Atlanta’s Center for Puppetry Arts premieres an all-new production of Pete the Cat and returns such holiday favorites as Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and The Ghastly Dreadfuls in its 2016/17 season.

pete_the_catAs usual, the lineup includes productions for families, adults and teens, adults only, workshops and a film series. Pete the Cat, adapted from the James Dean book series by Jon Ludwig, the puppet center’s artistic director, premieres April 4, 2017.

Next season is also the first full season for the renovated center on Spring Street and its new Worlds of Puppetry Museum, which opened to the public in November.

Ticket prices vary according to performance; memberships are available. Details HERE. Here’s a closer look at the season, by series, in chronological order.

Family Series

Generally recommended for age 4+ except where noted.

MAY 24-JUNE 5 | The Swan. As told by Théâtre de Deux Mains of Montréal. The story of a cygnet’s quest for identity and his search for his parents. From one bad lead to another, the young bird meets chickens, a snowy owl and ducks. Each meeting brings him closer to his goal and finding himself. For age 2-5. Length: 30 minutes.

Jon Ludwig and his cast for the "Little Mermaid Pirate." Photo: Center for Puppetry Arts.
Jon Ludwig and his “Mermaid” cast.

JUNE 7-JULY 17 | The Little Pirate Mermaid. Adapted by Jon Ludwig, the Center for Puppetry Arts’ artistic director. A seafaring adventure based on the Hans Christian Andersen tale. In this iteration, the mermaid princess becomes a pirate with a buccaneer beau.

JULY 19-31 | Sleeping Beauty. As told by the National Marionette Theatre of Erie, Pa. The story of Princess Aurora, who’s been asleep for almost a hundred years, told from the viewpoint of Prince Stefan. Performed to the score for Tchaikovsky’s ballet.

AUG. 2-SEPT. 11 | Old MacDonald’s Farm. Adapted by the Center’s Amy Sweeney. For age 2+.

SEPT. 14-25 | Tales of Peter RabbitAs told by Thistle Theatre of Seattle.

SEPT. 28-OCT. 9 | La Cucarachita Martina (Martina the Little Roach). As told by Teatro SEA of New York. A Latin rock ‘n’ roll musical based on a popular Cuban and Puerto Rican children’s tale about a little roach who learns lessons on her journey to true love. For Pre-K to sixth grade.

OCT. 12-23 | The Jungle Book: The Story of Mowgli’s Fire. As told by Frisch Marionettes of Cincinnati.

OCT. 25-NOV. 6 | The Headless Horseman of Sleepy Silly Hollow. As told by Frogtown Mountain Puppeteers of Bar Harbor, Maine.

hermey-rudolph-cropNOV. 8-DEC. 31 | Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Clarice, Hermey, the Bumble, the Misfit Toys and Rudolph return in this Jon Ludwig adaptation based on the popular stop-motion hoiday TV special of the 1960s.

JAN. 3-22, 2017 The True Story of the Three Little Pigs. As told by Mesner Puppet Theater of Kansas City, Mo.

JAN. 24-MARCH 12 | The Adventures of Mighty Bug. A Jon Ludwig adaptation.

MARCH 14-APRIL 2, 2017 | The Dragon KingAs told by Tanglewood Marionettes of Ware, Mass.

APRIL 4-MAY 21, 2017 | Pete the Cat. Based on the books illustrated by Georgia artist James Dean featuring the imagined adventures of a scrawny black kitten he adopted in 1999, and named Pete. Again, Ludwig adapts.

New Directions Series for adults + teens

SEPT. 2-4 | National Puppet Slam (age 18+). Experience the beauty, ingenuity and hilarity of original short-form puppetry from artists on every level from emerging  to professional.

The "Ghastly" cast. Photo: Clay Walker
The “Ghastly” cast. Photo: Clay Walker

OCT. 12-29 | The Ghastly Dreadfuls (age 18+). Hello, Halloween. Stay awhile. This motley band of specters returns to celebrate with creepy stories, frightful songs and devilish dances. Created by Jon Ludwig and Jason Hines.

FEB. 28-MARCH 5, 2017 | Oliver Twist (age 12+). As told by Simpich Marionettes of Colorado Springs, Colo.

MAY 11-14, 2017 | XPT: Xperimental Puppetry Theater (age 18+). Various artists, grown-up tales.

Museum film series

JUNE 18 | Babe the Gallant Pig. 7 p.m.

SEPT. 24 | Jim Henson’s The Storyteller and Farscape.  8 p.m.

NOV. 12 | Jason and the Argonauts. 7 p.m.

DEC. 3 | Muppet Treasure Island7 p.m.

JAN. 21, 2017 | Team America: World Police8 p.m.

MARCH 11, 2017 | Sesame Street Presents: Follow that Bird7 p.m.

MAY 20, 2017 | Being John Malkovich. 8 p.m.