UConn Alum’s Spiffy Exhibit to Open at Ballard

Left: David Rudman of Spiffy Pictures performing puppets for Jack’s Big Music Show; Right: Frank Ballard sewing a costume for The Fantasticks.

The Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry will present the grand opening of its new exhibitions Spiffy Pictures: Adventures in Television Animation and Frank Ballard into the 80s: Babes in Toyland, The Blue Bird, and The Fantasticks, on Saturday, July 14, 2018. The exhibition will be on display through Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018.

Spiffy Pictures: Adventures in Television Animation celebrates the work of UConn School of Fine Arts alumnus David Rudman, his brother Adam Rudman, and Todd Hannert, whose Spiffy Pictures company has created award-winning productions for PBS Kids, Sesame Street, Nickelodeon, Disney, Comedy Central, and other media channels. The exhibition features Nick Jr.’s Jack’s Big Music Show, and Disney’s Emmy-nominated Bunnytown. Including over 50 exquisitely crafted Spiffy puppets and fascinating backstage footage, Spiffy Pictures offers exciting insights into the magic of contemporary puppet production for television.

Frank Ballard into the 80s: Babes in Toyland, The Blue Bird, and The Fantasticks features three productions by the UConn Puppet Arts Program’s founding Director Frank Ballard: the 1903 Victor Herbert operetta Babes in Toyland; Maurice Maeterlinck’s 1908 symbolist classic The Blue Bird; and the 1960s Off-Broadway musical The Fantasticks. Marking a departure from Ballard’s early focus on string marionettes, these late-career shows combine actors with puppets of all sizes and forms, constructed from such novel materials as polyurethane foam.

The exhibit opening will begin at 12 noon on July 14, followed by a free tour of the new exhibitions at 12:30 p.m. For more information, visit bimp.uconn.edu.

In addition to the exhibition opening, and as part of our Summertime Saturday Puppet Show Series, Tuckers’ Tales Puppet Theatre will perform Peter Rabbit Tales at the Ballard Institute Theater at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on July 14. For more information about this performance and to buy tickets, visit bimp.ticketleap.com.