March 23, 2006
As part of a worldwide celebration of the 200th birthday of Hans Christian Andersen, Bits 'N Pieces Giant Puppet Theatre will present Thumbelina at the Rose Lehrman Arts Center on the Harrisburg Campus of HACC. Performances are on Saturday, April 8 at 2 and 4:30 pm. Media sponsor for the event is Central Penn Parent. A free "Pixie Party" will be held after each show.

Unlike traditional small puppet productions, Thumbelina is an original, fully staged performance in the great American musical theatre style. Holli Rubin, as Thumbelina, performs with a cast of six giant body puppets, costumed characters, traditional puppets, and a life-sized Bunraku (Japanese) style puppet portraying H. C. Andersen himself.

Hans Christian Andersen opens the show narrating his classic tale. He asks the audience to imagine the littlest flower just ready to bloom within a magic garden. Before the bud can open, a Garden Witch changes the flower into a tiny princess. The flower blooms to reveal a girl no bigger than your thumb. She sits atop a thimble and the Garden Witch pronounces her "Thumbelina!" A great green Frog tries to help, and so does Cupid, who gives her a heart and explains about love. Angus, the Bluebird, flies into Thumbelina's garden and warns her about the approach of winter. His offer to fly her to a warm climate is too late though, for suddenly the Snow Queen spreads her blanket of ice across the garden.

Mumford the Mole finds Thumbelina. He invites her to live in his home for the winter. His sweetheart, Miss Spider, has disappeared. Thumbelina tells him to listen with his heart. He does, and Thumbelina eventually marries them. It is springtime again, and Cupid returns to explain he's had a mix-up - he's given Thumbelina the wrong heart. The Prince of the Sunflowers storms in demanding Cupid give his heart back. Thumbelina has the Prince's heart and he has hers! It's wonderful and grand, and now they can walk through life hand in hand.

Founded in May 1976 by Executive Director Jerry Bickel, Bits 'N Pieces is dedicated to influencing the world of tomorrow by enchanting the children of today. Through the theatrical retelling of classic children's stories, each with its own unique life lesson and moral, Bits 'N Pieces brings to life the magical wonderment of children's fantasy and reinforces the core values long told and emphasized by our great storytellers. Holli Rubin, touring as Thumbelina in the production, is also artistic director and master builder for the giant puppet company.

The show lasts approximately one hour and is appropriate for ages 5 and up. The audience is invited to join Thumbelina and other characters from the show as well as our own local fairy, "Posie, the Fairy" for a free "Pixie Party" after each show. The party will feature tiny sweets and treats, and a make-a-fairy-crown craft. Cookies will be provided by Cookies by Design. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for children ages 5-12. Rose Lehrman Arts Center Box Office phone number is 231-ROSE (7673). An educational guide is available on the website at

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