American university level puppetry programme. The Puppet Arts Program at the University of Connecticut is the only academic institution in the United States to offer degrees in puppetry at three levels, BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts), MA (Master of Arts), and MFA (Master of Fine Arts). Graduates of the program work in professional theatre, cinema, television, advertising, education, and as solo artists or in puppet companies around the country.
Part of the Department of Dramatic Arts in UConn’s School of Fine Arts, the Puppet Arts Program was established by Frank Ballard. The first large-scale student production was the Mikado (1968), and the first MFA thesis production was in 1974.
Since 1990, the Puppet Arts Program has been directed by Bart P. Roccoberton Jr. During a typical year the program includes sixteen undergraduate students and ten graduate students. Productions at UConn have earned six UNIMA-USA Citations of Excellence. The Puppet Arts Program at UConn is closely connected with the university’s Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry, and also has close ties with the National Puppetry Conference at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center.
(See United States of America.)