Atlanta's Center for Puppetry Arts Puts Pete The Cat Onstage | WABE 90.1 FM

Atlanta's Center for Puppetry Arts Puts Pete The Cat Onstage

Apr 11, 2017

Born in the street festivals of Atlanta, the character of Pete the Cat has found himself on canvas, on the New York Times bestseller list and now he's finding himself on stage. The Center for Puppetry Arts has written a world premier show featuring the cool cat.

“I probably started the designs for the puppets just over a year ago,” Jason Hines tells "City Lights" host Lois Reitzes. According to Hines, the process of bringing Pete the Cat to the center began about three years ago.

“They sent me the drawings of the puppets early on, but I didn’t have to change anything,” says James Dean, the artist who created Pete. “I love to see the interpretation of other artists. But I don’t have to worry so much ... because they seem to get it.”

The center’s “Pete the Cat” was adapted by Hines and artistic director Jon Ludwig and features a new musical score composed by Dolph Amick. The premier follows news that Dean’s creation is set to hit the small screen.

“[Amazon] has just picked up Pete the Cat,” Dean says. “The producer, I’m very excited, is Swampy Marsh, who is the co-creator of ‘Phineas and Ferb.’ He understands Pete.”

But even as his creation spreads further into the world and away from Dean’s paint brush, he, along with his wife and writing partner Kim Dean, maintain a very personal connection with the little blue cat.

“Pete has become sort of like our third child,” Kim Dean says. “We talk about him a lot like he is a living entity that is making decisions. He has a personality that is very distinct.”

"Pete The Cat" is open now at the Center for Puppetry Arts and runs through May 28.