Center for Puppetry Arts unveils 40th Anniversary season programming

Center for Puppetry Arts unveils 40th Anniversary season programming

Lineup includes debut of Harold and the Purple Crayon as well as a plethora of new offerings for adult audiences

Friday, March 30, 2018 — ATLANTA (MARCH 30, 2018) – The Center for Puppetry Arts is thrilled to announce the 2018-2019 season programming, which coincides with the 40th anniversary of the nation’s largest nonprofit dedicated to the art form of puppetry. Since 1978, the Center for Puppetry Arts has been sharing the power of puppetry with the Atlanta community and beyond, and with this milestone year comes a host of new programming. In addition to bringing back a few familiar favorites, the Center will debut a new Family Series production, expand its adult audience offerings and introduce new puppets, artifacts and events in the Worlds of Puppetry Museum.

“Because our family programming will always be at the heart of what we do, we are introducing a brand-new production of Harold and the Purple Crayon in the spring, which is a story we’ve wanted to adapt for our stage for quite some time,” said Center for Puppetry Arts Founder and The Barbara and Bill Wylly Executive Director Vincent Anthony. “We’ve also recognized that our Jim Henson collection has captured the attention of a more diverse, adult audience in recent years, so we’ve increased the number of adult performances this year and added other special programming, including our new Puppet Party Series, giving young professionals and other more mature audiences new ways to experience the Center after hours.”

Anchoring the Family Series, is the world premiere of the Center’s adaptation of the beloved children’s book Harold and the Purple Crayon. Originally written by Crockett Johnson, the brand new show has been adapted for the puppet stage by the Center’s Artistic Director Jon Ludwig. Fan favorites, including Peter Pan and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, will also return to take audiences of all ages on high-flying adventures. To continue its award-winning Theater for the Very Young programming, the Center will present The Tortoise, the Hare, & Other Aesop’s Fables and share the art of puppetry with audiences as young as two years old. Families can also look forward to performances by six visiting artists from across the United States throughout the season.

The Center will extend its Sensory Friendly Programming initiatives in the upcoming season, offering special programming for select Family Series productions. Modifications to the performances, Create-A-Puppet Workshop™ and the Worlds of Puppetry Museum will be made to allow audiences with unique needs, specifically audience members on the Autism Spectrum, to enjoy programming in a more comfortable atmosphere.

This season, the Center will more than double its New Directions Series offerings to five performances! These shows will offer visually striking and thought provoking works for adult and teen audiences. As part of this year’s line-up, international artists from Tel Aviv, France and Norway will present limited runs of their original works, Paper Cut and Ashes. Annual favorites National Puppet Slam and Xperimental Puppetry Theater (XPT) will return to the stage as well as cult classic The Ghastly Dreadfuls. Back by popular demand, The Ghastly Ghathering will welcome the Ghastlies back from the dead and kick off the Halloween season with a festive fete.

Adult programming will also be extended beyond shows with the introduction of the Puppet Party Series. The new series will offer three special events for guests 21 and over who want to experience the Worlds of Puppetry Museum in a child-free environment after regular Museum hours. Puppets and Pints, Galentine’s Day and Puppets and Pinot will include live music, light bites, bar games, beer and wine cash bar and, of course, puppets! Guests can also look forward to a Fizz and Foam brunch-style event where attendees can create their own foam mouth puppet while enjoying light bites and mimosas.

For Henson fans, the highly anticipated special exhibit Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal: World of Myth and Magic will open in the Dean DuBose Smith Special Exhibits Gallery on August 31. To celebrate, the Center will host The Dark Crystal Ball on Thursday, August 30. The Ball will include VIP guests, a costume contest, a Great Conjunction New Year’s Eve-style countdown and more! Additional events honoring the exhibit will be announced at a later date.

Finally, the Worlds of Puppetry Museum will offer events a variety of events for guests of all ages! Patrons can view a variety of films and documentaries, celebrate Jim Henson’s birthday, check out the puppets from popular show “Mystery Science Theater 3000” on display in the Global Collection and more! Little ones can look forward to the return of Toddler Tuesdays: Museum Takeover and Scout Days to earn all four STEM patches, while adult audiences can participate in one of nearly a dozen Explore Puppetry Series workshops or experience another side of the Museum during the special Haunted Histories & Puppet Pasts tours.

Tickets prices vary for performances and other programs. Prices and dates are available at or by calling 404-873-3391.

