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Sarah Lawrence College Theatre Performing 'How To Hug A Tree'

The art for the show "How to Hug a Tree."
The art for the show "How to Hug a Tree." Photo Credit: Contributed

BRONXVILLE, N.Y. -- A new musical, "How to Hug a Tree" will be performed at Sarah Lawrence College’s Center for the Urban River in Yonkers on Saturday, April 23 at 2 p.m. with a preview on Saturday, April 16 at 1 p.m. at the college.

The musical is directed by award-winning playwright, director and painter Shirley Kaplan, co- director of the college’s Theatre Outreach program. It aims to teach children about the importance of the environment and values like loyalty, bravery and ethics.

“We are very excited about presenting this production featuring original songs written by the ensemble to the community and opening up this wonderful world to children who otherwise might not have access to theatre,’’ said Allen Lang, co-director of the Theatre Outreach program.

In the play, Riva (the Hudson River) introduces Marquis to an eel and they become friends. Bingo, a coyote that is a bit of a bully, makes fun of the eel because he looks like a snake and not a fish. He also makes fun of Marquis for being a boy who likes books more than sports. In fable-like fashion, it all works out, as the coyote is put in a position where he has to apologize.

How to Hug a Tree’s director Kaplan is one of the co-founders of the OBIE-Award winning Paper Bag Players, founded in 1958. It was the first children's theater to perform at Lincoln Center and to receive a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

The production is part of the college’s “Hudson River Through the Arts” series of performances and interactive workshops held during the month of April. All performances are free and open to the public. The Center for the Urban River is located at 35 Alexander St. in Yonkers. For more information, call 914-395-2412.

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