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W&L Presents ‘Thumbelina’ “Thumbelina” will be presented at Keller Theatre in two performances on Feb. 12 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets are required.

Thumbelina-Promo146-576x768 W&L Presents ‘Thumbelina’Thumbelina (Iyanna Hartman ’22) sits with her new friends, Maybel the Maybug (Mariah Scott ’25), Swallow (Emma Smith ’24 )
and Toad (Amelia Fisher ’24 ).

W&L Department of Theater, Dance and Film Studies presents two performances of “Thumbelina,” directed by Jemma Alix Levy, associate professor of theater at W&L, on Feb. 12, 2022, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. in the Keller Theatre on campus.

Visit my.wlu.edu/lenfest-center/thumbelina to purchase tickets. Children age 10 and under are free, but tickets are required.

Size doesn’t matter in this adaptation of the traditional story of a little girl finding her way in a big world. Using the traditional Japanese storytelling technique called kamishibai, the play follows Thumbelina as she searches for a place where she fits in, discovering along the way that being different doesn’t mean being alone. Join this tiny girl with a huge heart as she travels the world, making unexpected friends along the way.

“While ‘Thumbelina’ has always been about finding friendships despite differences, something I think is important to teach in these times — and the aspect I love about this particular adaptation — is its additional focus on how we each write our own story,” Levy said.

With a bright ensemble of characters, each with a unique story and background, there’s never a dull moment in Thumbelina’s journey. From a feisty field mouse to a family of maybugs, audiences will be exposed to laugh-out-loud scenarios along with important messages about embracing diversity and choosing your own path.

“By giving ‘Thumbelina’ agency in a way the original fairytale did not, this play uses a fun and silly story to encourage audiences to make their own choices and then to take responsibility for the consequences,” said Levy.

The plot of “Thumbelina” isn’t the only significant part of this production, though. Audiences will be treated to a combination of both human performers and puppetry, a complex art to learn in such a short period.

Joshua Holden, an actor, puppeteer, host of “The Joshua Show” and puppet wrangler on “Sesame Street,” worked with the actors in “Thumbelina” to incorporate puppetry during his recent campus visit.

“Combining kamishibai with puppetry and live acting is an exciting challenge,” said Levy. “The entire cast and crew will have to function as both artists and technicians to make it work, and that is the kind of collaborative and innovative theater I love.”

“Thumbelina” is appropriate for children as young as 4, but all are welcome to attend the innovative and engaging production for its two public performances.

All individuals, including those who are fully vaccinated, are expected to wear masks in public indoor spaces on the W&L campus.