University of Connecticut

Events Calendar

Double Selves: African American Puppets and Puppeteers

Saturday, February 9, 2019
8:30pm – 10:00pm

Storrs Campus
von der Mehden Recital Hall, 875 Coventry Rd, Storrs, CT 06269

The Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry at the University of Connecticut will present "Double Selves: African American Puppets and Puppeteers," with performances by Tarish “Jeghetto” Pipkins, Pandora Gastelum, Isaac Bloodworth, Brad Brewer, and Dirk Joseph’s String Theory Theater on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019 at 8:30 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 von der Mehden Recital Hall located at 875 Coventry Rd, Storrs, CT 06269.

"Double Selves" will include the following performances:

"A Conversation with Frederick Douglass" by Tarish “Jeghetto” Pipkins Experience the incredible life journey of Frederick Douglass through a multimedia performance of puppetry, music and projected images based on the famed abolitionist’s autobiography.

Tarish Pipkins, a.k.a. Jeghetto, was born in the small steel mill town of Clairton, PA, south of Pittsburgh. A self-taught artist, he began creating art at an early age. In the late 90’s he joined the BridgeSpotters Collective, becoming known for his live paintings and poetry. Tarish moved to North Carolina in 2005, and launched his career in puppetry with street performances. In 2008 he began working with Paperhand Puppet Intervention, building puppets and performing in several productions. Tarish also built and performed puppets for Missy Elliott’s 2015 music video, WTF ( Where They From), and taught at Just Right Academy, a private alternative school for children with special needs. Pipkins is married and a proud father of five children, and his passion is promoting oneness through the magic of puppetry.

"The City that Care Forgot" by Pandora Gastelum "The City that Care Forgot," performed by Pandora Gastelum of The Mudlark Puppeteers, is one-woman shadow and rod-puppet show set to early jazz music which explores the lesser-known history of old New Orleans through the lives of some famous and infamous figures, including Lulu White, the Diamond Queen of Storyville.

Pandora Andrea Gastelum is a puppeteer, dollmaker, designer, and performer. She owns and operates The Mudlark Public Theatre in New Orleans' 9th Ward and is the Artistic Director of that space's resident theatre company, The Mudlark Puppeteers. The Mudlark Puppeteers specialize in innovative and unconventional puppet and object theater on a variety of scales, presenting original and little-told stories of heroic misfits and wayward love--fables waging a playful but determined battle for alternative modes of being. As devoted residents of the Gulf Coast, The Mudlark Puppeteers explore the creative capacity of dispossession through puppetcraft and performance, imagining hope in the form of new stories about the dispossessed as em


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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