Spotlight: Penn’s Woods Puppet Theater

The Greatest Being is a folktale whose message is simple: the least among us is great. The setting is long, long ago in a place far away.

A prince named Demeke rules a realm and all within – including his daughter, Princess Zema. Zema’s time has come to choose a husband. Her choice is the Royal Mouse Catcher.

Demeke is in disbelief, “The Royal Mouse Catcher? Why he is the lowliest in my Princedom. No, Zema, you must marry the Greatest Being. You must marry the Sun. Go now and seek out the Sun.”

And so Zema’s odyssey begins.

When she finds the Sun, he is in disagreement with her father: “The Cloud is mightier than me for he can hide my face and make the day grow dark. Ask him.”

The Cloud agrees: “Yes, I can turn day into night, cause rain to fall and make thunder and lightning, but I am not the mightiest; it is the Wind, for the chooses where I travel. Seek out Wind; he is the Greatest Being.”

But the Wind denies being the greatest: “Even though I stir oceans into a frothy frenzy, flatten houses and make people cower in the ground, I cannot move the Mountain. He is mightier than I am. Perhaps you should marry him.”   

However, the Mountain owes his strength to the Trees: “If it were not for the Trees that hold the water back and keep me in place, my rivers would wash me to the sea. Talk to the Trees; there’s one right over there.”

The Tree is in great distress: “These darn mice make tunnels and nibble on my roots. I can do nothing about their torment. How can I be the Greatest Being when I can’t even get away from a mouse?”  The Tree has no solution, but Zema does.

Program managers, to reserve this play for your event, call Robin and Susan Tafel, 215-441-4154.   

PHOTO CAP: Behold! The Greatest Being!      

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