heit. The museum will remain open until the movie starts at dusk.

Muppet Treasure Island

Music, fun, and swashbuckling hilarity abound as the Muppets take on Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic story of pirate adventure on the high seas. Kermit stars as the good Captain Smollett, who helps guide young Jim Hawkins toward buried pirate treasure. But danger is on the horizon when they learn that the ship’s cook, Long John Silver (Tim Curry), may not be just an ordinary galley hand. As the adventure continues, Jim and Captain Smollett encounter Miss Piggy as Benjamina Gunn, Treasure Island’s worshipped (but dangerous) love goddess. Directed by Brian Henson, the film features a musical score by Academy Award-winning composer Hans Zimmer with songs by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil.

Rated G
Runtime: 1 hour, 39 minutes

For more information about the Mansfield Downtown Partnership’s Moonlight Movies, visit: mansfieldct.gov/movies

“Canteen Tales: Quest for the Golden Spork” by Shane McNeal on 7/2 at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

me on stairsAs part of its popular Summertime Saturday Puppet Shows for family audiences by UConn Puppet Arts students, the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry will present Canteen Tales: Quest for the Golden Spork by UConn Puppet Arts MFA student and Connecticut native Shane McNeal on Saturday, July 2 at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the Ballard Institute Theater located at 1 Royce Circle, Storrs, CT.

Shane McNeal, a third-year MFA candidate in the UConn Puppet Arts Program and native of Bristol, Connecticut, has been interested in the art of puppetry for well over a decade. Coming from an early childhood education background, McNeal has always enjoyed entertaining children of all ages with puppets and storytelling. Over the last two years, McNeal acted as a puppeteer in several projects, including the children’s television pilot of Treeples and in Hartford’s annual performances of Night Fall and Envision Fest. More recently, he performed in ECHO, the UConn Puppet Arts MFA puppet production by Christopher D. Mullens, and assisted with creating, designing, and performing a puppet production with the Boston Pops in May 2016.

In his brand-new show Canteen Tales: Quest for the Golden Spork, join McNeal 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!

Upcoming Summertime Saturday Puppet Shows by UConn Puppet Arts students include:

 July 9 – Jacks in the Box by Mark Blashford: Mark Blashford, a third-year Puppet Arts graduate student, performs classic Appalachian Jack Tales and lyric vignettes with suitcases, shadows, rod puppets, and marionettes.

July 16 – The Wonderful World of Wonder by Gavin Cummins: 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!

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

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!

August 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 under), $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.