Center for Puppetry Arts presents Stellaluna January 21-March 8

Center for Puppetry Arts presents Stellaluna January 21-March 8

The world premiere of the Center’s adaptation of a beloved children’s story

“How can we be so different and feel so much alike? And how we can feel so different and be so much alike?” These questions are at the heart of the best-selling book, Stellaluna, by author and illustrator, Janell Cannon. Notions of diversity and inclusion explored in the book inspired Center for Puppetry Arts Artistic Director Jon Ludwig to bring this story to the stage. “It’s a classic story of finding one’s place in the world and accepting others for what and who they are” says Ludwig. With birds and bats as the central protagonists in the story, the book is perfectly suited to be adapted for the puppet theater.

“The challenge in designing and building the puppets for this production has been striking a balance between honoring the naturalistic illustrations in the book and creating individual puppet characters with distinctive, recognizable personalities and features...and they all have to fly,” says Resident Puppet Builder Jason Hines.

The result is a cast of bird and bat rod puppets that will be manipulated using overt puppetry, a puppetry style in which the puppeteers are fully visible. They will be performed on a set that is larger than any production ever seen before at the Center. Scenic Designer F. Elaine Williams is pushing the physical boundaries of the Mainstage Theater at the Center to create a spectacular world for Stellaluna.  Lighting by Liz Lee, original music by Dolph Amick, costumes by Erik Teague and sound by Gregory Montague round out the artistic team assembled by Ludwig to create this new production for the Center.

Continuing a collaborative tradition of working in and with schools to create new works (an initiative started in 2015), Ludwig and Center for Puppetry Arts Education Director Aretta Baumgartner will visit Atlanta Public Schools’ Burgess-Peterson Academy five times between September of 2019 and March of 2020. These visits empower students to explore the characters and themes in Stellaluna though creative dramatics, visual art, music, puppetry, reading and reflection activities. The reactions of the students to the material offers the Center’s artistic team valuable insights into what resonates with the students and why the story relevant in their lives. This information is then actively incorporated into the design and development of the production.

On February 2, Girl Scouts are invited to join the Center for Puppetry Arts for a celebration of puppetry and STEM! A special post-show Scouts-only presentation will make Science connections with the show and reveal the Technology behind the performances (including the computers, lights and sound systems we use to create our puppetry magic). A guided tour in the Worlds of Puppetry Museum will highlight the Engineering behind the Jim Henson puppets and puppetry traditions from across the world, and a customized Create-A-Puppet Workshop™ will celebrate the Math applications utilized in making a one-of-a-kind puppet (shapes, angles, measuring, symmetry, fractions).  This activity is for Girl Scouts only and information is available at the Ticket Sales Office.

As part of the Center’s sensory-friendly initiative for visitors with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Sensory-Friendly Sunday for Stellaluna will be presented on Sunday, February 16 from noon to 5 p.m. This special afternoon will allow guests with ASD to experience programming in a comfortable and safe setting with staff members who have been trained in interactions with patrons with ASD.  Modifications and resources include a quiet zone, light and sound adjustments, fidget toys, sound-reducing headphones, sunglasses, and social stories.

Recommended for ages four and up, Stellaluna will be presented in the Mainstage Theater, January 21-March 8.

Reduced-price previews take place Tuesday Jan 21 and 22 at 10 a.m. and noon.  The regular show schedule is as follows:

January 21-26
Tuesday - Wednesday: 10 a.m. and noon
Thurs - Friday: 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Saturday: 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

January 28-March 8
Tuesday – Friday: 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.
Saturday: 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Sunday: 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

All-inclusive ticket prices vary but start at $19.50 (members) and $25 (nonmembers) and include entrance to the Create-A Puppet Workshop™, where guests can make, decorate and perform with their own Stellaluna Rod & String Puppet, as well as admission to the Worlds of Puppetry Museum, featuring the world’s largest collection of Jim Henson puppets and one of the country’s largest collections of global puppets. Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling 404.873.3391.

About Center for Puppetry Arts

The Center for Puppetry Arts is supported in part by: Fulton County Arts Council • City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs • Georgia Council for the Arts • The Zeist Foundation • The Wish Foundation Fund of the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta

For a complete list of the Center’s major supporters, visit

Center for Puppetry Arts® is a unique cultural treasure – a magical place where children and adults are educated, enlightened, and entertained. Since 1978, the Center has introduced millions of visitors to the wonder and art of puppetry and has touched the lives of many through enchanting performances, curriculum-based workshops, and the hands-on Museum as well as Distance Learning and Outreach programs. Center for Puppetry Arts is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization and is supported in part by contributions from corporations, foundations, government agencies, and individuals. Major funding is provided by the Fulton County Board of Commissioners and the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs. These programs are also supported in part by the Georgia Council for the Arts through the appropriations of the Georgia General Assembly. GCA is a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. The Center is a member of Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA/USA/ASSITEJ).The Center also serves as headquarters of UNIMA-USA, the American branch of Union Internationale de la Marionnette, the international puppetry organization.

Center for Puppetry Arts
1404 Spring Street
Atlanta, GA 30309