"Cinderella" and" Beauty and the Beast" will make up "The Dick Meyers Project," featuring UConn puppet Arts graduate student Seth Shaffer at the Studio Theatre in Storrs, Thursday, April 11 to Sunday, April 14.
Connecticut Repertory Theatre's family friendly performance will be a one-hour puppetry recreation of Meyer’s 1960’s puppet show featuring all his original puppets. The shows that have not been publicly performed in more than 30 years
Shaffer will restore the original puppets and remount two of Myers’ shows under the direction of Bart Roccoberton, head of UConn's Puppet Arts program.
In the 1960s and 70s Myers toured his one-man puppet performances based on classic fairy tales throughout Europe, the Soviet Union, Japan and the U.S.
According to the theater, Jim Henson and Frank Oz proclaimed Myers as “the genius of American Puppetry. Myers was one of the leading puppeteers of the mid-twentieth century. His work was unique in both its design and construction. He was internationally respected and recognized. Myers spent the latter years of his life attempting to remount his shows in hope that they would be video recorded for future generations to enjoy.
"Sadly, he passed away in 2005, having never completed that project. After he had passed away, his puppets were left to another internationally renowned puppeteer, Allelu Kurten. who entrusted Roccoberton with the puppets, sets, scripts, show tapes, and all the materials necessary to remount Myers’ shows.
Tickets are $12 to $15.
Information: 860-486-2113 and visit www.crt.uconn.edu.
"Myers had a diverse life," according to a press release from the puppet arts program. "He studied aeronautical engineering at Tri-State University in Angola, IN. He studied acting at the Goodman Theater of the Chicago Arts Institute. He took art classes at the University of Cincinnati. He photographed missiles for the U.S. government during the Cold War. He held a multitude of jobs including cameraman, sound engineer, pilot, airplane mechanic, flight instructor, security guard and construction worker. All of these experiences informed his true love, puppetry. This led to his innovation of a new form of rod-puppetry, and his original puppets are the main attraction in these productions of Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast.
"Myers’ first solo show was "Dick Whittington’s Cat," which was performed at the 1966 National Puppetry Festival in San Diego. This performance started his career in puppetry where he built four other shows: Cinderella (1968), Beauty and the Beast (1972), Simple Simon (1976) and Divertsement (1978).
Meyers last public show was at the Smithsonian’s Discovery Theatre in 1983 ."