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'Anansi the Spider'

The Storytelling Guild and Craterian Performances will present "Anansi the Spider" by Tears of Joy Puppet Theatre of Portland. Performances will be at 1:30 and 4 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 13, at the Craterian Ginger Rogers Theater, 23 S. Central Ave., Medford.

This is a show for all ages. Admission is a donation of a new or gently used children's book to benefit local outreach programs.

Doors open for general seating one-half hour prior to each performance.

Anansi is the trickster spider of West Africa. In the tradition of the Coyote and Raven in Native American cultures, Anansi often causes problems and learns valuable lessons from his misadventures.

The stroy of Anansi is brought to life in two hilarious tales. The first "Anansi the Spider," retold by Nancy Aldrich, tells how Anansi tricked the lion out of his stories.

The second, "Anansi and the Talking Melon," adapted from a tale retold by Eric Kimmel begins: "Anansi loved to eat melons but he was much too lazy to grow them himself ... ."

Founded in 1971, Tears of Joy Theatre has received national recognition for its commitment to excellence and innovation.

Three of the company's productions have received American puppetry's highest honor, the Citation of Excellence in the Art of Puppetry.

Tears of Joy performs for more than 250,000 people in theaters, community centers, festivals and schools throughout the U.S. and abroad.

The mission of Tears of Joy Theatre is twofold. The group produces, develops and presents puppet theater that celebrates the diversity of world cultures.

Secondly, the theater strives to enrich the lives of the children it teaches by helping them experience, create, and perform art with professional artists.

Besides its extensive touring program, Tears of Joy Theatre is a resident company at the Portland Center for the Performing Arts where it presents six productions each year, for a total of more than 100 performances.

Call 779-3000.

Tears of Joy Theatre will perform the puppet show 'Anansi the Spider' at the Craterian. Photo courtesy of Tears of Joy Theatre