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Favorite reindeer spreads Christmas spirit
"Rudolph" on stage at Center for Puppetry Arts
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Characters from the 1964 stop-motion film “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” have been recreated in a puppet form for the same show at the Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta.

You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen. But do you recall, the most famous reindeer of all?

The Center for Puppetry Arts will celebrate the season with the return of a holiday tradition, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” Based on the popular 1964 stop-motion animated special, the festive family classic rings in the most wonderful time of the year through Dec. 28 on the Mainstage Theater at the center in Atlanta.

Hermey the Elf, Yukon Cornelius, the Abominable Snow Monster and all the other merry misfits join Rudolph and Santa for a seasonal spectacular. Through the use of rod and body puppets, skilled puppeteers present the timeless tale of acceptance that has inspired audiences and become an Atlanta tradition.

This year marks the fifth anniversary of the center’s production as well as the 50th anniversary of the classic TV special.

“I saw the first TV broadcast in 1964 and thought they had created it just for me,” director Jon Ludwig said. “Here they were showing a couple of misfits making it through the world. I felt, ‘There are other misfits like me. I’m not alone!’”

New this year, the production will tie in with the national #ShineBright social media campaign, which is a celebration of uniqueness. Led by PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center, the campaign unites the Center for Puppetry Arts with other nationwide partners, who are using the Rudolph story as a platform for teaching important lessons about diversity and tolerance.

“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” is recommended for ages 4 and older.

Showtimes vary due to the holidays. Visit www.puppet.org or call 404-873-3391 for times and tickets.

Tickets are $9.25 to $13.25 for members and $16.50 to $20.50 for nonmembers. They include museum admission and entrance to the Create-A-Puppet Workshop (or To-Go Kit) where children can create their own Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer shadow puppet to take home for the holidays.

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