The Playground Theatre. Inanna and the Huluppu Tree

By Manuela Gabaldon

A visit to the Playground Theatre takes me back to my school days in which a field trip to the theater was the highlight of my week. The Playground Theatre’s production of an old Sumerian myth called Inanna and the Huluppu Tree is the main event on a weekday morning in Miami Shores. The 10:00 a.m. show is packed with Miami-Dade students happy to get away from the walls of a classroom and into this newly renovated, 330-seat Art Deco theater. “It’s always great when we have a full house!” says Liz Roldan, Marketing and PR Coordinator at the Playground Theatre; I could not agree more as the energy of the children’s laughter and curiosity enhance a life on-stage. Carolina Sa, who plays Inanna, the goddess of Love, War, and Fertility; the Queen of Heaven and Earth; and the Morning and Evening Star, leads the talented cast of young actors in this amazingly interactive, energetic and all around fun performance of the adapted myth directed by Playground Theatre’s co-founder and artistic director Stephanie Ansin.

Inanna and the Huluppu Tree is the story of a Sumerian Goddess who descends from the Heavens to a place called Uruk to crown its new king one year after the death of his father. The only problem is that the future heir, gone on a mission to find the key to immortality, is nowhere to be found! On this day, Inanna finds a Huluppu Tree in the river of Uruk’s people’s tears for the fallen ruler. Disappointed by the absence of Gilgamesh and worried for the spirit of the people of Uruk, Inanna decides to give them hope by planting the tree as a symbol of growth and prosperity. Although her brother, the God of the Sun, and her father, God of the Moon, advise against it, the blessing of her grandmother the Great Mother Earth Goddess gives Inanna the confidence to follow through. The play revolves around the consequences behind Inanna’s actions with appearances by the God of Snakes, Trees, and Medicine, the Goddess of Merriment, and the God of Storms.

The Playground Theatre is a company that dedicates its performances to the entertainment, education, and enlightenment of audiences of all ages. South Florida’s cultural diversity plays an important role in the selection of he Playground Theatre’s productions as the relationship between location and performance is vital to the company’s cultural vision for our city, presenting productions of classic scripts, adaptations of these, and original plays. The Playground Theatre is an active participant in the enrichment of our South Florida community, leading its Education and Community Outreach Program which enabled over 20,000 underserved children and families to see their performances this past season. The company’s next production, Hans Christian Andersen’s The Steadfast Tin Soldier, runs January 6th to the 31st and is the perfect theater experience for children of ages 3 and up.

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