Use color legend below to select and deselect a calendar category
Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

“Throwing Voice: African American Ventriloquism” with Megan Piphus, David Liebe Hart, and Nate Puppets

February 8 @ 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm

$8 – $12

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 loyal, won over by David’s sincerity and endearing idiosyncrasies, as well his engaging stage shows.

Nate Puppets will perform Nate Puppets and The Slack Pack. A chaotic romp through the vaudevillian art of ventriloquism, Nate Puppets with his “little friends” Skylar, Chipper and Bendy take you on a journey on weirdness, wildness and debauchery. Nate has been fascinated by puppets his entire life. He grew up in the 90s, when there were numerous puppet shows on television, which he would sit and stare at in fascination. At the age of eleven, following an injury, he became a ventriloquist and developed an obsession with puppetry. Nate considers his work “weird to say the least,” but “loves being out there.” He sees his performances as “totally raw,” with no limitations other than the ones he gives himself, and feels “that’s important in all art, not just puppetry, so I try to apply it in my work.”

This show runs approximately 1.5 hours and is recommended for ages 13+.

Ticket Prices: Adults: $12; Members/Seniors: $10; Students: $8.

Tickets can be purchased in advance at the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry, by calling 860-486-8580, or online at A surcharge will be added to any purchases made online. Tickets may also be purchased on the day of performance at UConn’s Doris & Simon Konover Auditorium starting at 7 p.m. There will be open seating and no reservations. For address and parking information for the Doris & Simon Konover Auditorium located in the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, visit Attendees should park in the South Parking Garage. For the South Garage, if utilizing a GPS, use the UConn Bookstore address: 2075 Hillside Road, Storrs, CT 06269. For more information or if you require an accommodation to attend this event, please contact Ballard Institute staff at 860.486.8580 or

The Living Objects: African American Puppetry Festival and Symposium is taking place in conjunction with the Living Objects: African American Puppetry exhibit at UConn’s Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry on display through April 7, 2019. For information about the exhibit and festival, visit

Living Objects: African American Puppetry Festival and Symposium sponsors include: Judith M. Zachs and the Zachs Family Foundation, UConn School of Fine Arts, University of Connecticut Humanities Institute, UConn Africana Studies Institute, the H. Fred Simons African American Cultural Center of the University of Connecticut, UConn Hartford, Hartford Public Library, the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, the Amistad Center for Art and Culture, and Maryland Institute College of Art.


February 8
8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
$8 – $12
Event Category:
Event Tags:
, ,


Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry
(860) 486-8580


860-486-8580 or


Konover Auditorium, Dodd Research Center, UConn

405 Babbidge Road, Unit 1205
Storrs, CT 06269 United States
+ Google Map