Honolulu Theatre for Youth to Premiere THE TINY TREE

Honolulu Theatre for Youth to Premiere THE TINY TREEHonolulu Theatre for Youth continues its 61st season with the world premiere of THE TINY TREE, by local children's theatre playwright Annie Cusick Wood. With live music and song, a charming father-son astronaut duo and a fantastical setting on a planet far far away, the play is designed especially for tiny tots-but will also resonate powerfully with adults.

THE TINY TREE is onstage Saturdays, February 20, 27 and March 5, at 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 am. It is recommended for ages 3 and up. All shows are at Tenney Theatre. All tickets are $10; visit www.htyweb.org or call 839-9885 to purchase. American Sign Language-interpreted show is Saturday, Feb. 27 at 11:30 a.m.

Created and directed for our youngest audiences by Annie Cusick Wood, the writer/director responsible for HTY's hits HAPPY, BLUE, PETER RABBIT and AUNTIE MARTHA AND THE NENE (GOOSE) and one of Hawaii's most daring and innovative theatre artists, this show explores what tiny trees and tiny children have in common. The short, interactive experience is designed specifically to engage young people and spark their curiosity about the world around them. By asking, "How can we create the right environment for this tiny tree to flourish?," the play explores the themes of responsibility, nurturing others, and letting go. (Fun with anti-gravity, sleight of hand and the dubious joys of "being in charge," as well as playful nods to Buzz Lightyear and David Bowie, will delight tots' adult companions too.)

Actors are Antonio Anagaran and Matthew Mazzella. Set and props design are by Karen Kiefer, costume design is by Lacy Rohlf; composer/musician is Matthew Mazzella, who plays both guitar and squeezebox in the production.

Annie Cusick Wood has worked as a director and writer in theatre for children since 1992, directing for many leading companies across the UK including Visible Fictions, Catherine Wheels, Citizens Theatre and Northern Stage. She was the Artistic Director of Polka Theatre for Children in London for four years before arriving in Hawaii in 2006. Several of her shows have toured extensively across Europe, Asia, USA and Canada including the New Victory Theatre in NYC. In 2011 she directed "You're a Good Man Charlie Brown" for HEARTS (Hawaii Education of the Arts) and "The Red Balloon." She is on the Board of HEARTS and a guest lecturer in theatre for young audiences at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She is married to actor Henry Ian Cusick; together they founded Henry Joe Productions, a film production company whose most recent short film, DRESS, premiered at the Honolulu International Film Festival in 2013.

Honolulu Theatre for Youth is Hawaii's non-profit professional theatre company providing theatre and drama education programs that make a difference in the lives of Hawaii's young people and families. Founded in 1955, HTY is recognized the world over as one of America's most honored theatres.

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