All-Puppet Wizard of Oz on Tap at National Puppetry Festival

News   All-Puppet Wizard of Oz on Tap at National Puppetry Festival
 
Fans of Avenue Q and Hand to God take note: Puppeteers from 12 nations on five continents and from 40 U.S. states will converge on the campus of the University of Connecticut Aug. 10-16 for the 2015 National Puppetry Festival.

Among planned events: a new interpretation of The Wizard of Oz by The Frisch Marionettes of Cincinnati, OH, and productions of The Pirate, the Princess and the Pea by Crabgrass Puppet Theatre and White Like Me: a Honky Dory Puppet Show by Paul Zaloom of Los Angeles.

The Frisch Marionettes' <i>The Wizard of Oz</i>
The Frisch Marionettes' The Wizard of Oz

The week-long festival will include workshops, master classes and live performances.

Highlights of the festival will include 20 public performances by more than 25 national and international puppeteers, 30 professional workshops, six visual art exhibitions, “Puppetry in Film” series, a giant puppet parade and nightly Festival Pub Showcase at various locations on the UConn campus in Storrs, CT.

Four master puppeteers also will be honored: Caroll and Debbie Spinney of “Sesame Street,” Peter Schumann of the politically radical Bread & Puppet Theater and Chuck McCann, the New York children’s television star and voice actor.

Among the performances: Shadow puppets by Drama of Works of Brooklyn, NY; Bunraku and shadow styles of award-winning Bulgarian-born puppeteer Margarita Blush of the UConn faculty; Brazilian hand-puppets by Chico Simões; classic rod puppetry by Chinese Theatre Works of Queens, NY; Late Night with Eugene O’Neill, a variety show that is based on a late night talk show format.

Host organization Puppeteers of America chose UConn for this year's festival to mark the 50th year of the UConn Puppet Arts Program, which was founded by Frank W. Ballard. UConn last hosted the festival in 1970.

For a complete schedule of performances and to order tickets, go to the website for the National Puppetry Festival or call (869) 465-4568.

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