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

Remaining public summer shows:

LeeAnna performing A Shore Thing at the Fayetteville Public Library

We have been so busy this summer that we have neglected to post a lot of our library and park shows, but there are still chances to come see us for free!

In Alabama: Wednesday, July 20 at 10:00 am CST A Shore Thing B. B. Comer Memorial Library 314 N. Broadway Ave., Sylacauga, AL

Sandy Springs: Saturday, July 23 at 3:00 pm A Shore Thing Sandy Springs Library 395 Mount Vernon Hwy NE Sandy Springs, GA 

DeKalb County: Wednesday, July 27 at 11:00 am A Shore Thing and a puppet-making workshop N. H. Scott Recreation Center 2230 Tilson Rd. Decatur, GA

Madison, GA: Friday, July 29 at 6:30 pm (2 shows between 6:30 and 8:30) Cat and Mouse Tales Firefly Festival in Town Park, Madison, GA

DeKalb County: Saturday, August 6 at 11:00 TBD show and workshop in another Dekalb park – watch our social media!

Engage your students through the performing arts!

Welcome back to school, all of you educators! We want to help you teach your students by reinforcing your lessons with fun, entertaining puppet shows and workshops! Each show has connections to English Language Arts, Science, or Social Studies, outlined on the show page of the website. Our study guides include vocabulary and suggested activities.

image of the classroom guide for Butterfly Ballad
Study guides provided!

We can do workshops, too!

Piccadilly Puppets Shows

Firefly Festival Friday night in Madison

We will be doing 2 short shows from Cherokee Tales Friday night at the Firefly Festival in Madison, GA, including the story of how the firefly got its fire. The Main Street Madison web page below has a photo of Director Nancy Riggs during last year’s show. The child in front is dressed as an Eagle.

http://www.mainstreetmadisonga.com/351/Firefly-Festival

Friday, July 26 Town Park, Madison, GA 6:30-8:30. Our shows are at 6:45 and 7:45.

Splish, Splash: Water Stories at the Stonecrest Library

Big green Tiddalick the Frog hand a rod puppet and blue Eel rod puppet posing in front of a lake
Tiddalick the Frog learns to share water from Eel.

Tuesday, July 23 at 2:30

Stonecrest branch of the Dekalb County Public Library, 3123 Klondike Rd. Lithonia, GA 30038

Limited to 60 children; Make sure to show up a little early! (404)482-3828

This show explores our most precious resource in a fun and educational way! Large hand-puppets are used in the Australian folktale of “Tiddalick the Frog” and the Creek legend “Rabbit Plays Tug-of-War,” which demonstrate that water is important to all cultures. The original shadow puppet piece, “The Adventures of Drip and Drop,” shows the water-cycle from the point of view of the raindrops. As the closing song says, “Everybody needs a little water!” Developed with the help of Project WET, this show is best for ages 4-10.

Of Monarch butterflies and the benefits of the performing arts

We haven’t been doing too many public performances lately, so we haven’t posted in awhile. We have been doing LOTS of performances of Butterfly Ballad, our show about Monarch butterflies for preschools-3rd grade. There’s good news on the Monarch front this year; their numbers are rising! We encourage you to plant more native milkweed. We also have a bilingual version of this show if you’d like to incorporate some Spanish into your performing arts.

Mother Nature with Katy Butterfly from Butterfly Ballad
Mother Nature with Katy Butterfly from Butterfly Ballad

The results are in! Students who attend multiple arts field trips have higher levels of social-emotional skills, stronger school engagement and higher standardized test scores. The research was done for field trips, but we’re sure that bringing artists in to your camp, school, church or other organization can have many of the same benefits! Click below for the article on the results of the study done by the Woodruff Arts Center.

https://www.mdjonline.com/neighbor_newspapers/northside_sandy_springs/education/woodruff-arts-center-atlanta-public-schools-partner-on-first-field/article_75bf4136-41f4-11e9-a30c-9714eef960a7.html?fbclid=IwAR2D5ml8fVXvnVR13HKqa7MjriEbrEjNXTfqaBofxNdE9B98XkshqAvvrVk

Welcome in the Chinese New Year with a puppet show!

The Emperor pushes a wheelbarrow in Once Upon a Time in China
The Emperor loves to garden!

We still have some open dates in February to bring this show to your group for the Chinese New Year!

This enchanting Chinese Tale teaches the importance of being honest. The Emperor is very old and needs to find someone to take over his duties, as he has no son. The new leader must be smart and strong, kind and courageous, patient and honest, especially HONEST. How will he find just the right boy?  (Based on the story of The Empty Pot). Ages 3-11

For more info: https://piccadillypuppets.org/shows-workshops/shows/once-upon-a-time-in-china/

We’re getting ready for the holiday puppet shows!

A photo of the Santa Claus and Belinda Bunny puppets from Foxy Christmas

We’re sprucing up the puppets and rehearsing the shows! Here are a few public performances coming up soon: 

Saturday, December 1,  12:00 and 2:00  Foxy Christmas                                 

The Children’s Museum of Atlanta, 275 Centennial Olympic Park Dr NW, Atlanta 

https://childrensmuseumatlanta.org/event/foxy-christmas-with-piccadilly-puppets/

Saturday, December 8,  10:00 and 11:30 am. ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas                

Aurora Children’s Playhouse, 128 E.Pike St, Lawrenceville.

 https://www.auroratheatre.com/productions-and-programs/view/twas-the-night-before-christmas

Fostering creativity

Colorful paper puppet bats and butterflies made of construction paper and decorated with stickers, markers, and more paper.

We recently did a paper puppet workshop with a group of refugee children in Clarkston. They were so sweet and worked so diligently to decorate their bats, butterflies and people using stickers, markers, and cutting up construction paper for clothes, accessories, etc. They produced the most creative puppets out of such simple materials that I had to share them!

Back to School!

Kindergarten students show shadow puppets that they made in a workshop.

Piccadilly Puppets has many educational shows and workshops! Bring us to your school this year! We have discounted prices for Title One schools.