July 2 – Sept. 10, 2010
Puppeteer, designer, director and teacher Frank Ballard passed away on Friday, June 4, 2010 after a long struggle with Parkinson’s Disease. Frank Ballard’s immense contributions to puppetry in the United States and the world are only beginning to be recognized and understood. His creation of the first university-level puppet arts program in the United States, beginning with his puppet classes at the University of Connecticut’s Dramatic Arts Department in the early sixties, helped new generations of puppeteers revitalize and re-invent the old art of puppetry for the 20th and 21st centuries. Frank Ballard’s own productions of marionette, rod-puppet, shadow-puppet, and giant puppet theater pieces ranged from innovative children’s shows to television and film works, and fully realized live puppet operas, tragedies, and comedies. Frank Ballard was a vibrant part of the University of Connecticut School of Fine Arts community, and also an active member of the Storrs community in which he lived. His friendships with students, faculty, and neighbors helped create an inspired community of supporters who attended Frank’s shows, organized the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry, and helped spread the word about the possibilities of puppetry in our time.