The best way to experience the Center is by becoming a Member. Members receive up to 50 percent off performance tickets and enjoy benefits such as free Museum entry, free films and priority seating. For more information, visit or call the Membership office at 404-881-5151.

2018-2019 FAMILY SERIES:

Sing Along the Road Again: May 29-June 10, 2018
By Mesner Puppet Theater of Kansas City, Missouri                                     

Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type: June 12-July 29, 2018
Based on the book by Doreen Cronin with illustrations by Betsy Lewin
Adapted by Jon Ludwig and Jason Hines

The Tortoise, the Hare & Other Aesop’s Fables: Aug. 14-Sept. 23, 2018
Adapted by Michael Haverty
Theater for the Very Young

Peter Pan: Sept. 25-Oct. 28, 2018
Based on the book by J.M. Barrie
Adapted by Michael Haverty

Brother Coyote and Sister Fox: Oct. 30-Nov. 11, 2018
By Thistle Theatre of Seattle, Washington

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer™: Nov. 13-Dec. 30, 2018
Based on the classic television special
Adapted by Jon Ludwig

Squirrel Stole My Underpants: Jan. 2-6, 2019
By The Gottabees of Boston, Massachusetts

Paul Bunyan and the Tall Tale Medicine Show: Jan. 22-March 10, 2019
Adapted by Jon Ludwig

The Joshua Show, Episode 2: March 12-17, 2019
By Joshua Holden of Brooklyn, New York

Galapagos George, the Little Tortoise That Could: March 19-31, 2019
By Barefoot Puppet Theatre of Richmond, Virginia  

Harold and the Purple Crayon: April 2-May 26, 2019
Based on the books by Crockett Johnson
Adapted by Jon Ludwig

Randel McGee and Groark: April 13, 2019
By Randel McGee of Hanford, California



Paper Cut (ages 15+): June 21-24, 2018
By Yael Rasooly of Tel Aviv, Israel 

2018 National Puppet Slam (ages 18+): Aug. 31-Sept. 2, 2018
By Various Artists

The Ghastly Dreadfuls (ages 18+): Oct. 10-27, 2018
By Jon Ludwig and Jason Hines

Ashes (ages 14+): March 1-3, 2019
By Plexus Polaire of France and Norway

Xperimental Puppetry Theater (XPT) (ages 18+): May 16-19, 2019
By Various Artists           



The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland: May 26, 2018

The Muppets: June 16, 2018

Kubo and the Two Strings: July 21, 2018

The Dark Crystal: Aug. 4, 2018
The Dark Crystal: Members-Only screening: Aug. 25, 2018

The Frog: A Kermit Kompilation from Sam and Friends to Stardom: Sept. 29, 2018

The Muppet Christmas Carol: Dec. 8, 2018 

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
A screening of Fraggle Rock and The Song of the Cloud Forest                



Jim Henson Birthday Extravaganza: Sept. 29, 2018

World Puppetry Day: March 23, 2019



Fizz and Foam: May 27, 2018

Puppets and Pints: Aug. 11, 2018  

The Dark Crystal Ball: Aug. 30, 2018

Haunted Histories & Puppet Pasts: Oct. 26 & 27, 2018

A Ghastly Ghathering: Oct. 6, 2018

Galentine’s Night: Feb. 16, 2019

Puppets and Pinot: Apr. 27, 2019

Mystery Science Theater 3000: TBD


Indian Puppets: The Great Stories and Dancing Dolls: Now-July 15, 2018

Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal: World of Myth and Magic Dark Crystal: Opening Aug. 31, 2018

Sing Along the Road Again (Mesner Puppet Theater)
Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type (Center for Puppetry Arts)
The Tortoise, the Hare & Other Aesop’s Fables (Rod Reilly)
Peter Pan (Center for Puppetry Arts)
Brother Coyote and Sister Fox (Diane Pavelin)
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (Clay Walker)
Squirrel Stole My Underpants (The Gottabees)
Paul Bunyan and the Tall Tale Medicine Show (Clay Walker)
The Joshua Show, Episode 2 (Joshua Holden)
Galapagos George, the Little Tortoise That Could (Warren Johnson)
Harold and the Purple Crayon (Illustration by Crockett Johnson)
Randel McGee and Groark (Marsha McGee)
Paper Cut (Boaz Zippor)
National Puppet Slam (Illustration by Valerie Meiss)
The Ghastly Dreadfuls (Center for Puppetry Arts)
Ashes (Fanchon Bilbille)
XPT (Stephanie Richardson)
Becca Meyer BRAVE Public Relations
Jennifer Walker BRAVE Public Relations