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Weaving Stories Together

November 7, 13, & 14, 2021

East Jersey Old Town Village

Piscataway, NJ

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ANANSI
THE SPIDER, THE WEAVER, THE STORYTELLER

Anansi’s Story Festival was an interactive theatrical production that explored and celebrated historical figures, myths, urban legends, and folklore from New Jersey and around the world. Audiences joined our emcee and Storyteller-in-Chief, Anansi the Spider, and helped decide the fate of humanity!

 

Set in the historic East Jersey Old Town Village in Piscataway, NJ, this immersive production explored the Village’s beautiful architecture while complementing the timelessness of these classic tales. Audience members roamed and discovered characters inspired from cultures rooted in New Jersey. Set in the crisp November air, this experience was like none other.

This world premier was designed by and will be performed by a group of New Jersey artists of many backgrounds and artistic expressions. 

Photos courtesy of Justin Jajalla Photography and Thomas Young

 

A STORY, A STORY!

The fate of humanity is in your hands! 

We begin our story with a battle between a River God and the Sun Goddess, Saule, who are debating whether to flood all of humanity for their wrongdoings. With the two unable to make a decision, Anansi the Spider enters the scene and offers up three stories from human history and folklore to help make the decision easier. It’s up to you, our audience, to listen to these stories and help decide the fate of the world! 

 

The Jersey Devil and el Chupacabra become friends 

The year is 1735 in the New Jersey Pine Barrens, and Mama Leeds just gave birth to her thirteenth child who turns out to be the cursed Jersey Devil! But despite what you’ve heard, this creature started his life kind, scared, and looking for a home in this world. See what happens when our unusual hero gets a visit from el Chupacabra, who helps him find his way back to his family. 

 

A Cuban Revolutionary seeks help from a mystical fellow 

Mariana Grajales is tending to soldiers on both sides of Cuba's War of Independence in a tent during the war in 1878. A Spanish soldier lies sick in a cot and she confronts a moral decision on whether she should save her enemy. El Curandero, a spiritual healer, visits her tent and offers not only his powers, but his wisdom to help Mariana make her choice. 

 

A fierce feminist seeks revenge with help from Baba Yaga 

A local politician ruins Mary Ellis’s garden to construct a street in New Brunswick, NJ in 1775. Enraged by this act and other political structures biased against women, our hero seeks revenge on the man who ruined her prized possession. She is visited by Baba Yaga, a Slavic sorceress, who tries to convince her to take out her anger in a gruesome way. Find out what Mary decides and help her seek justice.

 

TEAM

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GALI ZABOROWSKI

Producer

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JOANA MARMELO

Stage Manager

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HILLEL ADIV

Technical Director

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ROY CROSBIE

Costume Designer

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KAREN ALVARADO

Creative Team Member

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KIM BOLLARD

Creative Team Member

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GLORIA CARDONA

Creative Team Member

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SUBHASIS DAS

Creative Team Member

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CELINE DIRKES

Creative Team Member

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RICHARD URQUIZA

Creative Team Member

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SEAN ULLMER

Creative Team Member

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RAFAELLE LOZADA

Performer

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CARL MUHLER

Performer

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PAT BRACUTO

Percussionist

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Grant funding has been provided by the Middlesex County Board of County Commissioners through a grant award from the Middlesex County Cultural and Arts Trust Fund.

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Made possible by funds from Middlesex County, a partner of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. Grant funding has been provided by the Middlesex County Board of County Commissioners through a grant award from the Middlesex County Cultural and Arts Trust Fund.

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