Jambo Watoto – Tales and Rhythms of Africa

Jambo Watoto digital assembly is a loving homage to the rich and wonderful cultures of Africa.  Featuring stories and traditional rhythms from different regions of Africa including How Ananse Gained a Kingdom of Knowledge from a Kernel of Corn (Ashanti), The Hunterman and the Crocodile (Donso, West Africa), and The Lion’s Whiskers (Ethiopia) The Hunterman and the Crocodile Donso the hunter-man, against his better judgment, agrees to carry Bamba the Crocodile back to his home in the river. After carrying Bamba into the water and releasing him, Bamba takes hold of his arm, to make Donso his next meal. As they argue, about right and wrong and how a good deed should be repaid, they float by a cow, a horse, a chicken, and an old mango tree, and Donso begs them all to help. They all refuse and say that he deserves to be eaten by the Bamba. Finally, a clever rabbit approaches and plays a trick on the Bamba to help free Donzo. Once they’re out of the river and Bamba is back up on Donso’s back, the tables are turned and the rabbit suggests that he take Bamba home to his wife “to make a great meal.” …

Stand-Up Stories – Multicultural Tales to Live By

This show features a collection of multicultural folktales and myths which provide the listener with valuable messages and cultural wisdom they can use to live by. The stories include: PHAETHON (Greek Mythology) A boy name Phaethon goes to find out if his father is Helios, God of the Sun. Helios offers Phaethon anything he wants to prove it to him. Phaethon rashly chooses to ride the chariot that carries the sun through the sky. Helios tries to change Phaethon’s mind, but Phaethon is stubborn. When Phaethon tries to ride the chariot, the horses go where they want and almost burn up the Earth when the sun gets too close. Zeus saves the earth by striking him down with his thunderbolt and scaring the horses back to the sky. Being young like Phaeton, is a time to play, a time to be patient, a time to listen and a time to learn. THE STONECUTTER (Chinese Folktale) A stonecutter is envious of rich people. An angel turns him into a rich man. But he keeps finding things he’d rather be. He’d rather be king, a farmer, the sun, a cloud, the wind, a mountain. While he’s a mountain a stonecutter comes by …

Stand-Up Stories – Multicultural Tales to Live By

This show features a collection of multicultural folktales and myths which provide the listener with valuable messages and cultural wisdom they can use to live by. The stories include: PHAETHON (Greek Mythology) A boy name Phaethon goes to find out if his father is Helios, God of the Sun. Helios offers Phaethon anything he wants to prove it to him.  Phaethon rashly chooses to ride the chariot that carries the sun through the sky. Helios tries to change Phaethon’s mind, but Phaethon is stubborn.  When Phaethon tries to ride the chariot, the horses go where they want and almost burn up the Earth when the sun gets too close.  Zeus saves the earth by striking him down with his thunderbolt and scaring the horses back to the sky.  Being young like Phaeton, is a time to play, a time to be patient, a time to listen and a time to learn. THE STONECUTTER (Chinese Folktale) A stonecutter is envious of rich people.  An angel turns him into a rich man.  But he keeps finding things he’d rather be.  He’d rather be king, a farmer, the sun, a cloud, the wind, a mountain.  While he’s a mountain a stonecutter comes by …

Africa to America – The Ananse Story

This show honors Africa and its diaspora while showing how stories and music travel with people and adapt to new environments. It points out how many of the Br’er Rabbit stories of the American South have origins in the West African stories of Ananse the Spider, and it shows how American “roots music” owes much to the drum rhythms of Africa. It features West African drum rhythms and songs, played live on ethnic instruments. The show features the stories: Br’er Rabbit, Brer Alligator and Trouble (Southern U.S.) features B’rer Rabbit and B’rer Alligator. In the story, B’rer Alligator says he has never known any trouble in his life and he is curious as to what it is. B’rer Rabbit brings trouble to him, and B’rer Alligator not only gets a new coat, but learns a valuable lesson: “Never trouble trouble unless trouble troubles you. How Kwaku Ananse Gained a Kingdom of Knowledge from a Kernel of Corn (Ghana, West Africa). This is the story of Ananse the spider and the sky god named Nyame. Nyame (in a bad mood), challenges the creatures to a test and whoever passes the test will receive all of the wisdom of the world. The creatures are afraid to …

Prince Rama and the Monkey King

Prince Rama & the Monkey King is based on the Indian classic, The Ramayana. Prince Rama was taught about duty, conduct, spiritual law and respect for his elders by the Guru Vishvamitra, who also taught Rama the fighting arts and gave him magical weapons to use in the fight against evil. Rama is set to be crowned King, but is instead banished from his home to the jungle with his wife Sita. In the jungle, Sita is kidnapped by the evil demon king, Ravana. Rama befriends the legendary Hanuman, a great leader of an ancient and magic race of monkeys, who helps Rama defeat Ravana and free Sita. Rama and Sita return home to rule for ten thousand years. This epic tale is filled with examples of virtue, values and morality lived out in a challenging and complex world, and is the most frequently produced theatre in South Asia. Promotional Photos Click on a thumbnail below then right-click or control-click in the center of the  large image and choose “Save image as” to save to your computer. Permission to use these copyrighted photos is for promotion of BOXTALES shows and events only. Acknowledgements Photos by David Bazemore. Directed by Jeff Mills and the …

Iron John (Brothers Grimm)

This dynamic production of Iron John, about a wild man and a prince, is based one of the best German fairy tales found in the collections of the Brothers Grimm. The story is a parable about a boy maturing into adulthood through meaningful rites of passage. The message of Iron John is that we all have a wealth of gold inside, and that one needs to identify, cultivate and protect it. Iron John reminds us of our connectedness to nature, and the power of the imagination, and that ultimately we are at our best when we serve something bigger than ourselves.

Waters of the Earth – Multicultural Tales of the Sea

Waters of the Earth explores the rich folklore and mythology of seafaring peoples from all over the globe. Waters of the Earth also includes an introduction to the tradition of Sea Chanteys, songs sung by working sailors on all kinds of ships. Songs from Irish, New England, and African American/Afro Caribbean traditions will be taught and sung during the performance. Sealskin Soulskin In this story, a lonely man steals the sealskin of a Selkie (a seal-woman.) When she asks for the skin back the man refuses to return it unless she marries him and lives with him for seven years. She agrees and eventually they grow to love one another and have a child together, a boy. Eventually, the woman becomes ill and crippled and in the eighth year, she demands her skin returned to her. The man becomes angry and refuses for fear she will leave him and return to the sea. After the man storms out, the boy is summoned by a mysterious ocean spirit to where the sealskin is hidden. He returns the skin to his mother and they both plunge into the ocean to meet with the wise old Grandfather Seal. The Grandfather nurses the woman back …

Waters of the Earth – Multicultural Tales of the Sea

This production, explores the rich folklore and mythology of seafaring peoples from all over the globe. Waters of the Earth also includes an introduction to the tradition of Sea Chanteys, songs sung by working sailors on all kinds of ships. Songs from Irish, New England, and African American/Afro Caribbean traditions will be taught and sung during the performance. Stories include Sealskin Soulskin (Pacific North West, American Indian, Inuit Tribe) – In the story a lonely man steals the sealskin of a Selkie (a seal-woman.) When she asks for the skin back the man refuses to return it unless she marries him and lives with him for seven years. She agrees and eventually they grow to love one another and have a child together, a boy. Eventually the woman becomes ill and crippled and in the eighth year she demands her skin returned to her. The man becomes angry and refuses for fear she will leave him and return to the sea. After the man storms out, the boy is summoned by a mysterious ocean spirit to where the sealskin is hidden. He returns the skin to his mother and they both plunge into the ocean to meet with the wise old Grandfather …

The Odyssey

Homer’s Odyssey has been called one of the most important stories of Western civilization. In this performance Odysseus describes his adventures in his own words, acting out various episodes from Homer’s epic tale. As he travels over the seas with his crew of men he encounters many beings who delay his return to Ithaca. Among them are Poseidon, god of the seas; Cyclops, a one-eyed giant; Aeolus, master of the winds; Circe the enchantress; Tiresias and others in the underworld; the Sirens: Scylla and Charybdis, Helios, and Calypso. Odysseus is with Calypso on her island when Zeus sends Hermes, his messenger, to demand that Calypso set Odysseus free and allow him to return to Ithaca. Odysseus builds a raft and drifts toward the island of the Phaeacians. Poseidon, god of the sea, creates a storm and the raft is destroyed but Odysseus arrives safely on the shore of Phaeacia where he is rescued and sent home to Ithaca. Once Odysseus is home, he must find a way to defeat the suitors who have pursued his wife and reunite with his son, Telemechus, and his wife, Penelope. He must also resume his role as king of Ithaca. He is transformed by …

Leyendas De Duende – Magical Tales of Latin America (Bilingual)

The bilingual Leyendas De Duende explores the rich Hispanic folklore and mythology of Latin America. The stories include La Calavera from Mexico, and Paco and the Witch from Puerto Rico. The program also includes an Afro/Cuban Rhythm and Song that calls to “Alegua – the trickster of the crossroads”, from the Afro-Cuban tradition of Santeria. La Calavera After using up everyone in his small village, an old father ventures out onto the road to find a godparent for his 12th child. He’s approached by Papa Dios and El Diablo, as well as a host of pre-Columbian deities who offer themselves for the job before he chooses Godmother Death (La Calavera), as she seems the most just, not favoring the rich over the poor. Calavera teaches the boy to be a great healer, and he grows up to be rich and famous, but in the end, when the healer tries to cheat death, Calavera shows him no special favor. Paco and the Witch Paco is a good boy who likes to help his mom but when he goes to town to run an errand he has to pass through the dark forest where a bruja, or witch, is waiting to snatch him …

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