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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Ballard Institute & Museum of Puppetry - Storrs, Connecticut

They are the cast in full costume and makeup, standing silent, but ready to perform in an instant.

There is much history of the most beguiling art form of puppetry here at the Ballard Institute & Museum of Puppetry.  These actors are the progeny of a long heritage stretching through the ages of human expression.

They may take a crude or avant garde form, or they may, as the assembly above, assume the garb of English operetta.  This is the cast of the Gilbert and Sullivan classic, H.M.S. Pinafore.

The Ballard Institute is named for Frank Ballard, one of the most preeminent puppeteers in  America, and professor and founder of the puppet arts program at the University of Connecticut at Storrs in 1965.   UCONN is one of the few schools in the world that offers degrees in puppetry, and has become a mecca for students of this art.

Especially charming are the displays illustrating Professor Ballard's full-scale puppet productions of musical theatre shows.  Here is the Caliph's procession in the "Night of My Nights" scene from Kismet.

The Ballard Institute & Museum of Puppetry is located at 1 Royce Circle in Storrs, Connecticut.

Have a look here at their website for more information.  Then come out to Storrs and have a look for yourself.

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