Around Atlanta: The Center for Puppetry Arts

One of Atlanta’s “secret” little gems is the Center for Puppetry Arts in Midtown or as we like to call it…the puppet place. It doesn’t seem to get a lot of attention, especially amongst out-of-town visitors, but it’s a haven for imaginative types like Camp Granola’s Fred. George really likes it too but he’s more of a datahead. It’s our Fred who’s generally off in fantasyland so the puppet shows feed his artsy brain.

Fred giving his creation a try at the Center for Puppetry Arts.

On with the show…

The Center rotates through shows every few weeks for the most part and they host puppeteers from all over as well as orchestrate their own in-house productions. The offerings range widely from the simple to quite elaborate, and each always holds a surprise…a different kind of puppeteering, mixed media, etc. Regardless of the details of each different performance we’ve always been amazed by the quality. This is not a souped up kids birthday party routine. These are professionals who are invested in their craft and they’re top-notch performers.

A great bonus, especially for those of us into experiential education, is that the performers will come out at the end to show and explain how their particular puppets worked and how they made the “magic” happen. The granola mom in me gets giddy when I watch the delight and realization dawn on the kids’ faces. Their imaginations ignite with possibilities. Way cool!

Bonus feature…

Almost as much as the show itself, Fred and George love the Create-a-Puppet workshop that’s included with the show admission. Each show has a themed puppet kit the kids (and you!) can put together and decorate to your heart’s content. Can’t tell you the crazy collection we’ve got here at Camp Granola! And because the puppet place understands kids, you can take your kit home if you don’t have the time or energy to tackle it during your visit.

George putting the finishing touches on his puppet kit creation.

Muppet bliss…

The museum is home to the Jim Henson exhibit. For copyright reasons, the museum doesn’t allow photos of the exhibit. This means I can’t tease you with pictures but there are some great pieces in the collection that are a must-see if you have even the slightest nostalgia for The Muppets, Sesame Street, Labyrinth, or just general Henson awesomeness.

Older crowds…

The Center offers a variety of shows throughout the year and while many cater to the younger ages, they also engage teens and adults with more mature puppet fare. Obviously we haven’t crossed over into that segment yet, but the programs and shows they offer certainly make me wish we had.

The puppet place has always been one of Fred’s favorite Camp Granola field trip destinations.

Homeschool delight…

When you’re solely in charge of your children’s education, you can get a bit worn out making sure you’ve got everything covered. This is one of the ways we’ve broadened our art horizons without working me to the bone. They get the experience of seeing a live performance then channel that excitement into their own puppet creation. They come home and put on their own performance and I just get to sit back and watch it unfold…no muss, no fuss, no planning, no clean up. We just get to enjoy it!

So if you’re in the Atlanta area, be sure to check out “the puppet place” to get your imagination humming!

And now for your moment of green…

Let your imagination bloom at a puppet show.

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  1. […] Check out this post from Val in Real Life about the Center for Puppetry Arts in midtown Atlanta! […]

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