Dianna Craig and Heidi Bekebrede
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Our Stories

The stories on this list serve as a starting point for collaborative performances featuring Heidi Bekebrede's dramatic narration, and Dianna Craig's stylized masks and movement.

The stories are told in pairs (you chose the two you prefer), with a short intermission between the two for a quick change of the backdrop. After the second of the two stories is presented, the audience has the opportunity to ask any questions about our group and our performance.

Performance (your choice of 2 stories):
45 minutes, $350.00. (A travel charge of $60-100 will apply outside of Davis.)
Two, back-to-back performances at the same location: $600

*These stories can be told bilingually in English and Spanish.

We are currently presenting seventeen stories which celebrate diversity and the triumph of good in the human spirit:

1. Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters, by John Steptoe.

An African folktale full of drumming and drama. Two sisters are challenged and compared as they travel through the forest on their way to meet the king who will choose "the most worthy and beautiful daughter in the land" to be the queen. Mufaro, their father is unaware that one of the sisters is selfish and cruel. (18 min.)

2. Amazing Grace, by Mary Hoffman.

A tale that proves you can be whatever you want to be... if you put your mind to it! Grace is always acting out adventure stories and fairy tales, and she is thrilled to hear her class at school is putting on a play, Peter Pan. At first she is discouraged by the actions of some of the students at school, but with the help of her Nana, she continues to believe in herself. (12 min.)

3. Sadako, by Eleanor Coerr.
A story of 1000 paper cranes in the shadow of Hiroshima, Japan. This is the true story of Sadako Sasaki, age 10, who can't think of anything else but running on the relay team. Then she becomes very ill with leukemia and struggles to fold 1000 paper cranes so that she can have her wish to be well again. (30 min.)

4. The Gunnywolf, by Wilhelmina Harper.
A young girl learns her lesson and the value of a sweet song. Although Little Girl has been warned never to enter the jungle because "the Gunnywolf lives there and he might eat her up," she can't resist the lure of the beautiful flowers in the jungle. Fortunately the Gunnywolf likes sleeping more than eating! This story is rich with excitement, surprise and audience participation. (7 min.)

5. The Gentle People, by Susan Milord and Charles Finger.
A folktale from Argentina about a mythical metamorphoses. The gentle people live in beautiful harmony with all of nature and are ruled by a wise and kind prince. But one day the greedy and selfish people come to disrupt their way of life. So instead of fighting back, the gentle people choose to change themselves into guanacos, llama-like creatures. (22 min.)

6. How the Jackrabbit Got His Very Long Ears, by Heather Urbinskas.
A Native American creation myth from the great Southwest desert. Jackrabbit's job is to escort the new desert animals to their homes and to explain to them why they were made special to fit into the desert environment. His inattention and/or lack of hearing, leads to some hurt feelings and a new set of super-sized ears . The whole audience gets to join in the fun as we all hoot, howl, sing and snap our fingers together. (20 min.)

7. What Was I Scared Of?, by Dr. Suess.
A rhyming romp in the woods but with a meaningful moral. What would you do if you saw a pair of pale green pants with nobody in them? At first you might be disturbed, then you might be frightened, but once you got to know those green pants, you too may wonder... "What was I scared of?" (5 min.)

8. Little Orphan Annie, by James Whitcomb Riley.

Written over 100 years ago, it still gives thrills and chills. This spooky poem can give three audience members a chance to join us on stage to become "the goblins that will get ya, if you don't watch out!" Written in the Hoosier dialect, this "orphant's" tale is a step back in time to the storytelling that was told by the flickering lampwick or the glowing embers of the kitchen fire. (20 min.)

9. Reindeer Christmas, by Moe Price.
Santa Claus and his mini-sidekick, Elwin, struggle to find the right candidates to fly the new sleigh. They have a few comical encounters with some unsuitable applicants for the job when a crocodile, an elephant, a squirrel and a pack of air-sick huskies try for the position. (18 min)

10. The Little Old Lady Who Wasn't Afraid of Anything , by Linda Williams.

A harvest-time, audience participation piece for primary grades. Ever get the feeling that something is following you? Well, the Little Old Lady of this fun story has that feeling and she is right. But rather than be afraid, she uses her creativity to make a useful ally. (7 min.)

11. Old Devil Wind, by Bill Martin, Jr.
The audience becomes our sound effects orchestra for this Halloween tale. At first only the broom swishes and the stool thumps, but soon, in a chain reaction, the whole house is joining in the spooky symphony which builds to a cacophonic crescendo as a cackling witch circles the scene. (6 min.)

12. The Invisible Hunter / El Cazador Invisible*, by Harriet Rohmer and Morris Vidaure.
A Nicaraguan folktale about honor, trust and ... a magical vine. A hunter finds a vine that can make him invisible, if he promises to use it to help his people. But greed and ambition lead to his downfall and his ultimate banishment from his beloved village. (25 min)

13. Carlos and the Squash Plant / Carlos y la Planta de Calabaza*, by Jan Romero Stevens.
Carlos spends his days playing and working in his family's large garden. Naturally, he gets very dirty. But despite his mother's warning that if he doesn't take a bath and in particular, wash his ears, "A squash plant will grow in them," he simply pretends to get in the tub. As a result, Carlos is forced to wear bigger and bigger hats as his secret grows and grows. (25 min)

14. That Terrible Halloween Night, by James Stevenson.

Grandpa turns the table on his grandchildren who want to scare him on Halloween. He tells a spooky tall tale filled with flying bats, creaking stairs and the worst monster in the world, and ends up in succeeding in his plan to scare the kids instead. (15 min.)

15. Nessa's Fish, by Nancy Luenn.

Nessa spends a harrowing night defending her ailing grandmother and their cache of fish. During the night Nessa encounters a sniffing fox, a grinning wolf, and a scary bear. With help from the audience, she manages to ward them off ... but she can't ward off sleep and another visitor approaches as she slumbers ... who can it be? (17 min.)

16. Merry Christmas Amelia Bedelia, by Peggy Parrish.
Will we ever figure out why Mrs. Rogers continues to trust her errands to Amelia Bedelia? Once again Amelia Bedelia takes things a bit too literally as she stamps the cards (with her feet), trims the tree (with some hedge shears), makes a date cake (using dates from a calendar) and dresses the chicken (in a doll's dress). Hilarity ensues! (19 min.)

17. The Sea Serpent's Daughter, adapted from a book by Margaret Lippert

A Brazilian legend about the origin of night. It takes place at the mouth of the Amazon River, where the rainforest meets the sea. In the tale, the Sea Serpent's daughter, Bonita, leaves the sea and goes to live with some villagers who live in a land of perpetual light. At first she is delighted with her bright new home, but she soon becomes weary and wishes for some relief from the never ending daylight. So her new husband, the Chief, sends his servant to ask the Great Sea Serpent to send some darkness for his daughter....








18. The Name of the Tree
Adapted from a traditional Bantu folktale from Africa
A severe drought has made the animals hungry.  They all gather under a great tree loaded with fruit.  But the proud tree will not give up its bounty until someone says its name.  Many try. Many fail. Hilarity ensues. 
Do you know the name of the tree?
This story can also be a conducted as a mask training workshop for a classroom or party.