The Ballard Institute presents the online forum “Puppetry And Production Design” with Carl Sprague

For its first installment of the Spring Puppet Forum Series 2022, the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry at the University of Connecticut will host “Puppetry and Production Design” with a scenographer Carl Sprague Thursday, February 24 at 7 p.m. ET.

This forum will take place on Zoom (registration required: and Facebook Live ( and will then be available on Facebook and on the Ballard Institute YouTube channel (

In a conversation with the Director of the Ballard Institute John Bellpuppeteer and scenographer Carl Sprague will discuss the nature of puppet images, objects and performances, in films such as The French Dispatch, Twelve Years a Slave, Amistad and La La Land, as well as his own work as a puppeteer of Czech puppets. This forum is co-sponsored by the Krenicki Arts and Engineering Institute at UConn.

Carl Sprague got his start in performance and set design at the age of eight – performing with the Czech family puppet theater originally established by his great-grandfather. He then worked in theater and film, graduating with a degree in film (and philosophy!) from Harvard, which launched him into a long career in production design. Notable theater companies he designed for include the Berkshire Theatre, Oldcastle Theater Company, Mixed Company, Music-Theatre GroupHubbard Hall Opera, Shakespeare & Company, the Moscow Ballet and the Albany Berkshire Ballet.

Carl’s professional film career has taken him from a long association with special effects magician Douglas Trumbull to Hollywood feature films big and small, including Martin Scorsese‘s Age of Innocence, The Social Network, Twelve Years a Slave and Tesla. He is lucky to have worked with Wes Anderson on six films, starting with The Royal Tenenbaums, passing through Grand Budapest Hotel and The French Dispatch. He has produced three feature films with Maya Forbes and Wally Wolodarsky. Documentary master Errol Morris also appealed to him, and Woody Allen hired him to design his series for Amazon. Carl’s sets for photographer Gregory Crewdson have been featured in The New York Times.

Carl continues to play with puppets.

For more information, and to learn about Ballard Institute’s other online programs, visit