Boxtales Theatre Company
Matt Tavianini

Professional Theater Company

"Captivating costumes and characters—the kids were riveted! Thank you for meeting them on their level!"
3rd grade teacher, Hope Elementary, CA

Boxtales Theatre Company: Engaging multicultural theatrical performances using storytelling, music, masks, and movement to present world myths and folktales to audiences of all ages.

Description of programs:

Stand Up Stories - Multicultural Tales to Live By (New Show)
Explore the corners of the world to gain wisdom and compassion on a fun-filled journey with lions, magical fairies, and Greek Gods! This show features a collection of multicultural folktales and myths which provide the listener with valuable messages and cultural wisdom they can use to live by.

Africa to America - The Ananse Story (New Show)
This show honors Africa and its diaspora while showing how stories and music travel with people and adapt to new environments. It points out how many of the Br’er Rabbit stories of the American South have origins in the West African stories of Ananse the Spider, and it shows how American “roots music” owes much to the drum rhythms of Africa. It features West African drum rhythms and songs, played live on ethnic instruments.

Jambo Watoto - Tales and Rhythms of Africa (Virtual Option Only)
This virtual assembly is a loving homage to the rich and wonderful cultures of Africa. Featuring stories and traditional rhythms from different regions of Africa including How Ananse Gained a Kingdom of Knowledge from a Kernel of Corn (Ashanti), The Hunterman and the Crocodile (Donso, West Africa)

Waters of the Earth - Multicultural Tales of the Sea (Virtual Option Available)
This production explores the rich folklore and mythology of seafaring peoples from all over the globe. Waters of the Earth also includes an introduction to the tradition of Sea Chanteys, songs sung by working sailors on all kinds of ships. Songs from Irish, New England, and African American/Afro Caribbean traditions will be taught and sung during the performance.

Prince Rama & the Monkey King (Virtual Option Only)
This production is based on the Indian classic, The Ramayana. Prince Rama was taught about duty, conduct, spiritual law and respect for his elders by the Guru Vishvamitra, who also taught Rama the fighting arts and gave him magical weapons to use in the fight against evil. Rama is set to be crowned King, but is instead banished from his home to the jungle with his wife Sita. In the jungle, Sita is kidnapped by the evil demon king, Ravana. Rama befriends the legendary Hanuman, a great leader of an ancient and magic race of monkeys, who helps Rama defeat Ravana and free Sita. Rama and Sita return home to rule for ten thousand years. This epic tale is filled with examples of virtue, values and morality lived out in a challenging and complex world, and is the most frequently produced theatre in South Asia.

The Hero Twins - A Mayan Story (Bilingual) (Virtual Option Available)
The Popol Vuh  is the central creation myth of the Quiche Maya people of Central America. It tells the story of Hero Twins who journey down to the Underworld to be tested by and eventually defeat the evil Lords of Xibalba, avenging the death of their father, and clearing the path for human beings to arrive on Earth. The story is filled with magic, a close connection to the animal world and the struggle between life and death. Like Homer's Odyssey, it is one of the world's great "Hero's Journey" tales. (This show addresses California Department of Education content standards in English Language Arts; Word Analysis, Fluency, and Systematic Vocabulary Development; Reading Comprehension; Literary Response and Analysis; and English Language Development. Learning Guide)

Iron John (Virtual Option Available)
This dynamic production is based on Iron John, one the best German fairy tales found in the collections of the Brothers Grimm, about a wild man and a prince. The story is a parable about a boy maturing into adulthood through meaningful rites of passage. (The message of Iron John is that we all have a wealth of gold inside, and that one needs to identify, cultivate and protect it. Iron John reminds us of our connectedness to nature, and the power of the imagination, and that ultimately we are at our best when we serve something bigger than ourselves. Learning Guide)

The Odyssey - Heroic Tales from Greek Mythology (Virtual Option Available)
BOXTALES is pleased to present The Odyssey, Heroic Tales from Greek Mythology, now available for elementary schools and theatres. In this show, Greek Hero Odysseus tells of his ten-year journey home form the Trojan War. His encounters with Poseidon, Athena, Zeus, the Cyclops, the Sirens and many other adventures are presented in the classic BOXTALES style. (Don’t miss this unforgettable, curriculum oriented show. Learning Guide)

B'rer Rabbit and other Tricksters Tales from Around the World
Boxtales inspires self-reliance and creative problem solving on a humorous and magical journey with wily creatures who teach us folk wisdom, morals, and life lessons in this collection of Trickster Tales from around the world. Directed by the company, this show features performers Matt Tavianini, Michael Andrews and Deven Sisler and beautiful masks by Ann Chevrefils and Lindsay Rust. (This show addresses California Department of Education content standards in English Language Arts; Word Analysis, Fluency, and Systematic Vocabulary Development; Reading Comprehension; Literary Response and Analysis; and English Language Development. Learning Guide)

Leyendas De Duende - Magical Tales of Latin America
Leyendas De Duende explores the rich Indigenous and Hispanic folklore and mythology of Latin America, with stories from Mexico and Puerto Rico as well as Afro/Cuban Rhythm and Song. The stories include La Calavera from Mexico, Paco and the Witch from Puerto Rico and a song that calls to "Elegua - the trickster god of the crossroads", from the Afro-Cuban tradition of Santeria. (This bilingual performance was directed by renowned Mexican theater artist Sigfrido Aguilar, in Guanajuato, Mexico, and features stunningly beautiful masks designed by Ann Chevrefils. Learning Guide)

Grades: K-12

Instructional Materials Available:
Teacher's Guide, Student Activity Page

Other: Residencies, Workshops, Family Fun Nights


Boxtales Theatre Company
PO Box 91521
Santa Barbara, CA 93190
Matt Tavianini
(805) 962-1142


Web Site: