This April, Center for Puppetry Arts brings back the beloved, fun-filled trickster tales of Brer Rabbit & Friends. Audiences will be enthralled by these hilarious tales of a cunning rabbit, his infamous friends and their amusing attempts to stay out of a briar patch of trouble. Spencer G. Stephens makes his directorial debut and brings a fresh, modern perspective to this Center classic that runs from April 11 – May 26.
The fun begins as Brer Bear, Brer Fox, Brer Rabbit, Sister Mud Turtle and Sister Bird gather to sing an early morning ditty, but soon find themselves in a battle for bragging rights. Featuring live music with a range of Southern African-American styles, this sprightly competition of the ego invites audiences to see who is the swiftest, the strongest and the smartest of this gang of friends.
The Brer Rabbit stories were featured in the Center for Puppetry Arts’ first production upon its opening in 1978, and they have remained a favorite of Atlanta audiences. Spencer G. Stephens, who has been a resident puppeteer for the past 10 years, makes his Center for Puppetry Arts directorial debut with this remount of the southern classic. Brer Rabbit & Friends also features the talents of Musical Director and pianist/narrator S. Renee Clark; veteran puppeteers Dolph Amick and Tim Sweeny; and newcomers Janeé Smith and Jared Brodie. Together, the ensemble infuses the timeless stories with a modern sensibility and a soulful voice.
Brer Rabbit & Friends is based on a collection of tales that was passed down as spoken stories through multiple generations of African-American slaves while living on Southern plantations; these oral traditions were recreated in print and then publicized by Joel Chandler Harris. In all, Harris collected 194 stories, which gave voice to African-American folklore and jumpstarted the American folklore movement.
Audiences who see Brer Rabbit & Friends at the Center can also receive a coupon for one FREE admission to the Wren’s Nest, which is proudly celebrating its 100th anniversary as the historic home of Brer Rabbit and Joel Chandler Harris. Interested attendees can learn more about Harris, the Brer critters and African-American folklore through tours and storytelling at this unique Queen Anne Victorian house museum and literacy center in Atlanta’s historic West End.
Brer Rabbit & Friends is presented in the Mainstage Theater, April 11 – May 26, 2013. Show times are as follows:
· Tuesday – Friday: 10:00 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.
· Saturday: 12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m.
· Sunday: 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.
TICKETS ARE $9.25 (MEMBERS) AND $16.50 (NONMEMBERS) AND CAN BE PURCHASED ONLINE AT WWW.PUPPET.ORG OR BY CALLING THE TICKET SALES OFFICE AT 404-873-3391.
Tickets include museum admission as well as the Create-A-Puppet Workshop (or To-Go Kit), where kids can make their own Brer Fox Hand Puppet.