PINOCCHIO at Honolulu Theatre for Youth



Tenney Theatre

Apr 12-May 18

4/12 Fri at 7:00pm, Saturdays at 4:30pm

Comes to Life at HTY in a New Musical Adaptation

Honolulu Theatre for Youth’s 64th Season culminates in a new musical rendition of the classic children’s story about a puppet that longs to be a “real” boy.  The playful new musical features an original score, dancing marionettes, crafty animals and a nose that stretches over a yard when Pinocchio tells a fib. Woven throughout is the theme of sincere love between a parent and child and the importance of telling the truth.  The show is appropriate for children aged 5 and up.

“It’s going to be a fun ride,” says Director/Creator Nathaniel Niemi. “The story has this wild Italian energy and hilarious, crazy characters, but fundamentally it is about Gepetto teaching Pinocchio that our relationships with loved ones are what is most important.”

The play was entirely created and composed by Niemi and HTY’s professional ensemble through a year-long development process, the final play in a season themed “Our Stories”. “Although most of HTY’s work centers on local, Asian or Pacific Island stories, it is important for us to recognize and re-claim wisdom from every culture,” says HTY Artistic Director Eric Johnson.  Indeed, the original story of Pinocchio has been translated into over 300 languages making it the most translated non-religious text in the world and one of the most popular stories of all time.

The play was Adapted and Composed by Nathaniel Niemi and the HTY Ensemble from the story by Carlo Collodi. The ensemble cast features Junior Tesoro, Matthew Mazzella, Sean-Joseph Choo, Maki’ilei Ishihara, and Ho’onani Kamai; Puppet and Set Designer Chesley Cannon; Costume Designer Iris Kim; Light Designer Brian Gilhooly; Sound Designer Barett Hoover.

Pinocchio opens Friday, April 12 at 7:00pm. It runs every Saturday at 4:30pm from April 13 through May 18. ASL Interpretation and Pay-What-You-Can admission is available on Saturday, March 18 at 11:00am. Performances are in Tenney Theatre at the Cathedral of St. Andrew. It is ideal for ages 5 and up. Single tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for youth (18 and under) and $15 for seniors (over 60). For more information, to receive a season brochure, order tickets to a show, or learn more about HTY's educational programming, call 839-9885. Tickets may also be ordered online at