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Galapagos George

Galapagos George
Photo by Warren Johnson

By Barefoot Puppet Theatre of Richmond, VA
2012-13 Family Series

Mar 19 - Apr 7, 2013
Downstairs Theater
Recommended for ages 4+

•Tues-Fri: 10am & 11:30am
•Sat: 11am, 1pm & 3pm
•Sun: 1pm & 3pm
Center CLOSED on Sun, Mar 31, 2013 (Easter)
Added performances! Thurs, Mar 28 @ 1pm and Thurs, Apr 4 @ 1pm!

Journey to the far-off Galapagos Islands and meet George – a GIANT GALAPAGOS TORTOISE! He’s the last tortoise of his kind. Watch George grow up in this show featuring sea turtles, lizards, hungry goats, sea lions, and dancing blue-footed out for the pirates, though! In this uplifting eco-fable solo puppeteer Heidi Rugg shares the true story of this famous, not-so-little tortoise and the islands he calls “home.”

Puppetry Style:
Rod, Shadow, Hand

Create-A-Puppet Workshop:
Make your own Terrific Tortoise Rod Puppet!

Behind the Scenes of
Galapagos George, The Little Tortoise That Could

About the Puppetry Style
Galapagos George, The Little Tortoise That Could, was inspired by the true story of a giant tortoise named Lonesome George who was discovered in 1971 on Pinta Island in the Galapagos archipelago. Every island in the Galapagos is home to its own unique tortoise, and George was truly one of a kind as the last of his species.

Director and puppeteer Heidi Rudd uses 16 rod puppets of lizards, sea lions, blue-footed birdies, and a growing tortoise to showcase the fascinating wildlife native to the Galapagos Islands, where the story takes place.

Described by the Smithsonian as “an uplifting eco-fable,” Galapagos George, The Little Tortoise That Could was awarded a 2005 UNIMA Citation of Excellence – the highest honor in North American puppetry!

About the Company
Having spent most of her early childhood barefoot in Hawaii, it only seemed natural that Heidi Rugg would name her company Barefoot Puppet Theatre. Performing barefoot is very fun – but it's also very useful for operating the foot pedal sound system her husband engineered. Barefoot Puppet Theatre began miles away from Hawaii, though, in Richmond, Virginia. Heidi founded the company in 1997 after apprenticing as a puppet builder with Handemonium Puppets in Washington, D.C. In 2001, with a growing touring schedule and a growing family, her husband Sam Rugg joined the company to help with building stages, managing accounts, and handling the technical side of lighting and sound. For more information, please visit

To learn more about Barefoot Puppet Theatre, click here!

About Giant Tortoises
No animal is more synonymous with the Galapagos Islands than the giant tortoise. The common name of the islands is Spanish for saddle, which refers to the shape of the Galapagos tortoise shell. As the last of his Pinta Island species, Lonesome George in particular has been a symbol of the extreme fragility of the Galapagos islands and a reminder of the need for vigilance and conservation.

At one time, there were 250,000 tortoises on the islands, but today there are only about 20,000 remaining. Lonesome George’s story has inspired the government of Ecuador to restore tortoise populations throughout the archipelago as well as to improve the status of other endangered and threatened species. The Galapagos National Park Service is organizing an international workshop taking place in July 2013 that will focus on restoring tortoise populations across Galapagos over the next ten years.  His legacy will be an increased effort in both research and management to restore the Pinta Island and all of the other giant tortoise populations of Galapagos.

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Fax: 404.873.9907

Ticket Office Hours:
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Sat: 9:30am-5pm
Sun: 12pm-5pm

Single show tickets, which include Create-A-Puppet Workshop and Museum:
Member - $9.25
Non-Member - $16.50

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