The Center for Puppetry Arts invites audiences to experience the classic tale Beauty and the Beast, now – July 28. A different take on the beloved fairytale, the Center’s production is set in an urban world where trash is turned to treasure and true love prevails by way of a magical rose. Featuring original music and a series of surprising plot twists, the funky fable is geared towards children ages four and older.
Beauty and her mother are struggling to save their beauty shop from their mean-spirited landlady, Mrs. Crumple, who threatens to destroy their business unless Beauty agrees to marry her son. In an effort to save her business and protect her daughter, Beauty’s mother experiences a series of unlucky events that ultimately land her in the lair of a Beast. The Beast demands that Beauty be brought to him and in an effort to save her mother, Beauty obeys the Beast’s demands and goes to the castle. Over time, she discovers that beneath the Beast’s burly exterior is a lonely creature seeking love. Ultimately, it is a story about the transformative power of love and acceptance.
Through the use of found-object puppetry, including mops, pipes, wrenches and other “discovered” items, the cast of fan-favorite characters come to life. Performed in the Czech Black puppetry tradition, puppeteers are dressed in black and manipulate puppets in a tight curtain of light in front of them. This technique allows puppeteers to disappear from the sight of the audience in order to create the illusion of puppets moving without any visible support. Hidden from sight, multiple puppeteers can manipulate a single figure to create dazzling, complex movements of all kinds.
As part of the Center’s initiative for visitors with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), a sensory-friendly programming day for Beauty and the Beast will be presented on Sunday, July 21 from noon to 5 p.m. This special afternoon will allow guests with ASD to experience programming in a comfortable and safe setting with staff members who have been trained in interactions with patrons with ASD. Along with a quiet zone in the lobby, several performance alterations will be made, including theater lights dimmed down (but not out); consistent sound levels and lower volume of show soundtrack; freedom for children to talk during the show and leave their seats, if necessary; and permission to bring quiet, contained snacks and beverages. Create-A-Puppet Workshop™ classrooms will be brighter, quieter and feature less-messy puppet building materials and slightly simplified puppet designs. In the Worlds of Puppetry Museum, lighting will be adjusted and specialized educational activities (such as touch tables and guided storytelling) will be integrated. Fidget toys, sunglasses social stories and noise-reducing headphones will also be available for guests wishing to use those resources.
Beauty and the Beast will be presented in the Mainstage Theater, now-July 28.
The regular show schedule is as follows:
- Tuesday – Friday: 10 a.m. and noon
- Saturday: 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
- Sunday: 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
All-inclusive ticket prices vary by date, but start at $9.75 (Members) and $19.50 (nonmembers) and include entrance to the Create-A Puppet Workshop™, where guests can make, decorate and perform with their own Burly Beast Rod Puppet, as well as admission to the Worlds of Puppetry Museum, featuring a global gallery and the largest collection of Jim Henson puppets in the world. Tickets can be purchased at Center for Puppetry Arts or at the door.
Center for Puppetry Arts is located at 1404 Spring St. NW at 18th Atlanta, GA 30309-2820. Tickets can be purchased online or by phone: 404.873.3391. Center for Puppetry Arts is on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Vimeo.
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