Anansi the Spider to Take the Stage at CSM

CSM Children’s Theatre actors

Children’s Play Written by CSM Students Opens Jan. 31

The College of Southern Maryland Children’s Theatre brings a work of its own creation to life with “Anansi,” a children’s play about the traditional folk hero. The play will open at 7 p.m. on Jan. 31 with additional performances at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Feb. 1. All performances will take place in the Fine Arts Center, 8730 Mitchell Road, La Plata.

“The idea for this performance began in a classroom, where we started talking about writing children’s theater,” said CSM’s Coordinator for Theatre and Dance and Associate Professor Keith Hight. “I have always loved folklore, and though Anansi is considered of an older generation, I thought we should bring him back.”

Anansi the spider, originating in Ghana, is considered one of the most important characters in West African and Caribbean folklore, Hight said. Every civilized culture has a character drawn from Anansi’s essence including Japan’s Tengu, the Polynesian character Maui and Loki of Norse mythology. Throughout the world he is known by many names: Ananse, Kwaku and Anancy, to name only a few. The Southern United States has embraced his character in the form of Aunt Nancy.

Anansi’s stories, rich in humor, always convey a great moral lesson at their conclusion. “Kids today need Anansi. He gives hope. Yes, he is a trickster. Yes, he is mischievous. But every story, like those of the Brothers Grimm, has an ethical principle,” said Hight.

  The play is written by those CSM students in Hight’s class. “This is an original show, performed by the community. It is my students’ work and vision on stage. Expect a great evening of fun, mixing modern day with histories of others cultures,” Hight said.  

Casting includes Philip Holland and Xavier Prince of Waldorf as Anansi, Vanecia Niamoko of Waldorf as Nana, Finley Jordan of Prince Frederick as Brat, and Hannah Credno and Nicole Credno of La Plata as Spoile and Obnoxia, respectively. The tribal ensemble includes Jaimie Greene, Matt Jameson, Anthony Montgomery and Kenneth Waters of Waldorf, Kate Sine of Faulkner, J.R. Cook of Lexington Park, Emmeline Jones of Mechanicsville, Morgan Kline of Port Tobacco, Julia D'Alessandro of Indian Head, Apryl Wilson of La Plata, Amanda Connelley of Bryans Road, Anna Henry and Kheni Wells of White Plains, Brandon Jones of Clinton and Kaylin Beach of Pomfret.

“Anansi” is CSM’s first children’s play in the New Year. Individual tickets are $7 for adults/seniors, $5 for youth (high school and younger).

For information, visit www.csmd.edu/Arts or call the Box Office at 301-934-7828.

 

Calendar Listing

CSM Children’s Theatre: Anansi. 7 p.m., Jan. 31; 2 and 7 p.m., Feb. 1, College of Southern Maryland, Fine Arts Center, 8730 Mitchell Road, La Plata. “Anansi” is an original play written by CSM theater students. Anansi the Spide is one of the great folk heroes of the world. He is a rogue, a mischief-maker and a wise, lovable creature who triumphs over larger foes. $7 adults/seniors, $5 youth (high school age and younger). bxoffc@csmd.edu, 301-934-7828, www.csmd.edu/Arts.  

 

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