Role Doubling:

Actor 1 (female): Fatima

Actor 2 (female): Fatima's Mother, Mama, Homeless Person #1, a household slave, a King's Guard, a worker

Actor 3 (female): Fatima's sister, the Slave Trader, a King's Guard, worker, First Narrator

Actor 4 (male): Fatima's father, Papa, the Mast Master, the King, a worker

Actor 5 (male): Last Narrator, Yan, Homeless Person #2, the Prince


Set and Costumes

These can be as simple or elaborate as time and budget allow, as the story moves from a weaving home to the first of several beaches, a rope-making workshop, a mast cutting shed in the forest and the King's court, where it would be wonderful to see ribbons or swirling fabrics used to represent the raising of the magic tent. Note, incidentally, that Fatima is never described as washing up in any specific country.


All roles are neutral as regards race or ethnic background of actors.


This 60-minute show should be presented without intermission.

A note about performances at schools & museums

The story lends itself to a variety of related curriculum projects and discussion topics that could be developed in association with performances at schools and museums.

For example, each skill Fatima learns in the course of her life draws on ancient craft traditions reflected in the songs dealing with weaving, rope-making and mast-building. Students or museum-visitors could examine how these tasks were done in different parts of the world before the age of powered machinery and relate the efforts involved to the way of life Fatima presumably had to take on in each step of her journey. The beliefs and culture of the Sufis that give the story its original impetus could be examined by classes studying world religions. In addition, Fatima's experiences mirror those of immigrants everywhere. Students may be stimulated by the show to consider what it would be like to have to reinvent yourself in adapting to the ways of a new homeland.

It is also quite conceivable that the message of the show would have strong resonance when performed or attended by individuals in such places as rehabilitation centers and half-way houses.


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