The Center for Puppetry Arts Announces its 2023-2024 Season
The Center for Puppetry Arts is excited to announce its 2023-2024 season, with onstage performances, museum exhibitions, education programs, special events, and online programs. The Center’s second year of Puppety NOW will return with two new artists, a new Film and Conversation series highlighting puppetry in classic films with a talkback featuring authors and puppetry experts, and online webinars featuring professionals in the field of puppetry with its new Modern Masters series.
On Stage: Classic Literary Tales and the Return of Fan-Favorites
The second annual Puppetry NOW will return with Hungry Garden by Poncili Creación (July 6-9). The Center will also see the return of the Theater for the Very Young series with Old MacDonald’s Farm (July 20-August 13). Heading into the fall, the Center will host the world premiere of Aanika’s Elephants by Feisty Elephant, Little Shadow Productions, and Pam Arciero Productions of New York and Connecticut (August 17-September 3) followed by Brother Coyote, Sister Fox by Thistle Theatre of Seattle, Washington (September 6-24); The Rainbow Fish by Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia, Canada (October 4-15). Going into the holiday season will be the production of The Headless Horseman of
Sleepy Silly Hollow by Frogtown Mountain Puppeteers of Bar Harbor, ME (October 18-29); and the return of Christmas fan-favorite, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer™ (November 9-December 31).
Continuing the Family Series into the new year will be Human by the 2024 Puppetry NOW artist, Nephrii Amenii of New York, NY (January 17-28). Classic literary stories will also take the stage next year with Ruth and the Green Book (January 31-February 25, 2024), The Emperor’s New Clothes by Grey Seal Puppets of Charlotte, North Carolina (March 12-24, 2024), and Stellaluna (March 26-May 19).
The New Direction Series for the 2023-2024 season will present the Hungry Garden Family Series Production for adult audiences with Hungry Garden: After Hours (18+) by Poncili Creación (July 6-9); the return of the Halloween hit The Ghastly Dreadfuls (October 11-28); Packrat by Concrete Temple Theater of New York, NY (February 21-March 3, 2024); and XPT: Xpertimental Puppetry Theater (May 1-5, 2024) which continues its 40-year tradition of presenting bold, original works in adult puppetry from artists across all disciplines.
Museum: Films, TV, Authors, and Featured Artists of Color
Returning for its second year is Puppetry NOW, an initiative that highlights artists and puppeteers of color. Puppetry NOW will feature two new artists throughout the season who will create pieces on display in the Dean DuBose Smith Special Exhibition Gallery in addition to a limited-run performance piece. The artist featured in June 2023 will be the art collective Poncili Creación, which is comprised of twin identical brothers Pablo and Efrain Del Hierro from Santurce, Puerto Rico, while Nehprii Amenii from New York, NY will be the featured artist in January 2024.
The classic holiday favorite Festive Features special museum exhibition will also be returning to delight fans again in November through December of this year. Fraggle Fans will also be delighted that the Center will feature select pieces from the 1983 Fraggle Rock television show in the Down in Fraggle Rock special museum exhibition, which will be on display in 2024 from May-November.
The Film and Conversation series will kick-off in August-March 2024 and will feature Sesame Street Panel with Marty Robinson, Pam Arciero, and Annie Evans; Mystery Science Theater 3000 Screening; and Talk Back with Craig Shemin, President of the Jim Henson Legacy; and other film and author talks. The museum will also be hosting other film screenings in its Mainstage Theater with notable features such as Corpse Bride (2005), Jurassic Park (1993), Child’s Play (1988), and other pop-culture puppetry films throughout the season.
The museum will also display numerous pop-up exhibitions throughout the year such as Handmade Puppet Dreams and Wonderland Puppet Theater. Pop-ups and special museum exhibitions are included with All-Inclusive-Performance tickets. Also returning and included with museum tickets is Sketchbook Saturdays. To round out the rest of the season, the museum will also host another year of its Halloween party for kids and families in October, Monster Mash, and a celebration of World Puppetry Day.
Virtual and Educational Learning Continues to Inspire
The Center will continue to promote educational and virtual outreach with Online Puppet Playdate with Lily the Fabrarian (Fairy Librarian), an interactive puppetry performance presented over Zoom, Puppetry Pro Series: Online Workshops for Adults featuring online puppetry workshops for adults, and the continuation initiative of Puppets for All where guests who are deaf, hard of hearing, visually impaired, or part of the ASD community are invited to enjoy Family Series performances in a comfortable and welcoming environment through the use of American Sign-Language interpreted performances, audio-described performances, and performances designed for individuals with sensory sensitivities such as Autism Spectrum Disorder.
The Center’s Family Series tickets include admission to the performance, admission to Worlds of Puppetry Museum, and entry into the Create-A-Puppet™ Workshop where guests are invited to build and decorate their puppet that is based on a character and puppetry style from a family series performance.