Nonetheless, when I saw that the book was coming to the puppet stage, I decided it was time for his first live performance. It was also my first time to the Center for Puppetry Arts.
I wasn’t really sure how it would go — my son is three, active, developmentally delayed and has autism. Would this be great…or a disaster?
He insisted on sitting on my lap, rather than on the seat next to me as the lights dimmed. Right off the bat, I knew a dimmed theater and lighted stage would be conducive to keeping his attention. For the first ten minutes he alternated between watching quietly and kicking and squirming, but at just the right moments it seemed, the performers would break into a song, which settled him down. Soon he was so relaxed in my lap, I had to check to make sure he wasn’t asleep. His eyes were somewhat slitted, but they were darting back and forth as the performers and puppets moved around the stage. He clapped sometimes when others clapped, but was he really enjoying it? He was taking it in quietly, so I couldn’t tell. Plus, he’s non-verbal.
I personally loved it. It killed me not to snap photos of the performance, but it’s not permitted due to safety and copyright.
The building is currently under construction but is still easily accessible. A puppetry museum will open in the fall and will include a Jim Henson collection.
They do have limited free parking. Tip: It’s easier to park for the first show as people start arriving for the second show before all the people who attended the first have left the premises.
As for my son, a few hours later that day I was sitting on the couch when he brought me a book to read to him. It was not one of his usual choices of the last few months, with cars and trucks on every page. It was his old favorite Click, Clack, Moo.
Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type is running through July 26 2015.
Check out their web site for dates, times, parking info and other programs. Sometimes the first couple days of a performance are previews and tickets can be purchased cheaper than regular tickets.
1404 Spring St NW, Atlanta, GA 30309
Update: I’ve been back to see two more shows with my son. We attended Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer in December and The Little Pirate Mermaid in June 2016. They were both big hits with my son and me. I was especially taken with the set for Pirate Mermaid.