University of Connecticut

Events Calendar

Throwing Voice: African American Ventriloquism

Friday, February 8, 2019
8:00pm – 9:30pm

Storrs Campus
Konover Auditorium at the Dodd Research Center, 405 Babbidge Road, Storrs, CT 06269

The Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry at the University of Connecticut will present "Throwing Voice: African American Ventriloquism," with performances by Megan Piphus, David Liebe Hart, and Nate Puppets on Friday, Feb. 8, 2019 at 8 p.m. as part of the ground-breaking Living Objects: African American Puppetry Festival and Symposium, a four-day series of performances, presentations, discussions, film screenings, and workshops, from Feb. 7 to 10, 2019, celebrating the rich world of African American puppetry in the United States. This performance will take place at UConn’s Doris & Simon Konover Auditorium in the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center located at 405 Babbidge Road, Storrs, CT 06269.

"Throwing Voice" will include the following performances:

Megan Piphus blends her vocal prowess with ventriloquism, captivating audiences of all ages with her humorous and talented puppets. At the age of ten years old, Megan Piphus was introduced to ventriloquism. In 2008, Megan was featured on Oprah’s Search for the World’s Smartest and Most Talented Kids. Megan was valedictorian of her class at Princeton High School in 2010. Her graduation speech featuring her and her puppet George became a hit on YouTube soon after its release, and Megan became known throughout her community as the “Valedictorian Ventriloquist.” ​ In 2011, after submitting a video showcasing her talent in musical ventriloquism, Megan was chosen to be a contestant on the America’s Got Talent YouTube Contest. In 2012, Megan appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno as a ventriloquist on a segment called “Does This Thrill Bill?” with William Shatner. In June 2013, Megan appeared on NBC show America’s Got Talent with her characters Princess and Monica in front of celebrity judges Mel B, Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel, and Howard Stern, and received four yes’s from all four judges to continue onto the Vegas bootcamp round. In April of 2018, Megan appeared on FOX show Showtime at the Apollo with Steve Harvey, received a standing ovation from the Apollo Theater audience, and placed in the top 3 of her episode.

David Liebe Hart, renowned for his performances on Adult Swim’s "Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!," will put on a show guaranteed to please old fans and new ones alike, performing old favorites (such as “Salame” and "Email") and new songs, along with puppets, projected video accompaniment, audience interaction, and oddly endearing stories of past relationships and paranormal encounters.

David Liebe Hart is an outsider musician, actor and painter. A true original, he has communicated with extraterrestrials, owns a large collection of puppets, and is obsessed with trains. Throughout the past decade Liebe Hart has garnered a substantial and dedicated fanbase, not only from his TV and film appearances but also from his stints on the road performing music all across the US, Canada, UK, Ireland, New Zealand and Australia. His followers are supportive and


Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry, 860-486-8580 or

Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry (primary), African American Cultural Center, Africana Studies Institute, UConn Master Calendar

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