Connecticut Attractions, Museums January 02, 2021
This Unique Destination, Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry, Proves That There’s Still A Kid In All Of Us
Have you ever considered earning a Masters’s degree in Puppetry from the University of Connecticut? Even if you haven’t, the sights and theatre of Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry will educate you about the history of puppetry, while leaving you with wide-eyed wonder and excitement.
Named after Frank W. Ballard, the original founder of the Puppet Arts Program for the University of Connecticut, the Ballard Institute of Museum and Puppetry opened its doors in 1978 at the Depot Campus and moved to the Storr's Center in 2014.
A visit to the Ballard Institute is a historical mine of puppetry. Noted for having one of the largest puppet collections in the United States, this is the home to over 2,500 puppets of every kind from all over the world.
Research materials include the Puppeteers of America collection, as well as a library filled with thousands of books, scripts, news articles, posters, and audio-visual material about the history of puppet theatre.
Year round exhibits celebrate the puppets and artistic design work of the puppet masters behind them. In 2019, the puppets of
Bart Roccoberton showed four decades of puppetry and 90 puppets.
A historical exhibit about puppetry in the 20th century featured the work of Martin Stevens. He worked on the 1938 film Jerry Pulls the Strings, which featured a full cast of marionettes and told the story of the Origin of Coffee. The 31-minute film can be watched on
Virtual exhibits let you experience current and past exhibits at your fingertips.
Workshops for children and adults give hands-on experience in puppet creation. Classes range from $10-15 per class and include mask making, shadow puppets, theatre, rod puppets, marionettes, and more.
Short classes can be watched on Facebook Live every Wednesday and Friday at 2 PM EST. Past workshops can be seen on
Social distancing guidelines are currently in place for guests. Reservations for tours and in-person workshops are required and can be made
online or call (860) 486-8580.
You can find more details about what to current museum policies
Ballard Institute and Puppet Museum by Saturday reservation from 10 am – 4 pm. $5 per person.
1 Royce Circle, Ste 101B, Storrs, CT 06268 Phone: 860-486-8580
Address: Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry, 1 Royce Cir, Storrs, CT 06268, USA
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