There is something extra-magical about summer memories. It’s the perfect time to catch some rays by the pool, catch fireflies at dusk and catch a show at the Center for Puppetry Arts.
If you haven’t discovered it already, we’re here to let you in an a summer lifesaver: the Center is the perfect spot for getting out of the house this summer to make memories and, well, escape the stir-crazies bound to set in after a few too many lazy summer days.
At the Center, the atmosphere is comfortable and totally kid-friendly. The theater is filled with low, cushioned benches just right for little ones, wide rows big enough to set down brother or sister’s infant car seat and–this is the clencher–plenty of other kids. (So you’ll never have to worry about your kids talking laughing hysterically at the wrong parts of the show because there is bound to be another kid a few rows up doing the exact same thing. Three cheers for parent solidarity!) Oh, and two more words, y’all: air conditioning. (Because Georgia.)
For all these reasons, we may be just as excited as our kiddos about the new lineup. The 16-show schedule features an all-new production, a few returning favorites and a number of notable new and returning guest touring artists, including Thistle Theatre’s Tales of Peter Rabbit (in honor of Beatrix Potter’s 150th birthday.)
For the little ones, there is a production Beauty and the Beast, a fun and funky adaptation of the classic tale, in which trash is turned into treasure and true love prevails in a modern day city complete with alley cats, beauty shops, and exercise videos.
For the two-and-under crowd, the Theatre for the Very Young is putting on a production of Old MacDonald’s Farm, a sure-to-delight barnyard bonanza of fun and furry animals.
For teens and adults, the Center’s New Directions Series is expanding the perception and expectations of puppet theater for older audiences. There will be a National Puppet Slam 2016, an evening of curated, short-form puppetry pieces, The Ghastly Dreadfuls show that returns in October, and a puppet performance of Oliver Twist.
As always, the Create-A-Puppet Workshops will offer visitors the opportunity to build and decorate a puppet that is inspired by the style of puppetry in or characters from the Family Series production being presented. And now, new this year, kids ages 9-12 can join the Junior Explorers Series workshops for kids and the ever-popular Puppet Camp. Parents can get in on the fun, too, with the Explore Puppetry Series, which offers adults almost a dozen professional development workshops in all things puppet.
Without further ado, here is the full Family Series schedule for summer (& beyond) below:
The Swan (Ages 3+) | May 24 – June 5, 2016 | By Théâtre de Deux Mains of Montréal, Québec, Canada
The Little Pirate Mermaid | June 7 – July 17, 2016 | Adapted by Jon Ludwig
Sleeping Beauty | July 19- 31, 2016 | By National Marionette Theatre of Erie, Pa.
Old MacDonald’s Farm (Ages 2+) | August 2 – September 11, 2016 | Adapted by Amy Sweeney
Tales of Peter Rabbit | September 14-25, 2016 | By Thistle Theatre of Seattle, Wash.
La Cucarachita Martina (Martina the Little Roach) | September 28 – October 9, 2016 | By Teatro SEA of New York, N.Y.
The Jungle Book: The Story of Mowgli’s Fire | October 12 – 23, 2016 | By Frisch Marionettes of Cincinnati, Ohio
The Headless Horseman of Sleepy Silly Hollow | October 25, 2015 – November 6, 2016 | By Frogtown Mountain Puppeteers of Bar Harbor, Maine
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (returning for its 7th season!) | November 8 – December 31, 2016 | Adapted by Jon Ludwig
The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by A. Wolf | January 3-22, 2017 | By Mesner Puppet Theater of Kansas City, Mo.
The Adventures of Mighty Bug | January 24– March 12, 2017 | Adapted by Jon Ludwig
The Dragon King | March 14 – April 2, 2017 | By Tanglewood Marionettes of Ware, Mass.
Pete the Cat | April 4 – May 21, 2017 | Based on the book series by James Dean and adapted by Jon Ludwig
Where: Center for Puppetry Arts at 1404 Spring Street NW in Atlanta.
Cost: Tickets for patrons, ages two years of age and older, are $9.25 (Members) and $16.50 (Nonmembers) and include the performance, museum admission, and the Create-A-Puppet Workshop (or To-Go Kit).
To purchase tickets: visit www.puppet.org or call 404-873-3391.