Friday, May 02, 2008

Ananse Owns All Stories or Does He?

photo courtesy: Puppets Elora
About three years ago Connie Smith formerly of Puppets Elora, approached me to retell an Ananse story for a puppet show. The whole idea of puppets aroused my interest immediately, having once enjoyed those strange puppets on Ghana TV, playing musical instruments with jerky motion, all those many years ago. My other memories of puppets in my youth was a Punch and Judy show I watched at the Goethe Institute in Accra, Ghana and of course Sesame Street on GBC. Yes, I believe there was a puppet show on Sound of Music too, with a yodelling goat. I trust my memory!

So I went and watched "Babushka 's Doll", a puppet show staged by Puppets Elora, at the Westwood School, to meet the puppeteers and acquaint myself with the unique artistry of puppets in storytelling. A visit to Connie's house and several email edits later, "Anansi, The Spider-Man of Africa", was scripted by Connie and I and ready to be sculpted, stitched and otherwise created, by an amazing group of women known as Puppets Elora. Later on Fule provided a sound track.

Here's where memory fails, for am not quite sure when we premiered the show at the Gorge Theatre to a fantastic audience, but I do remember the show and it was great! So here's a photo of Ananse and His good looking wife Aso-Yaa discussing who really should be the owner of stories. If you have a chance to see Puppets Elora this Spring, seize it. It is very well worth every dollar!

Annerose the sculptor and puppeteer made a mask for me, representing Nyame of the Sky, for in this story Ananse has opportunity to speak to Nyame.

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