In 1978, Jim Henson and Kermit the Frog cut the ribbon to what is now known as a beloved Atlanta tradition. For 40 years now, the Center for Puppetry Arts has appealed to both children and adults through a variety of entertainment. Christine Barrett, Digital Marketing Manager for Center for Puppetry Arts joins us on our Around Atlanta episode to talk about the exciting new exhibits and events offered at the museum and how puppetry is attracting more adults than ever before.
As the largest nonprofit organization in the country dedicated to puppetry, the Center for Puppetry Arts hosts year-round performances for all ages, educational workshops for every level of learning, and a museum featuring puppets from around the world, including the largest iconic creations of Jim Henson. The Center is a uniquely creative cultural destination dedicated to celebrating the magic and wonder of puppetry by inspiring imaginations and entertaining all walks of life.
For first-timers and newcomers, puppetry is simply any object that can be manipulated to tell a story. It dates back to ancient art forms of nonverbal storytelling and is accessible to absolutely everyone. While family programming will always be at the heart of what the center does, the number of adult performances and events has increased this season after the Center recognized that its Jim Henson collection captured the attention of a more diverse, adult audience in recent years. The brand-new exhibit honoring Jim Henson’s “The Dark Crystal” displays more than 50 items including sketches, comic books, prototypes and some of the puppets used in the film, and has attracted thousands of adults.
The Center is also hosting its new Puppet Party Series which allows audiences 21 and up to experience the center after hours. Live music, light bites and bar games are part of three events: Puppets and Pints, Galentine’s Day and Puppets and Pinot. The exciting Fizz and Foam experience is a daytime, brunch-style event with mimosas and will allow guests to create their own puppet. Next weekend, Friday, October 26 and Saturday, October 27 only, the Center will host its brand-new Haunted Histories and Puppets Past guided tour where the creepiest of puppets will be displayed for a haunted tour of the museum.
All of the extras attention geared toward mature audiences definitely does not take away from the spectacular family and kids performances. The Center has brought back a familiar, family-favorite, Peter Pan, running through October 29 and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer premiers in November running through the end of the year. In April 2019, Artistic Director Jon Ludwig’s adaptation of Crockett Johnson’s children’s book, Harold and the Purple Crayon, will premiere for its first-time on stage.
“Adults love coming for the nostalgia and kids love coming for the shows and hands-on experiences,” stated Barrett. An amazing aspect of the shows featured at the Center is that kids can be kids. They can move around and are often encouraged to participate in the show! The Center for Puppetry Arts is literally a one-of-a-kind place in not just Atlanta, but America!
To learn more about their fun educational programs for schools and to find out how you can volunteer at the Center, tune into the podcast with the link above. The Center’s website, www.puppet.org also offers an abundant amount of information for tickets, programs and more.
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