Piccadilly Puppets Announces Rachel Frawley as New Artistic and Managing Director

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ATLANTA, GA September 19, 2022 – Atlanta’s touring puppetry company, Piccadilly Puppets, has selected a brand-new Artistic and Managing Director. In support of the company’s mission to provide puppetry experiences of high artistic quality to young audiences, The Piccadilly Puppets Company (PPC)  is excited to move forward with new leadership. 

Incoming Artistic and Managing Director Rachel Frawley is an Atlanta based actor, writer and producer. She holds a B.F.A. in Theatre from Michigan State University and is an apprentice company graduate of the Atlanta Shakespeare Co. In addition to acting, she has narrated over 30 audiobook titles, and was a producer for the Weird Sisters Theatre Project for their 2017 and 2018 seasons. She has taught and directed acting camps, classes and master classes for theatres and studios across Atlanta. Rachel has worked and continues to train as an intimacy professional, and is enrolled in courses with the Association of Mental Health Coordinators. Currently she is writing, directing and producing a new children’s puppet musical for Synchronicity Theatre’s Stripped Bare series.

Veteran puppeteer Nancy Riggs has led the company for the past eleven years. She has endeavored to continue and grow PPC’s commitment to making puppetry accessible, interactive and affordable to underserved communities.  At her recent decision to step back from the role of Director, she led the search for her successor. “Piccadilly Puppets has been a wonderful part of my life for 25 years, and I hope to continue to be involved as a puppeteer and advisor for the near future” says Ms. Riggs. “However, I am ready to hand off leadership of the company to someone with new energy and vision. Rachel has just the combination of artistic and administrative skills needed, along with a love of children and puppets! I am excited to see how she moves the company forward.”

Rachel Frawley is thrilled to take on this opportunity, and is committed to honoring and expanding PPC’s stellar work entertaining and educating young audiences.

Piccadilly Puppets is a 501(c)3 non-profit touring puppetry company. Since its inception in 1970, Piccadilly Puppets has produced and performed puppet plays for schools, theaters, festivals and a variety of community organizations in Atlanta and throughout the Southeast. Incorporated in 1976, the nonprofit organization has been awarded a Citation for Excellence in the Art of Puppetry from Union Internationale de la Marionnette, the oldest international theatre organization in the world. 

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For more information, contact Nancy Riggs, (404) 636-0022, piccadillypuppets@gmail.com

Thanks to Fulton County Arts and Culture!

Thank you to the Fulton County Board of Commissioners for funding us through the Fulton County Arts Council! Piccadilly Puppets is headquartered in Fulton County and offers many shows and workshops to county residents. This funding allows us to offer our services at affordable prices.
The Contracts for Services (CFS) provides unrestricted general operating and project support to nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations, arts & culture organizations, cultural institutions, colleges and universities, as well as units of government that produce or present ongoing arts programming open to the public. CFS contractors present programs that reflect the cultural diversity of the County, captures the imagination of adults, families and youth, invigorate neighborhood growth, support economic development and provides jobs.This year the Board of Commissioners approved $2.3 million dollars in funding for 190 recipients comprised of individual artists, arts organizations, non-profits, schools, colleges and universities, and municipalities. Awards range between $1,000 and $42,000..The awards represent funding recommended for the Annual Funding opportunity for operating and project support that closed in late January 2022 as well as the Second Round Funding opportunities including the project support, partnership and planning categories that closed at the end of May 2022.CFS award recipients are reviewed and awarded using the following evaluation criteria; artistic merit, service to the community and field, organizational effectiveness, and accessibility. Contractors are selected after a thorough evaluation by an advisory panel of professionals representing all artistic categories. The recipients that were awarded funding are projected to serve more than five million people in Fulton County. Community-based arts organizations throughout Fulton County are encouraged to apply annually for participation in the CFS Program through the Fulton County Department of Arts & Culture. Applications are reviewed by staff, the Fulton County Arts Council, and the Allocations Committee, which provides additional accountability to support the Fulton County strategic goal that “AII People’s Lives Are Culturally and Recreationally Enriched” prior to submission to the Board of Commissioners.The Fulton County Department of Arts & Culture (FCAC) will announce the 2023 Contracts for Services Program (CFS) funding opportunity in Fall 2023.
CLICK HERE FOR 2022 CONTRACT FOR SERVICES AWARDS
www.fultonarts.org

Thank you to the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs

Thanks once again to the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs for supporting us through the Municipal Support for the Arts Program. This support helps us reach more children in the city by keeping our prices low and sometimes providing free programs for children experiencing homelessness (for example). They are also responsible for much of the new public art we’ve been seeing in the past few years!

Read on for more information about this wonderful program.

Municipal Support for the Arts

The Municipal Support for the Arts program is the City of Atlanta’s means of granting public funding to the arts. MSA awards contracts related to the production, creation, presentation, exhibition and management of artistic and cultural services in the city of Atlanta. The program recognizes that the presence of artists and non-profit organizations involved in the arts are critical to Atlanta’s cultural vitality. The arts enrich the creative development of the city’s diverse populations and contribute positively to the social and economic well being of Atlanta and the region. The goals of the MSA program are:

  • To provide support for the existence and excellence of artists and arts organizations in Atlanta.
  • To assist in the artistic development of the arts in Atlanta so that all citizens may participate in the diverse cultural life of the city.
  • To develop the contributions of Atlanta’s culturally diverse communities.
  • To ensure that the arts have broad geographic distribution and reach all segments of the population.
  • To support a broad range of educational activities in the arts.
  • To preserve the city’s artistic, cultural and historic heritage.
  • To enhance neighborhood vitality and economic development through the arts.

