“It’s a fun and magical place,” says Rainie Jueschke, development director for the . “I believe that when you’re here you feel the energy, happiness and excitement from children and you can’t help but get excited and happy, too.”
While this unique place is a popular field trip destination for schoolchildren as well as a favorite family outing, it is not just for kids. Some performances, such as October’s popular The Ghastly Dreadfuls, are exclusively for adult audiences with “song and puppetry dance that will really surprise and delight you,” promises Jueschke.
The Center for Puppetry Arts is the nation’s largest non-profit organization devoted to puppetry—and it’s gearing up for a busy season.
“There’s no place like us anywhere in terms of the size and scope of programming,” says Jueschke. “We have nearly 700 live performances a year, plus hands-on educational programming for children and adults, plus a wonderful museum with collections of international puppetry objects including three exhibits showcasing the legacy of Jim Henson, the creator of the Muppets.” (Throughout the year, four different museum tours are offered on different days of the week.)
The Center’s two stages host a mix of in-house company performances plus shows by puppetry artists from around the world. Several considerations go into selecting storylines. For example, when hosting students, “all of our performances are curriculum based,” says Jueschke. “The wonderful thing about puppets is that they’re an incredible medium for teaching. We can tackle all kinds of topics” from literature to science to issues like childhood obesity.
The Center for Puppetry Arts celebrates its 33rd season with a special offer: Now through Halloween, save 33 percent on three tickets to any fall Family Series performance (for every two tickets purchased, get a third ticket for free—and, yes, to receive the savings tickets must be purchased in multiples of three, so invite a friend if you need to round up; limit 9). The offer is valid for both Member and Non-Member tickets purchased for the following shows:
- The Ugly Duckling: Now-Sept. 18, 2011
- Old Man and the Monkeys & Other Chinese Tales: Sept. 21-Oct. 2, 2011
- La Cucarachita Martina (Martina the Little Roach): Oct. 5-16, 2011
- The Headless Horseman of Sleepy Silly Hollow: Oct. 18-30, 2011
For more information about this deal visit: www.puppet.org/deals.
Two of the Center’s most popular shows will soon make seasonal appearances: The Ghastly Dreadfuls will be staged from October 13 through 29. Last winter’s staging of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer broke records: “It was the first time we completely sold out a show,” says Jueschke. “We added three performances to extend the run.” Already this year 600 tickets have been sold for this seasonal favorite, which will run November 3 through December 31.
The annual String Fling gala, which will be held September 10 at the J.W. Marriott in Buckhead (tickets are $200 per person), is a fundraising event with a cocktail hour and seated dinner, silent and live auctions plus an exclusive performance. “Puppeteers unveil sequences,” says Jueschke,” so you can see their movements—which is impossible while they’re on stage at the Center.” To compare this behind-the-scenes view, a screen simultaneously plays video of what an audience would typically see on stage.
Making fun affordable, memberships are “the best way to support the Center and also the best deal to participate in our programming,” says Jueschke. Members save 45 percent on performances (plus get priority seating for family shows) and save with discounts on other programming.
The Center for Puppetry Arts is located at 1404 Spring St. NW. For tickets call 404.873.3391. For more information call 404.873.3089 or visit www.puppet.org.