"Ashes" will be one of five performances for teen and mature audiences in ' New Directions Series.
Photo: Center for Puppetry Arts
Photo: Center for Puppetry Arts

Center for Puppetry Arts appeals to adults in 2018-2019 season program

The Center for Puppetry Arts has appealed to both children and grownups, with perhaps a heavier emphasis on the former age group, for 40 years now. But as the nonprofit’s announcement of its 2018-2019 season programming reveals, a healthier number of adults may soon realize puppetry isn’t “just for kids.”

“Family programming will always be at the heart” of what the center does, according to founder and Executive Director Vincent Anthony, but the number of adult performances and events will increase this season. The focus comes after the center recognized that its Jim Henson collection “captured the attention of a more diverse, adult audience in recent years,” Anthony said in a statement.

The new Puppet Party Series will allow audiences 21 and up to experience the center after hours. Live music, light bites and bar games will be a part of three events: Puppets and Pints, Galentine’s Day and Puppets and Pinot. Fizz and Foam — a daytime, brunch-style event with mimosas — will let guests create their own puppet.

Extra attention lofted onto mature audiences doesn’t seem to have taken away from the kiddos. The center will bring back familiar favorites, including “Peter Pan” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” It will premiere Artistic Director Jon Ludwig’s adaptation of Crockett Johnson’s children’s book, “Harold and the Purple Crayon,” a story Anthony says the center has “wanted to adapt for our stage for quite some time.”

“Harold and the Purple Crayon”
Photo: Center for Puppetry Arts

Programming also includes performances by visiting American and international artists; sensory-friendly programming for select productions; five performances for teen and audiences in its New Directions Series; a film series; and events in the Worlds of Puppetry Museum. The Aug. 31 opening of Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal exhibit will kick off with a ball complete with a costume contest.

Tickets prices vary. Information is available at puppet.org or 404-873-3391. Members receive up to 50 percent off performance tickets and receive benefits such as free museum entry, free films and priority seating. For more information, visit puppetjoin.org or call the membership office at 404-881-5151.

2018-2019 Family Series:

• “Sing Along the Road Again,” May 29-June 10

• “Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type,” June 12-July 29

• “The Tortoise, the Hare & Other Aesop’s Fables,” Aug. 14-Sept. 23

• “Peter Pan,” Sept. 25-Oct. 28

• “Brother Coyote and Sister Fox,” Oct. 30-Nov. 11

• “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” Nov. 13-Dec. 30

• “Squirrel Stole My Underpants,” Jan. 2-6, 2019

• “Paul Bunyan and the Tall Tale Medicine Show,” Jan. 22-March 10, 2019

• “The Joshua Show, Episode 2,” March 12-17, 2019

• “Galapagos George, the Little Tortoise That Could,” March 19-31, 2019

• “Harold and the Purple Crayon,” April 2-May 26, 2019

• “Randel McGee and Groark,” April 13, 2019

New Directions Series for Adults and Teens:

• “Paper Cut,” ages 15 and up, June 21-24; by Yael Rasooly of Tel Aviv, Israel

• 2018 National Puppet Slam, ages 18 and up, Aug. 31-Sept. 2

• “The Ghastly Dreadfuls,” ages 18 and up, Oct. 10-27; by Jon Ludwig and Jason Hines

• “Ashes,” ages 14 and up, March 1-3, 2019; by Plexus Polaire of France and Norway

• Xperimental Puppetry Theater (XPT), ages 18 and up, May 16-19, 2019


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Film Series:

• “The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland,” May 26

• “The Muppets,” June 16

• “Kubo and the Two Strings,” July 21

• “The Dark Crystal,” Aug. 4, 2018; members-only screening Aug. 25

• “The Frog: A Kermit Kompilation from Sam and Friends to Stardom,” Sept. 29

• “The Muppet Christmas Carol,” Dec. 8

• “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids,” Jan. 12, 2019

• “Puppetry and Stop Motion,” Feb. 9, 2019

• “Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie,” March 9, 2019

• “A Better World: Living in Harmony,” April 13, 2019

Adult Events

• Fizz and Foam, May 27

• Puppets and Pints, Aug. 11

• The Dark Crystal Ball, Aug. 30

• Haunted Histories & Puppet Pasts, Oct. 26-27

• A Ghastly Ghathering, Oct. 6

• Galentine’s Night, Feb. 16, 2019

• Puppets and Pinot, Apr. 27, 2019

• Mystery Science Theater 3000, TBD

Special Events and Exhibits

• Indian Puppets: The Great Stories and Dancing Dolls, through July 15

• Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal: World of Myth and Magic, opens Aug. 31

• Jim Henson Birthday Extravaganza, Sept. 29

• World Puppetry Day, March 23, 2019

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