Multicultural Performances

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Stories from the Human Family 

Designed for grades K-5, 6-8, & 9-12


It is our goal as Quiet Riot to create compelling performances that encourage self-respect and respect for others. We use mime, comedy, movement, music, and sound effects to convey each story. "STORIES FROM THE HUMAN FAMILY" is a collection of stories and their wisdom from various cultures.

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Performances vary from school to school depending on the cultural representation of the audience and specific countries being studied. Stories are also selected to be age appropriate. The performance will be designed by selecting from the following list of stories:

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The Stories

  • Universe Story: This is the story of the universe told in 5 minutes --- from the first giant explosion to the evolving of the human brain. This point of view, based on scientific discoveries made in this century, is meant to add to the rich treasury of creation stories in the human experience. The Universe Story attempts to show how we have all come from the earth, each of us unique and belonging within the larger human family. As human beings, we must learn that we are interdependent with the web of life, with each other and the earth and all her systems.

  • Asian: hard work and contentment
    STORY:    "The Most Powerful Being In The World"
    A stonecutter wishes to be a rich man, then in turn: an emperor, the sun, the wind, the mountain, finding each one more powerful than the one before. In the end he sees that the stonecutter is more powerful than the mountain, so he is at last satisfied to be The Most Powerful Being in the World in his chosen role.
    It is easy to think others are better off than we are, whether better looking, stronger, smarter, more popular, having more influence. Sometimes as a result, we might not think of ourselves as very powerful. In this story, the stonecutter ultimately decides that he is most powerful when he is being himself. Part of our wisdom lies in knowing what we have to offer and what our gifts are. Notice this theme is developed further in many of the other stories.

  • Native American: interdependence, balance
    STORY:    "Patient Watcher"
    An honored teacher is chosen by his tribe to teach their enemy self-sufficiency, so they will not plunder the tribe's winter stores. A very powerful tale of the wisdom and the cost of teaching and learning about those who are different from ourselves.

  • Jewish: resourcefulness and endurance
    STORY: "Solomon's Ring"
    A very competent adviser, who is a 15-year-old girl, is given an "impossible task" by King Solomon: to find the ring that makes a happy person sad and a sad person happy. An old story about the transitory nature of happiness and the serenity that comes with patience.

  • European: inventiveness, improvement
    STORY:   "Two Pickpockets"
    Two very skilled pickpockets, a man and a woman, meet, marry and have a baby son who they hope will be the finest pickpocket in the world.
    The European culture that has come to America has been very big on rationalism (logical problem solving) and individualism (focus on the individual's rights, dignity, destiny).  This story spoofs these attributes.

  • African: sense of family and community
    STORY:    "Strength"
    The animals decide to have a strength contest and Man is one of the contestants. This story builds a compelling case against weapons, as the animals, all but man, realize the difference between strength and death.

  • African American: individual action
    STORY:   "Rosa Parks"
    The story describes the incident when Rosa Parks refused to move from her bus seat in the "whites-only section" to the back of the bus (the area designated for blacks). This particular incident is often attributed to launching the Civil Rights Movement. The story makes two points: first, the individual can make a significant difference, and second, that there is immeasurable power in acting congruently with your beliefs.

  • Latino: compassion and courage
    STORY:    "The Tinker and the Ghost"
    A Tinker volunteers to rid the castle of a ghost. The Tinker is the only adventurer who lasts long enough after the ghost's bizarre and frightening appearance to find out that the ghost needs help. The Tinker understands and helps the ghost and is richly rewarded. A timely tale from Spain about difference, understanding, compassion and power.

  • Arab: the world mirrors your attitude
    STORY:    "The Bandit and The Sage"
    A bandit and a sage meet at a desert well. They don't speak the same language so they have a conversation in gestures. The bandit is convinced that the other man is just like him only more powerful and ruthless. The sage is sure that the other man is just like him only more wise and generous.

  • Indian/Hindu: humility
    STORY:   "The Tiger & The Holy Man"
    A tiger tricks a holy man and proposes to eat him. The holy man is saved by another animal and discovers that even he, the holy man can learn from a "stupid" monkey.