Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is back at Center for Puppetry Arts! Here from now until December 31st, Rudolph is the Center’s most anticipated production of the season. Based on that classic television special that we all know and love, the show brings our favorite characters and scenes to life once more with the amazing talents of Atlanta’s best puppeteers. I sat down with Tim Sweeney (Director), Anna Claire Walker (Puppeteer – Hermey, Mrs. Donner, Girl Elf, Elephant), and Anna Caudle (Puppeteer – Rudolph, Mrs. Claus) to get an inside look at our favorite holiday classic!
- Wendell: What’s it like to bring a childhood classic back to the Center for Puppetry Arts (CPA) each year? How do you make it your own?
Tim Sweeney: The Rudolph special is one of my favorite pieces of pop culture. The visual aesthetic, the wonderfully kooky characters, the music, and the story. We get to spend more time with these characters in the course of a run on stage, and it’s a labor of love to bring this story to life. This year’s cast has done an especially good job capturing the characters as they sound in the original special. The same level of detail was applied to the songs. I’m particularly happy with how well we’ve captured the feel of the original this year.
- Wendell: How big is this show for the CPA?
Tim Sweeney: This show is a successful holiday tradition for our theatre and our city. It’s a truly unique production that you can’t see anywhere else.
- Wendell: What’s it like to bring these characters to life? When you hold Rudolph or Hermey in your hands, what holiday memories come to mind?
Anna Caudle: Everyone has felt like a misfit at some point in time. Rudolph embodies the struggle of learning to embrace [and even cherish] the oddities that make us special. Bringing to life such an iconic and relatable character as Rudolph has been an honor. Growing up, my family baked Rudolph cookies for Christmas every year. This year, I look forward to baking them to share with my cast-mates and to spread the joy that Rudolph has given me during this process.
Anna Claire Walker: Bringing these classic Christmas characters to life is such a special opportunity, especially since the original was such a huge part of my family’s traditions! When I speak Hermey’s lines I can hear the original voice in the back of my head and remember all the laughter and joy the original character brought to me as a child! We even had a Hermey ornament on our Christmas tree since some people in my family work in dentistry so the character’s journey has always had a special place in our hearts!
- Wendell: What’s your favorite Reindeer Game?
Tim Sweeney: Reindeer Rugby
I would love to try some Reindeer Rugby (sounds dangerous if you don’t watch out for those antlers). Share the excitement that these wonderful people shared with me, and come see the show! They’re ready to give you an amazing performance no matter when you decide to come this holiday season. If you don’t have kids, don’t worry! No one is judging you for reliving childhood for an hour. You’ll be fine!
Click here for more information and to purchase tickets!