Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Tricksters: Pushing Up the Sky

For today's contribution to the week of books by Joseph Bruchac, it is a book of plays! I'm a big fan of reader's thater, so I was excited to see that Bruchac did this book of plays for children. These are children's theater scripts, so that means in addition to the spoken words of the script, there are also non-speaking roles, tips for the scenery and props, etc. And... several of the plays have trickster themes! The book is: Pushing Up the Sky: Seven Native American Plays for Children.

There is a Gluskabe story: Gluskabe and Old Man Winter. In this story, Gluskabe uses his tricks to benefit humanity; he brings summer into the world.

Possum's Tail is a play about the Cherokee trickster Rabbit.

Even if you are not going to perform the plays, the book is a delight to read, with illustrations by Teresa Flavin. Here, for example, you can see Rabbit and Possum along with the other animals who are characters in that play:

There is also a play about the Cheyenne trickster Wihio. Here you can see Wihio and the dancing ducks:

In addition, the Zuni story in the book, The Strongest One, is based on a chain tale which is found in various forms all over the world, including India, Africa, Europe, Asia... all over! It is a story that likes to travel. :-)

So, whether you're looking for scripts or just stories to read, there is lots to enjoy and learn from here:

by Joseph Bruchac

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