Jason Hines and Jon Ludwig Appointed Co-Artistic Director; Jon Ludwig to Transition to Artistic Advisor at Center for Puppetry Arts

Jon Ludwig
Jason Hines

Jon Ludwig to Transition to Artistic Advisor with Jason Hines Appointed Artistic Director at the Center for Puppetry Arts

ATLANTA (July 2024) – The Center for Puppetry Arts is thrilled to announce the joint appointment of Jason Hines and Jon Ludwig as Co-Artistic Directors, effective July 1, 2024. In this shared role, they will lead and support the artistic vision of the Center. Hines will then take the Artistic Director role upon Ludwig’s transition to the Emeritus Artistic Director, effective Oct. 2.

A series of tributes are planned in recognition of Ludwig’s monumental contributions to the Center. Effective Oct. 2, the Center’s rehearsal hall will be renamed The Jon Ludwig Rehearsal Hall, honoring his legacy. Additionally, Ludwig will assume the title of Emeritus Artistic Director, a lifetime designation reflecting his lasting impact on the Center for Puppetry Arts.

“Jon Ludwig’s decades of dedication and expertise in puppetry have been pivotal to the success of the Center for Puppetry Arts. His passion for puppetry has captivated audiences for years. We are excited to announce that the talented Jason Hines will also be stepping into the Artistic Director role, where he will collaborate with Jon to temporarily share responsibilities, ensuring a seamless continuation of their combined artistic legacy,” said Beth Schiavo, Executive Director.

Since joining the Center for Puppetry Arts staff in 1978, Ludwig’s innovative, immersive and educational productions have enchanted millions of children and adults alike. Ludwig’s artistic endeavors have earned him acclaim, including nine Citations of Excellence from UNIMA-USA and the prestigious Charles Loridans Foundation’s Arts Medal in 2007. He was also honored with the Puppeteers of America President’s Award in 2013 for his outstanding contributions to puppetry. Additionally, Newsweek Magazine hailed his adaptation of Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” as a highlight of the 1996 Olympic Arts Festival. Beyond his work at the Center for Puppetry Arts, Ludwig wrote, designed and puppeteered the shadow puppet portions of The Jim Henson Company’s “Bear in the Big Blue House”. His direction on Disney Channel’s “The Book of Pooh” earned him an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Directing in a Children’s Series. In 2022, Ludwig received the Suzi Bass Award for Lifetime Achievement, recognizing his profound impact on the Atlanta theater community across four decades.

With respect to the impact of Ludwig, the Center for Puppetry Arts Founder and Strategic Advisor, Vince Anthony said, “For almost 50 years, Jon has been the creative force behind the Center. Some say his genius efforts have been responsible for the Center’s success!”

Hines, who has served as the Center’s Resident Puppet Builder since 2002, brings a wealth of experience and creativity to his new role. His finely crafted puppet designs have delighted audiences of all ages in numerous productions, including “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”, “Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat”, “Charlotte’s Web”, “Pete the Cat”, “Tesla vs. Edison”, and many other celebrated works.

Beyond his role at the Center, Hines’s artistic contributions extend to television, film and collaborations with prestigious organizations such as The Atlanta Opera and The Alliance Theatre. His recent production, “Tesla vs. Edison”, received critical acclaim, earning multiple Suzi Bass Awards and a Citation of Excellence from UNIMA-USA.

Currently overseeing the puppet build for “Fafner the Dragon” in collaboration with The Atlanta Opera’s 2025 production of “Siegfried”, Hines is also directing the Center’s upcoming production of “Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote”, showcasing his versatility and leadership in the field of puppetry.

Center for Puppetry Arts® is a unique cultural treasure – a magical place where children and adults are educated, enlightened, and entertained. Since 1978, the Center has introduced millions of visitors to the wonder and art of puppetry and has touched the lives of many through enchanting performances, curriculum-based workshops, and the hands-on Museum as well as Digital Learning and Outreach programs. Center for Puppetry Arts is a non-profit, 501(c) (3) organization and is supported in part by contributions from corporations, foundations, government agencies, and individuals. Major funding is provided by the Fulton County Board of Commissioners and the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs. These programs are also supported in part by the Georgia Council for the Arts through the appropriations of the Georgia General Assembly. GCA is a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. The Center is a member of Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA/USA/ASSITEJ). The Center also serves as the headquarters of UNIMA-USA, the American branch of Union Internationale de la Marionnette, the international puppetry organization.

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