Little Thumbelina
Loosely adapted from Hans Christian Andersen
© 2016

Born from a flower and bloomed into a perfectly formed, if somewhat tiny, human child, Thumbelina approaches her world with an unjustified confidence that soon finds her lost and alone is a large, strange, and challenging world of enormous toads, birds, fish, insects, and rodents. As her mother searches the forest, Thumbelina stumbles ever deeper into her mysterious big adventure.


Little Thumbelina at HTY
Honolulu Theatre for Youth photo credit: Brad Goda

Go Where There is Love

"The Honolulu Theatre for Youth’s world premiere of Hans Christian Anderson’s Thumbelina opened last week, and it is a must-see. I had the pleasure of sitting in on a school show yesterday comprised of 1st-3rd graders, and could tell they were instantly enrapt with Eric Johnson’s inventive, technological treatment of Y York’s thoughtful and heartfelt script. HTY has been experimenting with digital effects for a few years now, but this show has got to be their crowning achievement... Through the combination of technology, puppetry, playful acting, intelligent staging, and special design effects, the show captures all the woner, exhilaration, and apprehension of a small child finding her way, and her strengths, in a big, unknown world. Think Alice in Wonderland if Wonderland was a plain, old backyard that you see everyday...I don’t want to give away all the show’s tech secrets, but you’ll be amazed and delighted by how the company plays with scale and perspective, different environs within the fairytale, and what is physically real vs. digital illusion. The most intriguing aspect of all this, is that the production doesn’t try to hide the ‘man behind the curtain’ as he makes the gigantic, smoky image of the Great and Powerful Oz with levers and dials. A great deal of the magic-making happens simultaneously on the two stages for all to see. This creates an added dimension of wonder, because while you’re marveling at the illusion created, you’re also aware of all the different hands involved in contributing to the illusion, which increases your appreciation for their collaborative artistry. Hats off to director Johnson for his tight, cohesive staging, and coordination between playing spaces and design elements... Puppet and prop designers Lynn Jeffries and Chesley Cannon create a lovely, tangible picture book quality to the show, in concert with a quaint and fun costume design by Kathleen Doyle...The MVP award has to go to Cannon for set, lights, and video design. Never before have I seen such a triumph in Hawai‘i when it came to utilizing those tools to take a classic tale and make it so accessible and entertaining for today’s technically minded youth. As for the emotional core and human heart to the production, again, the show wins big...It’s always a joy to see Y York’s work staged at HTY. Having been in her Nothing is the Same more than a decade ago, I know the heart and emotional depth in her writing. With this take on Anderson’s tale, you must “go where there is love.” There’s a lot of love and artistry in this technically impressive production from everyone involved, and it shows. --

Commissioned by Seattle Children's Theatre
premiere March 28, 2017
Honolulu Theatre for Youth

Many puppets to be animated by 3-5 performers of any gender.
Or could be done in other ways.
1 hour
flexible set, multiple locations

available from author's agent