Cherokee Tales updated and available for in-person performances!

Trail of Tears portion of Cherokee Tales

Sequoyah teaches students about Cherokee culture and history, including his famous syllabary. With the help of puppets and audience volunteers, the puppeteer/storyteller recounts Cherokee myths about the creation of Cherokee land and how the brave Spider brought fire to the animals. Then the students learn about the Trail of Tears and more. Optional section about the seven clans. This new version was written by playwright Kara Morrison, an enrolled member of the Waccamaw Siouan tribe and a descendant of the Cherokee Nation.

CHEROKEE TALES– preK-4th grade, 30-45 minutes. Hand and Rod puppets.

Farewell to 2021!

2021 was still challenging due to the ups and downs of the pandemic, but there were highlights! (see below)

Bookings for shows began to pick up a bit. We still did some virtually while increasing the number of indoor and outdoor shows we were able to do in-person. We were able to start doing workshops again.

We celebrated an amazing 50 years of Piccadilly Puppets with our Fabulous 50th Zoomiversary party! Our founder, Ken Daniel, recorded a video of how he got started in puppetry. Nancy put together a Keynote presentation of photos through the decades. Other puppeteers, board members & friends attended and some sent videos or told stories. (We had originally scheduled a party for October 2020 but postponed and went virtual).

Birthday parties came back stronger. It seems that many families wanted at home parties, so we did even more birthday shows and workshops than usual.

We were finally able to perform our revamped version of Cherokee Tales, adapted by Kara Morrison with many new puppets and props by Stephanie Kaskel Bogle. So nice to have kids up on stage with us again. We are looking forward to many more shows of this in the future!

We were also able to perform all three of our Christmas shows this year – again, indoors, outdoors & virtually!

COVID-19 isn’t gone, but neither is Piccadilly Puppets! Hope to see you in 2022!

Thank you to the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs!

round logo that says Resurgens Atlanta and has a phoenix in the middle

As our 2020-21 year comes to an end, we would like to thank the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs for their vital support through the Contracts for Arts Services program!

It was great to be able to rely on these funds during a year when things were so uncertain. These funds help make the arts accessible to Atlanta children by helping us to keep our fees low while still traveling to districts all over the city. We also have been offering virtual shows, demonstrations and streaming Q&As all year.

Virginia-Highland Porchfest is Saturday!

This is a fun, free event with a ton of music AND a puppet show! We will be performing Butterfly Ballad at 4:00 at 901 Virginia Circle. There will be 54 bands on 40 porches and a Food Truck Alley. The music is from noon-6 PM.

A poster advertising the Virginia-Highland Porchfest and Rock N Run 5k. May 8th 9AM-6PM Music graphics and a silhouette of the Atlanta skyline

Happy Holidays from Piccadilly Puppets!

Enjoy this short video as a gift from us to you:

We’ve been working hard this year to keep bringing the art of puppetry to children in the Atlanta area and beyond. We’ve done outdoor birthday parties and camp shows. We’ve brought the puppet van to apartment complexes. (We lost the puppet van in a collision, but we can still bring our shows just about anywhere!) We’ve recorded shows for libraries and churches to share. We’ve done Zoom calls with preschool classes. We hired a Cherokee playwright to rewrite Cherokee Tales, then reimagined it as a 15-minute film.

What educational entertainment would you like to see from Piccadilly Puppets? Chances are, we can provide something to meet your wants and needs. The next thing we plan to record is Puppetry 101, a 30-minute video about puppetry styles and puppetry as a career. We are also planning to go into a few venues in January and perform live and in-person. We do this on a case-by-case basis, keeping safety in mind. Small groups are preferred.

We’ve seen changes and challenges in 50 years. This is our biggest challenge, but we are still here and plan to continue on! Happy Holidays and best wishes for 2021!

The puppet van is no longer available, but we are still performing outdoors, indoors and virtually!

Unfortunately, we had an accident in the puppet van. No puppets or puppeteers were harmed, but due to its age and high mileage, our insurance company declared the van a total loss. We’re sorry to say that we cannot offer shows from the back of the van for the near future. We do offer almost all of our shows outdoors, though, and Atlanta weather in the fall is usually great, so bring us to your birthday party, childcare, etc! We can also do virtual shows or lessons for schools and religious groups even if you are not meeting in person.

Shows are happening, outdoors & in!

We are doing live shows for small groups! We can set up one of our regular puppet shows from our Shows page, or just perform our Pop-up Puppets variety show right out of the Puppet Van. We are also doing shows inside for daycares. We are offering special COVID-19 pricing throughout the summer and possibly into the fall.

We have two shows available online now, also! You can arrange for your group or your family to watch Butterfly Ballad or Joseph and the Coat of Many Colors.

Keep watch on our Facebook page for upcoming free short videos. We will be offering Fabulous Fable Fridays every week in August at 10:00 am!

See our previous post for additional ideas and information.