The Ballard Institute And Museum Of Puppetry Presents MILO THE MAGNIFICENT

The Ballard Institute And Museum Of Puppetry Presents MILO THE MAGNIFICENT

As part of its 2019 Fall Puppet Performance Series, the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry at the University of Connecticut is pleased to present Milo the Magnificent by the Maryland-based company Alex & Olmsted on Sept. 28, 2019 at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. in the Ballard Institute Theater, located at 1 Royce Circle in Downtown Storrs.

Milo the Magnificent-the recipient of a Jim Henson Foundation Grant-is a highly engaging puppet show about an aspiring magician. Using stunningly innovative puppetry, Milo presents a variety of magic tricks which don't always go as planned. This show is 50 minutes long and recommended for all ages.

In a review for the New York Times, Laurel Graeber wrote, "Milo is a bit of a cardboard character, but you can't blame him for that. He's a puppet: specifically, a huge cutout fellow, whose arms, hands and feet belong to one of his creators, and whose changing facial expressions are recorded on flippable circular cards. The duo Alex & Olmsted-Alex Vernon and Sarah Olmsted Thomas-invented his world, which includes other puppets made of cleverly repurposed materials. Milo [...] aspires to be an illusionist, and while his tricks and experiments rarely work out as planned, children will still find them magical."

Alex & Olmsted (Alex Vernon and Sarah Olmsted Thomas) is an internationally-acclaimed puppet theater company. In recent years, they have performed at the Puppet Festival Chuncheon in South Korea, the Festival de Casteliers in Montréal, the Festival of Animated Objects in Calgary, and Symphony Space in New York City. In 2019, they will have their European premiere at the Festival of Wonder in Silkeborg, Denmark. Milo the Magnificent was awarded a 2017 Jim Henson Foundation Grant and a Greenbelt Community Foundation Grant. Alex & Olmsted are resident artists at the Baltimore Theatre Project. They are also proud company members of Happenstance Theater, with whom they have created 10 productions since 2012.

Alex & Olmsted will also perform their new show Homebodies on Friday, Sept. 27 at 8 p.m. at the Ballard Institute as the kickoff of a new series of puppet shows for adult and teen audiences. For more information or to buy tickets for this show, visit

Upcoming Fall Puppet Performance Shows include:

Oct. 26: The Three Little Pigs by Crabgrass Puppet Theatre
In this new version of an old tale, the three little pigs have a problem: they've outgrown their home and need three new houses. That's where their architect, B.B. Wolfe, comes in. But can Mr. Wolfe be trusted? The award-winning Crabgrass Puppet Theatre delivers a delightful and hilarious new take on an old tale, featuring beautiful puppetry, lively music and three adorable pigs. This show is 45 minutes long and recommended for ages 4+. Celebrate Trick-or-Treat in Downtown Storrs by wearing your Halloween costume to the show!

Nov. 16: Holiday Punch! by Modern Times Theater
Punch and Judy are almost ready to celebrate Thanksgiving. They've got the stuffing, the sweet potatoes, and the cranberry sauce. The only thing missing is the turkey. Audiences will split their sides laughing as Mr. Punch tries to catch the main dish, while avoiding crocodiles, his badly-behaved baby, and his dog Toby (who looks suspiciously like a skunk). The skillfully-operated hand puppets are chock-full of surprises and tricks, as is the elaborate stage. Holiday Punch! includes live music played on a variety of instruments, from the ukulele to the bicycle pump. This show is 45 minutes long and is recommended for all ages.

Dec. 7: Peter and the Wolf by National Marionette Theatre
Based on the original Russian folktale, National Marionette Theatre's version of Prokofiev's story features the beautiful music from his orchestral score combined with stunning scenery and hand-crafted marionettes. Set in turn-of-the-century Russia, the production tells the story of how Peter-along with his animal friends-captures the wolf. This show is 50 minutes long and is recommended for all ages.

Ticket Prices: Adults: $12; Members/Seniors: $10; Students: $8; Kids: $6 (12 years and under).

Tickets can be purchased in advance at the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry, by calling 860-486-8580, or online at A surcharge will be added to any purchases made online. Tickets may also be purchased at the Ballard Institute on the day of performance starting at 10 a.m. There will be open seating and no reservations. Visitors can park in the Storrs Center Garage located at 33 Royce Circle. Parking is free for the first two hours and $1 per hour thereafter, with a daily maximum charge of $8. For more information about these performances or if you require an accommodation to attend this event, please contact Ballard Institute staff at 860-486-8580 or

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