The Piccadilly Puppets Company is a non-profit touring puppet theater operating out of Atlanta, GA. We have been featured at regional, national and international puppetry festivals. Many of our puppet shows are creatively educational as well as entertaining. Awarded the UNIMA Citation for Excellence in the Art of Puppetry, The Piccadilly Puppets Company has performed for regional, national, and international puppetry festivals and at the International Children’s Festival at Wolf Trap Farm. The primary mission of The Piccadilly Puppets Company is to provide puppetry experiences of high artistic quality to young audiences of ethnically and culturally diverse populations of all socioeconomic levels. Most of the plays feature original scripts and music, and great care is taken to blend content with the curriculum.
All of the puppeteers are professional performers.
Languages Spoken: English and one show that teaches some Spanish words.
Arts Disciplines: Theatre/Drama, Storytelling, Puppetry
Core Content Curriculum Areas: Theatre/Drama
Specialized Content Areas: Arts Integration, Literacy, World Cultures, Character Education, ELAGSE are incorporated in several shows
Grade Levels: Pre-K, K-2, 3-5, 6-8
Special Populations: At-Risk Students, Dyslexic Students, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Students, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) students, LGBTQI+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex) students, Exceptional Learners (students with disabilities as well as those who are gifted and talented
Pre-Service Learning and Professional Development: Professional Development for K-12 Teachers
Geographic Availability: Metro Atlanta, North Georgia, Middle Georgia, South Georgia
School-based Classroom Workshop(s), School-based Assembly Program, School-based Residency Program, School-based Summer Program
Community-based Workshop(s), Community-based Assembly Program, Community-based Afterschool Program, Community-based Summer Program
Online Content for School Use, Online Content for Community Use, Online Content for Summer Program Use, Hybrid Online and In-Person Content for Schools, Hybrid Online and In-Person Content for Communities, Hybrid Online and In-Person Content for Summer Programs
We are willing to negotiate, especially for Title One schools or charitable institutions.
- Performances: $290 plus mileage (first 20 miles free!)
- Workshops: $60 for up to 20 children
- Residency: If the puppeteer has to drive 2 hours or more to the gig, we offer them a hotel stay, either the night before for a morning show, or the night following if the show is afternoon or evening. This can be negotiated, generally starting at an extra $85.
- Access to online content & hybrid online and in-person: Negotiated
Piccadilly Puppets (PPC) has been producing entertaining and educational puppet shows for children and families since 1969. We have been on the touring roster for GCA for many years. We also worked closely with Arts for Learning (formerly Young Audiences) for many years, and most of our programs were developed with their input. We have received a Citation of Excellence from UNIMA, the main international puppetry organization.
Nancy Riggs has been a puppeteer for PPC since 1997 and Director since 2011. She received a BFA in Acting from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 1984 and began a professional acting career. In 1990, she trained at the Center for Puppetry Arts (CPA) and spent two years touring nationally with CPA. Twice she has participated in the National Puppetry Conference, an intensive workshop program. All of our puppeteers have performing arts degrees and have performed extensively for children as well as adults, and all are trained professional puppeteers.
We use stories to enhance the school curriculum. Our philosophy is that the story always comes first. Then we choose methods that will best tell the story, using different styles of puppetry, and often original music. The facts on the subject matter are artfully woven into the story so that children can learn without being lectured. Shows are fun, fast-paced, usually interactive, and always engaging.
Piccadilly Puppets has been developing puppet shows with educational content for decades with the help of Young Audiences/Arts for Learning. Each show is well researched and incorporates Georgia Performance Standards. We reach out to outside organizations; for example, our show “Butterfly Ballad” was developed with help from the butterfly center at Callaway Gardens.
Director Nancy Riggs began teaching drama classes for summer camps in the late 1980’s. She has taught acting and movement to children from ages 4 through high school for organizations like Georgia Ensemble Theatre, Callanwolde Arts Center, and Let’s Pretend Drama, Inc. She was trained in leading puppetry workshops by Carol Daniel, the previous director of PPC, and has passed that training to the other puppeteers. In our puppet-making workshops, we introduce children to one or more styles of puppetry. We give them specific instructions in order to insure success in completing the project in the time allotted, but still allow for a lot of individual expression so that no two puppets are alike.
- “Butterfly Ballad”
- Developed for the opening of the Callaway Gardens Butterfly Center, this production traces the metamorphosis of Katy and Kevin Caterpillar from egg to caterpillar, chrysalis, and butterfly. Join them on their fascinating migration to Mexico and marvel as they return to the United States to lay their eggs, beginning the life cycle again. The story, narrated by Mother Nature and performed with hand and rod puppets, culminates in a discussion of what each individual can do to maintain the balance of nature. Students learn a few Spanish words along the way; a bilingual version is available on request.
- Show: PreK-3rd grade, teaches life cycles and conservation. Audience maximum 150. 30-minute show plus puppetry demonstration and Q&A. We only require a 6’x6′ space and electricity; we bring everything else.
- “Cherokee Tales”
- Piccadilly’s Chief One Feather puppet introduces students to the history, lifestyle, and religious practices of Georgia’s early inhabitants—the Cherokee. With the help of puppets and audience volunteers, the puppeteer/storyteller then recounts a Cherokee creation story about how the earth was formed, how animals came to live on earth, and how fire was discovered. Students learn about the achievements of this noble tribe and the journey remembered today as the Trail of Tears. They also see the puppeteer in action, as this show takes place in the open rather than behind a curtain!
- Show: PreK-5th grade, teaches Cherokee culture. Audience maximum 150. 30-minute show plus puppetry demonstration and Q&A. Overt rod puppetry. Space needed: 10’ wide x 6’ deep. Access to electricity.
- “Wish Tales” (performance and Shadow puppet-making workshop)
- There are wishes we wish for others to grant and those only we can make come true through hard work and perseverance. This multicultural show tells three folktales about wishing, using three different styles of puppetry. The stories are “The Knee-High Man,” “The Frog Prince,” and “Little Orphan Animal”. Followed by a workshop in which each child will make a shadow puppet from card stock based on a character in the show.
- Show: PreK-3rd grade (for workshop, minimum age is 5), teaches literacy concepts. Audience maximum 150. 30-minute show plus puppetry demonstration and Q&A. We only require a 5’x5′ space and electricity; we bring everything else. There cannot be any light directly on the shadow screen.
- Workshop: Minimum age is 5. Maximum 25 participants. Lasts one hour. Children need to be seated at desks or preferably tables.
Sample Lesson Plans/Study Guides: