You are on page 1of 16

By Frank Higgins

Copyright 2007, by Frank Higgins


Professionals and amateurs are hereby warned that a royalty must be paid for every
performance, whether or not admission is charged. All inquiries regarding rights should
be addressed to Pioneer Drama Service, Inc., PO Box 4267, Englewood, CO 80155.
Rights to this playincluding but not limited to amateur, professional, and translation
into foreign languagesare controlled by Pioneer Drama Service, Inc., without whose
permission no performance, reading or presentation of any kind in whole or in part may
be given.
All other rights in this play, including radio broadcasting, television and motion picture
rights, are controlled by Frank Higgins, c/o Pioneer Drama Service, Inc., PO Box 4267,
Englewood, CO 80155.
These rights are fully protected under the copyright laws of the United States of America
and of all countries covered by the Universal Copyright Convention or with which the
United States has reciprocal copyright relations, including Canada, Mexico, Australia
and all nations of the United Kingdom.
COPYING OR REPRODUCING ALL OR ANY PART OF THIS BOOK
IN ANY MANNER IS STRICTLY FORBIDDEN BY LAW.
On all programs, printing and advertising, the following information must appear:
1. The full name of the play
2. The full name of the playwright
3. The following notice: Produced by special arrangement with
Pioneer Drama Service, Inc., Englewood, Colorado
ii




ORIGINAL PRODUCTION
Anansi the Spider and the Middle Passage was commissioned and
produced by the Omaha Theatre Company for Young People under
the title, How Anansi the Spider Came to America under the artistic
direction of James Larson. The production opened on January 11,
2004 with the following cast:
Anansi ......................................Kenny Glenn
Mother/Wife/Vulture .................Mabel Kashora
Nyame/Lion/Turtle/Hippo ..........Leiloni Brewer
Python/Elephant/Villager ...........Cherisse Coleman
Shontay/Bush Deer/Hare ..........Rushea Smith
Director ....................................James Larson
Scenic designer ........................Eric Scot Voecks
Costume Designer .....................Sherri Geerdes
Lighting Designer ......................Bill Van Deest
Drummer ..................................Seku Neblett
Stage Manager .........................Christina Whitney
Pictures from this production can be found at the back of the
playbook.
An imaginative re-telling of the Anansi folk tales
put into a new context as the tales come to America
on a slave shipWonderfully theatrical.

Omaha World-Herald
For preview only
iii


ANANSI THE SPIDER AND THE MIDDLE PASSAGE
Adapted from African folklore
By Frank Higgins
CAST OF CHARACTERS*
ACTOR 1 ...................................ANANSI, WISE ELDER
ACTOR 2 ...................................NYAME, LION, TURTLE, HIPPO,
KIDNAPPER 1, CREWMAN 1, SHIP
CAPTAIN
ACTOR 3 ...................................PYTHON, ELEPHANT, KIDNAPPER 2,
CREWMAN 2, VILLAGER
ACTOR 4 ...................................MOTHER, VULTURE
ACTOR 5 ...................................SHONTAY, BUSH DEER, HARE
NOTE: ANANSI, SHONTAY and MOTHER are either African-American
or African; however, the other roles can be played by actors of any
background.
* Cast size can vary from as small as 5 to as large as 19 (see following
page). The gender makeup of the cast of 5 can range from 1M, 4F to
3M, 2F.
SETTING
Time: At the height of the slave trade between Africa and the
Americas.
Place: In Africa, in a prison and on a slave ship. Story scenes take
place in the jungle, in the sky and at the bottom of a lake.
The set should be simple and suggestive. Therefore, most props are
simply mimed. Feel free to use real props if desired. A cutout tree and
a cutout mossy rock are brought on for a couple of the stories. A raised
platform is UPSTAGE for Nyames entrance. If possible, somewhere
onstage there should be a reproduction of the diagram of the slave
ship Brookes. This drawing can be found in most books about the
Atlantic slave trade.
AUTHORS NOTE
If possible, have an African drummer onstage. The drummer can
underscore scenes and moments throughout the show. If the script
needs to be shortened for time considerations, the Turtle story can
be removed.
For preview only
iv PHOTOCOPYI NG THI S SCRI PT BREAKS FEDERAL COPYRI GHT LAWS
CAST OF CHARACTERS
(Expanded cast version)
# of lines
ANANSI ....................................the spider-man 101
SHONTAY ..................................African girl 33
MOTHER ...................................her mother 29
KIDNAPPER 1 ............................kidnaps Shontay and her 5
mother
KIDNAPPER 2 ............................kidnaps Shontay and her 4
mother
VILLAGER..................................lives a life of work 1
NYAME .....................................sky god 12
PYTHON....................................very large and strong snake 21
SHIP CAPTAIN ...........................of the slave ship 5
CREWMAN 1 .............................on the slave ship 1
CREWMAN 2 .............................on the slave ship 1
LION .........................................loves yams 7
ELEPHANT ................................loves bananas; very strong 26
BUSH DEER ..............................little deer with a big heart 14
TURTLE ....................................lives at the bottom of the sea 16
HIPPO.......................................very strong; loves jumping in 18
water holes
HARE........................................more brains than brawn 44
VULTURE ..................................loves to eat hare 13
WISE ELDER .............................wise man in the human village 17


































For preview only
1
1
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
ANANSI THE SPIDER AND THE MIDDLE PASSAGE
Live or pre-recorded AFRICAN DRUMMING begins. The CAST ENTERS,
except for ANANSI, and dances a lively West African dance. As the
drumming continues, the CAST presents ANANSI, who ENTERS LEFT
and dances from one end of the stage to the other. The DRUMMING
builds to a CRESCENDO and then STOPS.
ANANSI: I have stories! I have stories!! I have stories!! I will give you
the story today about the bad things that greed can do. I will give
you the story about a great tug of war and how every one of you,
even if you dont know it, is strong. How can I give you all these
stories? I am Anansi, and all stories are mine to give! But! There
will be times when I will need your help to tell a story. Will you help
me? (Gets the AUDIENCE to say yes.) With your help, I will tell you
the story of how I won the right to give you these stories. I will give
you the story of how I left my home in Africa and came here to your
world as part of the Middle Passage. But! That story begins with
tears. Are you strong enough for the story? (Gets the AUDIENCE
to say yes.) Then we begin. (Waves his arms like a magician, and
the LIGHTS CHANGE. ALL EXIT except ANANSI, KIDNAPPER 1 and
KIDNAPPER 2.) Early one day in the jungle of West Africa, outside
a village (KIDNAPPER 1 from the ensemble spreads nuts on the
ground while taking care not to be seen by the villagers. He gestures
to KIDNAPPER 2, and the two of them hide ONSTAGE. SHONTAY and
MOTHER ENTER RIGHT with a bag to gather the nuts.)
SHONTAY: Look, Mother! There are more nuts over here!
MOTHER: Be careful, Shontay. We dont want to get too far from the
village.
SHONTAY: We should have looked this far away before. There are nuts
everywhere!
MOTHER: When your father and your brothers come back from hunting,
well x them a good meal tonight.
SHONTAY: Well make everybody happy. (KIDNAPPERS jump up and
throw a net over MOTHER and SHONTAY.)
MOTHER/SHONTAY: Aahh!
KIDNAPPER 1: Tie them up! Quick!
SHONTAY: Why are you doing this?!
KIDNAPPER 1: Quiet!
MOTHER: Fight, Shontay, ght!
KIDNAPPER 1: If she ghts, you will regret it. Is that what you want?
MOTHER: No!
For preview only
2
1
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
KIDNAPPER 2: (To KIDNAPPER 1.) Your trick worked.
KIDNAPPER 1: Lets go. Hurry. (The KIDNAPPERS have mimed tying
MOTHER and SHONTAYS hands and now take them DOWN LEFT.)
ANANSI: Shontay and her mother were taken to a place far from their
village, and then...
KIDNAPPER 1: Open the door! (KIDNAPPERS toss MOTHER and
SHONTAY into a prison cell, dened by LIGHTING EFFECT. KIDNAPPER
1 mimes closing the door. SOUND EFFECT: HEAVY DOOR clanging
shut.)
KIDNAPPER 2: Two females. Theyll bring a good price. (KIDNAPPERS
EXIT RIGHT with bag of nuts.)
SHONTAY: Mother! Mother, where are we?
MOTHER: In a prison, Shontay.
SHONTAY: But we havent done anything wrong.
MOTHER: I can barely see. Listen! I hear many people here. And many
languages. There are people from many villages who have been
thrown together here. This is a bad thing.
SHONTAY: Oh, Mother! (MOTHER embraces SHONTAY and holds her.)
ANANSI: Her mother held Shontay all night. And like the adults and
children around them, they moaned with sadness. (A RITUAL MOAN
from MOTHER and SHONTAY.) We are one village here now. To help
us imagine what those people felt, let us moan together... (Gets
the AUDIENCE to moan, then stops them.) It was not until the next
morning that Shontay spoke again.
SHONTAY: Well never see Father again! Or my brothers! Were alone!
MOTHER: We may never see our family again, Shontay. But we are not
alone. Look there, in the corner of the window.
SHONTAY: A spider?
MOTHER: And who is that spider?
SHONTAY: Who?
MOTHER: Our friend. His name is
ANANSI: Anansi! And the mother told her daughter about mehow I
am in possession of all the stories there are to tell. And little by
little, the girl was less afraid.
SHONTAY: But how can Anansi possess all the stories? Hes just a
spider.
MOTHER: It happened like this. A long time ago, all that people did
was work and sleep... (MOTHER and SHONTAY join ANANSI and
VILLAGER, who ENTERS RIGHT. They circle and mime working.)






































For preview only
3
1
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
ALL: (Chant.) Work and sleep, work and sleep
All I do is work and sleep.
ANANSI: Fellow villagers, wake up! Work and sleep, there must be
more to life.
VILLAGER: No, this is what life is. It was decided for us from on high.
Look up there. (NYAME ENTERS LEFT and stands on the raised
platform. He holds a gold box.)
ANANSI: Its Nyame, the sky god! But what is he holding?
MOTHER: The Box of Stories. All the stories of all the people are in
that box.
ANANSI: Look how he only opens it a little, so that only he can hear
the stories.
SHONTAY: He hoards the stories for himself.
ANANSI: Then let us call out in loud voices! Hell hear us and help
us.
ALL: Nyame! Hear me, Nyame! Help us! (NYAME does not hear.)
MOTHER: Nothing.
ANANSI: Then we should go up there.
SHONTAY: He lives in the sky. How can anyone go up there?
ANANSI: I am Anansi the Spider. I will spin a web all the way into the
sky. (Flings his arms. LIGHTING EFFECT: A gobo of a SPIDERWEB
appears all over the stage. ANANSI climbs up to NYAME. MOTHER,
SHONTAY and VILLAGER move DOWN LEFT.)
NYAME: What is the meaning of this? Someone from the lowly earth
visits me in the sky?
ANANSI: Oh, great Nyame. Your people are poor and tired. We need
to hear stories. Stories will make our lives bearable. Stories will
give our lives meaning. (NYAME opens the box a little and listens.
SOUND EFFECT: CACOPHONY OF WHISPERING VOICES.)
NYAME: (Snaps the lid back down and VOICES STOP.) No. The stories
have great power. And I do not share.
ANANSI: (To AUDIENCE.) How to solve this? (To NYAME.) Nyame, they
say you are a great gambler. Let us make a bet, and if I win, I get
the Box of Stories.
NYAME: How can you win a bet? People, who is the strongest of all?
ALL: Nyame!
NYAME: Who is it that when he talks even the trees tremble?
ALL: Nyame!
NYAME: Who is the King of All Things?
ALL: Nyame!








































For preview only
PHOTOCOPYI NG THI S SCRI PT BREAKS FEDERAL COPYRI GHT LAWS 4
1
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
NYAME: You have heard of my power. So what can you offer me when
I win the bet?
ANANSI: If I lose, I will stay on the ground and will never bother you
again.
NYAME: Not enough. Who is the weakest of animals?
ALL: Anansi!
NYAME: When Anansi talks, no one listens. When he shouts, everyone
laughs. I command you all, laugh at Anansi. (ALL LAUGH. ANANSI
reacts to the ridicule.) You think that I would give up all the stories
to such a weak creature as you? If we bet and you lose, I will make
you look foolish, so foolish that all the animals and people will
laugh at you till the end of time. Do you still want to risk all that
for the Box of Stories?
ANANSI: (After a pause.) Yes. My bet is that I can do anything you ask,
no matter how difcult.
NYAME: This is too easy. Youve heard of Python?
ANANSI: The big, dangerous snake who lives by the river?
NYAME: Bring me Python and bring him to me alive. (EXITS LEFT
laughing.)
ANANSI: (Turns to the AUDIENCE and gulps.) What have I done? Python
is so strong, hell eat me. I can run away, but if I do run away, what
will happen to the people?
ALL: (Chant.) Work and sleep, work and sleep.
All I do is work and sleep. (VILLAGER EXITS LEFT. SHONTAY and
MOTHER move UP to watch the action.)
ANANSI: The people need stories to help them live. What to do?(Thinks.)
Ill set a trap. First, Ill need a tree. (Fetches cutout tree, noose and
rubber chicken from OFF LEFT.) Next, Ill spin a strong web and
make a noose. (Mimes spinning, then produces the noose.) Now, Ill
grease the tree, but only high up. And how will I get Python to climb
this particular tree? To get a chicken! (Hangs the chicken from
the tree and sets the noose on the ground underneath it.) Python
will want the chicken, hell start up the tree, then when hes high
enough, hell slip on the grease. And hell fall into the trap that Ill
put on the ground. Ha! And then well have stories. Quiet! I hear a
slither in the grass. Python!
PYTHON: (ENTERS RIGHT singing.) Who will I swallow today?
Who will I swallow today?
Will I swallow them whole or just halfway?
Who will I swallow today?
(Speaks.) Whats this? A chicken? I havent eaten anybody for
hours. Ah, chicken, youre all mine. (Starts to climb the tree.)







































For preview only
5
1
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
ANANSI: Foolish Python, this is too easy.
PYTHON: Who would put grease on a tree? And is that noose on the
ground for me? Theres more than one way to swallow a chicken. Ill
stand on my tail. I am one amazing python. (Snatches the chicken
and gobbles it.)
ANANSI: I have failed. How can I catch this snake? He has more
strength in his tail than most animals have in their whole body.
(Sits with his back to PYTHON, who starts to crawl toward ANANSI.)
And because Ive failed, no one will have any stories. All that well
ever do is work and sleep. There must be a way.
PYTHON: (Throws himself around ANANSI.) Good morning, Anansi.
ANANSI: Ahh! Good morning, Python. How are you?
PYTHON: Im very angry. Youve been trying to catch me. (Squeezes.)
ANANSI: Aah!
PYTHON: And now Ive caught you.
ANANSI: But its just a game, right? Tag, youre it?
PYTHON: (Still squeezing, sings.) Who will I swallow today?
Will I swallow you whole or just halfway? (Puts the costume mouth
over the top half of ANANSIS head while ANANSI talks.)
ANANSI: Python, youve got it all wrong. I wanted to catch you, but not
to eat you. How can someone little like me eat someone big like
you? No, this is all my wifes doing.
PYTHON: Your wife?
ANANSI: Ive been having a ght with my wife. I say that you are the
longest animal in the world.
PYTHON: I am.
ANANSI: Longer even than the bamboo tree.
PYTHON: I am.
ANANSI: But I cant prove it.
PYTHON: You shouldnt ght with your wife about that.
ANANSI: Marriage is difcult. These are the things you ght about
when youre married.
PYTHON: Well settle this right now. Get a bamboo pole.
ANANSI: Oh, you are a wonderful snake. I dont see why you dont
have more friends. (Grabs a bamboo pole and ropes from OFF LEFT
and lays them on the ground.)
PYTHON: This wife of yours is foolish. Of course Im longer than a
bamboo tree. Its insulting to even doubt it.
ANANSI: Well show her.
PYTHON: Ill stretch myself out to full length. What do you think?




































For preview only
6
1
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
ANANSI: Well, you are very long. But the bamboo tree is long, too. Oh,
no, my wife is right!
PYTHON: Stop crying, Spider. I can stretch. Tie my tail to the bamboo
tree.
ANANSI: Whatever you say. (Ties PYTHONS tail to one end of the
bamboo pole. [NOTE: See photo in back of playbook.]) Now stretch,
Python.
PYTHON: Aaah!
ANANSI: Not good enough. Whats this lump in your middle?
PYTHON: Nothing much, just a man I had for breakfast.
ANANSI: We need to take whats left of him and atten him out.
PYTHON: I know what to do. Tie my middle to the bamboo tree.
ANANSI: Whatever you say. (ANANSI does.) Now stretch, Python.
PYTHON: Aaaah!
ANANSI: Still short. Oh, my wifes going to say, I told you so. Are
there any words more terrible for a husband to hear?
PYTHON: I know what to do. Ill stretch my top part even moretie my
head to the bamboo tree.
ANANSI: Whatever you say. (Ties PYTHONS head to the bamboo pole.)
Somebody strong is always right. There. (Drags PYTHON to present
him.)
PYTHON: What are you doing? Let me up. Hey!
ANANSI: Nyame! Behold! I have brought you Python!
NYAME: (APPEARS LEFT with the gold box.) You have captured
Python.
PYTHON: Woe is me.
NYAME: You have won the bet. You deserve the Box of Stories. (Hands
over the gold box.) Come on, Snake. You cost me the stories, so
Ill have you for lunch.
(Sings.) Who will I swallow today? (EXITS LEFT, dragging PYTHON.)
ANANSI: The stories! Listen. (Lifts the lid and we hear the CACOPHANY
OF WHISPERING VOICES.)
MOTHER: And hearing the stories made the peoples lives better.
SHONTAY: Can stories make our lives better?
ANANSI: That is the question. Some of the stories in the story box are
very old. But the story of Shontay and her mother being kidnapped
is a new story. After being kept in prison for many weeks, the
people were inspected by a ship captain. (SHIP CAPTAIN and
KIDNAPPER 2 ENTER RIGHT.)
CAPTAIN: Let me check out what youre trying to sell me.







































For preview only
7
1
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
KIDNAPPER 2: Theyre both healthy. They are good merchandise.
SHONTAY: Dont hurt my mother.
CAPTAIN: Check her teeth. (KIDNAPPER 2 checks her teeth while the
CAPTAIN checks MOTHER.)
KIDNAPPER 2: Her teeth are okay. I told you I only sell good
merchandise.
CAPTAIN: Ill take em both. Get on the ship. (LIGHT COMES UP on the
drawing of the slaves packed in the hold of a slave ship.)
MOTHER: Where are you taking us?
CAPTAIN: Youll nd out.
ANANSI: And they forced the people onto the big ship. And then
CAPTAIN: Get down in the hole. Go. (Mimes locking MOTHER and
SHONTAY in chains with the help of KIDNAPPER 2.)
ANANSI: The men packed the people in shoulder to shoulder below
deck and kept them in chains. (CAPTAIN and KIDNAPPER 2 EXIT
RIGHT.) And then the ship sailed away and headed into the sunset.
Shontay and her mother had never even been on a big boat before.
And so
SHONTAY: Im sick.
MOTHER: So am I. You must endure this. We can do it.
ANANSI: They threw up several times a day for many days. Finally, their
stomachs were no longer sick, but they were weak. And nally, the
men brought them something to eat. (CREWMEN ENTER RIGHT
wearing white masks, carrying a bucket of gruel.)
CREWMAN 1: Put your hands together! (To CREWMAN 2.) Pour the
slop in their hands.
CREWMAN 2: These people are so weak, they can barely hold their
hands together. Hold them up! (Mimes pouring the gruel into their
hands, then EXITS RIGHT, followed by CREWMAN 1.)
ANANSI: And this is all that Shontay and her mother had to eat.
The next day, the mother noticed something. (SHONTAY mimes
eating.)
MOTHER: Shontay, I saw you eat all your food this morning. But youre
eating more now?
SHONTAY: Yes, Mother. Here, have some.
MOTHER: How did you get it?
SHONTAY: The girl beside me didnt eat all her food.
MOTHER: Shes sick. So you stole her food?
SHONTAY: She wasnt eating it.








































For preview only
PHOTOCOPYI NG THI S SCRI PT BREAKS FEDERAL COPYRI GHT LAWS 8
1
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
MOTHER: This is not how I raised you.
SHONTAY: But I was so hungry. Im hungry right now.
MOTHER: Thats no reason to take someones food. (To unseen girl.)
Hey girl, take your food and eat.
SHONTAY: But, Mother
MOTHER: As for you, Shontay, look there in the corner. A spider. Anansi
is with us. There is a story about Anansi stealing someones food.
(ANANSI sets down the Box of Stories and puts a cutout rock in
place.)
SHONTAY: I didnt stealI just took it.
MOTHER: You were selsh. Anansi can be selsh sometimes. He
wants everybodys food for himself. One day Anansi came upon a
strange moss-covered rock.
ANANSI: Ive never noticed this rock before. What a strange moss-
covered rock. (Faints and falls down.)
MOTHER: The sound of Anansi falling down got the attention of a little
Bush Deer. She hid and watched from the grass. (Moves DOWN
RIGHT. SHONTAY becomes BUSH DEER or joins MOTHER if larger
cast is used. BUSH DEER watches, unseen by ANANSI.)
ANANSI: (Wakes.) Uh, what happened? I remember! I was walking
along, and then I saw this rock. I said, What a strange moss-
covered rock (Faints and falls down again.)
MOTHER: Again, he slept for awhile.
ANANSI: (Wakes.) Uh, what happened? I remember! I was walking
along, and then I saw this rock. And I said... I get it! This is a magic
rock. Whenever anyone says the magic words, mmmm hmmmm
mmmm hhmmmm, they fall down asleep. What power this rock has,
just from someone saying What a strange moss-covered rock
(Faints and falls down. Wakes.) Uh, what happened? I remember!
The magic rock! This is a good thing to know. And I know exactly
how to use it. All I need is someone to come by with food.
LION: (ENTERS LEFT with yams.) Oh, look at all these wonderful yams
Ive picked. Lions dont usually eat yams, but I yam what I yam.
ANANSI: Hey, Lion!
LION: Anansi, you lazy spider. You refuse to plant any yams, but you
want me to give you my yams. Well, thats not who I yam.
ANANSI: I didnt ask you for your yams. I came to tell you that I saw a
strange thing in the forest.
LION: What strange thing?
ANANSI: Cats are supposed to be curious. You need to see for
yourself.







































For preview only
9
1
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
LION: Hmm, okay. Ill be back in a minute, yams. (Leaves the yams.)
ANANSI: Its right down this path. There.
LION: (Moves to the rock.) Innnteresting.
ANANSI: What is it?
LION: Its a strange moss-covered rock. (Faints and falls down.)
ANANSI: Ha! Curiosity killed the cator at least knocked it out. Now
Ill take his yams to my hut. (Takes the yams to his hut.) I yam what
I yam!
LION: (Wakes.) Uh, what happened? Wheres Anansi? Wheres my
yams? Oh, now I have nothing to eat. I yam what I yam no more.
Im a sad cat with big teeth, and Ill be angry the rest of my life.
(Roars and EXITS LEFT.)
ANANSI: That worked once, why not twice? Who else has food?
ELEPHANT: (ENTERS LEFT with bananas.) Bananas, bananas, when I
see bananas, I go bananas. The sweetest word I ever heard is
bananas.
ANANSI: Hey, Elephant! I just saw a strange thing in the forest.
ELEPHANT: Was it a big banana?
ANANSI: Maybe. Im not sure.
ELEPHANT: Hmm, Id like to see a strange thing, but I dont want to
leave my bananas.
ANANSI: Bring your bananas. Its right down this path. Look.
ELEPHANT: (Approaches rock.) Denitely not a banana. It looks like...
ANANSI: Like what?
ELEPHANT: Its a strange moss-covered rock. (Faints and falls down.)
ANANSI: Oh, Elephant, you have fallen on your big rear end, but luckily,
not on your bananas. Ha ha ha. (Takes the bananas, goes to his hut
and adds them to his yams.)
ELEPHANT: (Wakes.) Uh, what happened? My bananas! Yes, I have no
bananas! Im going to cry so hard Ill have to blow my nose, and the
whole jungle will hear it. (Brays and EXITS LEFT crying. ANANSI eats.)
BUSH DEER: Hmm, Anansi needs to be taught a lesson. But whos
smart enough to do it? Im just a little Bush Deer. No one pays
attention to me unless they want to eat me. But if I can get their
food back, maybe Ill have friends.
(Sings.) I may be little, but Im smart.
I have got a great big heart.
Ill nd a way to save the day.
Then theyll all say Bush Deers okay!
Anansis greedy, Anansis mean.
All he does is dream and scheme.






































For preview only
10
1
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
Ill nd a way to save the day.
Then theyll all say Bush Deers okay!
(Speaks.) But how to nd a way? Coconuts!
(Sings.) Coconuts, coconuts,
Hell go nuts for coconuts.
Hell be betrayed by his gut
And his love of coconuts.
(EXITS RIGHT.)
MOTHER: So Bush Deer went off to nd some coconuts. Meanwhile,
Anansi prepared to eat his big feast.
ANANSI: Food, wonderful food. And its all mine, mine, mine!
MOTHER: And just then
TURTLE: (ENTERS LEFT singing.) I am turtle, I am turtle,
I am green, wish I was purple.
I am slow, wish I was fast,
Then I wouldnt always be last. (Speaks.) Hello, Anansi.
ANANSI: Turtle? What are you doing here? You live in the village under
the water.
TURTLE: (Sings.) Im on a journey, been gone all week.
Ive run out of things to eat.
My stomachs empty, I am hungry.
I need food. Can you help me?
ANANSI: (To AUDIENCE.) I know what this is about. The custom of
our village is that when someone from another village stops by,
youre supposed to give that person food. Turtle is trying to take
advantage of our customs! But if I dont give him food when hes
hungry, it means I am a bad person. Unless! I can trick him with
one of our customs. Okay, Turtle. I will give you food.
TURTLE: Oh, boy!
ANANSI: But rst. You must wash your feet.
TURTLE: My feet?
ANANSI: Your feet are dirty. You must wash your feet before you eat.
TURTLE: Ill be right back. (Walks to the lake and mimes washing.
Sings.) Washing my feet, washing my feet.
Then Ill nally get to eat.
(Speaks.) Oh, my beautiful feet will help give my stomach a treat.
(Starts back. Sings.) I washed my feet, I washed my feet.
Now Ill nally get to eat.
ANANSI: (To AUDIENCE.) Oh, no, he wont. (To TURTLE.) Sorry, you cant
eat. Your feet are dirty.
TURTLE: But I washed my feet.








































End of Script Sample
21























PRODUCTION NOTES
PROPERTIES
ONSTAGE: Diagram of a slave ship (on easel), raised platform.
BROUGHT ON:
Net, nuts (KIDNAPPERS)
Bag for nuts (SHONTAY)
Gold box [with ame] (NYAME)
Stuffed snake with functional mouth (PYTHON)
Cutout tree, rubber chicken, noose, bamboo pole, pieces of rope,
moss-covered rock (ANANSI)
Bucket, white masks (CREWMEN)
Yams (LION)
Bananas, two giraffe puppets (ELEPHANT)
Coconuts (BUSH DEER)
Crocodile puppet (HIPPO)
LIGHTING EFFECTS
Prison cell effect, gobo of spider web. Light changes can also be used
to signify the start of a story and a new day.
SOUND EFFECTS
Either live or pre-recorded African drumming, sound of heavy door
clanging shut, cacophony of whispering voices.
COSTUMING
Traditional African clothing should be worn by all human characters
except KIDNAPPERS, SHIP CAPTAIN and CREWMEN. NYAME should be
dressed in a magical or royal-looking robe with an elaborate headdress.
HARE can wear a headband with long ears and perhaps a fuzzy white
tail. HIPPO should wear a padded costume to suggest bulk.
In the original production by The Omaha Theatre Company for Young
People, PYTHON was performed by an actor or actress holding a long,
stuffed snake with a puppet head that could be manipulated to bite.
BUSH DEER wore a headdress with ears and horns. TURTLE wore a
colorful shell on his back. VULTURE wore feathery robes and a large
mask with eyes, beak and feathers. ELEPHANT wore a headpiece with
large ears and a trunk that hung below the neck. LION dressed in
robes of brown and tan and wore a headdress that looked like a mane.
See pictures from this production on the following pages.
For preview only
We hope youve enjoyed this
script sample.
Please feel free to save it permanently
for future reference.
If you wish to read the entire script online,
we invite you to create an account at
www.pioneerdrama.com/E- view and
start your E
-
view subSCRIPTion today!
To place an order, visit our catalog
at www.pioneerdrama.com or
call us at 800.333.7262.
Were here to help!