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Center for Puppetry Arts announces diverse 2012-13 season for kids of all ages

"The Little Pirate Mermaid" returns June 12.
"The Little Pirate Mermaid" will return June 12.

With more than 650 performances of 18 different productions, the Center for Puppetry Arts 2012-13 season lineup includes returning favorites as well as new, original works for all ages.

The 2012-13 season opened May 29 with “Cinderella,” the center’s first production in its Family Series, which offers performances appropriate for children age four and older. “Cinderella,” which will run through June 10, is performed by the Portland, Oregon-based Tears of Joy Theatre, the first of eight national companies scheduled to perform at the center this season.

Several familiar productions will return in the Family Series, including “The Little Pirate Mermaid,” a musical story of a mermaid turned pirate, on June 12. That show earned Artistic Director Jon Ludwig a Union Internationale de la Marionnette (International Puppetry Association) Citation of Excellence. “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” an Atlanta Christmas tradition, will return in November and play through New Year’s Day.

Among the new, original center productions will be “The Tortoise, the Hare and Other Aesop’s Fables,” an interactive take on five classic fables. Ludwig’s superhero tale “The Adventures of Mighty Bug” will come to the Mainstage Theater on January 31, 2013.

The New Directions Series, for mature audiences, will kick off August 3 with the Second Annual National Puppet Slam. For two nights only, the nation’s best puppet slams — curated collections of short-form adult puppet theater — will be performed in Atlanta.

Weeping Spoon Productions from Australia will present the award-winning "Adventures of Alvin Sputnik: Deep Sea Explorer.”

Weeping Spoon Productions from Australia will perform “The Adventures of Alvin Sputnik: Deep Sea Explorer,” an award-winning, teen-friendly solo show, April 26-28, 2013. A story of enduring love and the end of the world, “Sputnik” was named Outstanding Solo Show at the New York International Fringe Festival in 2009. Other performances in the New Directions Series will include two center productions, “The Ghastly Dreadfuls,” which will return with eerie delight in October, and “Tales of Edgar Allan Poe” in February 2013.

The Xperimental Puppetry Theater will return in May to close out the New Directions Series, while the classic “Brer Rabbit and Friends,” running April 11 through May 26, will wrap up the Family Series.

The season will also offer new exhibits as well as educational workshops and lectures. A new “Passports Gallery” will be located in the museum’s permanent exhibit, “Puppets: The Power of Wonder,” and will feature a rotating exhibit of puppets from around the world, including Italy, Iran and Cambodia.

Continuing with the international theme, another new exhibit, “Discovery Days,” will allow visitors of all ages to celebrate global puppetry traditions with interactive activities showcasing African, American and Asian cultures. The exhibit will be open August through October on select Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Additionally, the Explore Puppetry Series will offer select lectures and workshops in which audiences can participate from home via interactive webinars.

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