Tales From the O'Neill: Summer Traditions Kept Alive

By Sophia Saifi
24 Jun 2013

Bart at the BBQ
Photo by Alex Griffin
Bart's BBQ

Bart Roccoberton Jr., the technical director of the National Puppetry Conference, has long links to the O'Neill, and one of his traditions is to host a barbeque on the last day of the puppetry conference. The barbeque has modest beginnings; eighteen years ago, at the end of the conference, a bunch of international participants had to stay a little longer at the O'Neill. It was a Sunday, so as a treat, Roccoberton decided to grill some burgers on the pub's porch. Fast forward to this year, when about one hundred hungry attendees descend onto the Blue Gene's garden to scarf down portobello mushrooms, hotdogs and Bart's famous pineapple slices. (He chops the fruit, slathers it with butter and then grills the wedges, which are served sprinkled with cinnamon.) Artistic director Pam Arciero, who has been involved with "Sesame Street" for many years, brought out her beloved character of Grundgetta and in a corner someone strummed a banjo. It was a truly rustic end to a wonderful week.