News

April 14, 2010

College Theater’s Production of The Jungle Book Opens April 22

Students participated in a drama workshop with playwright Monica Flory.

College Theater’s production of The Jungle Book will be presented at 7 p.m. April 22-24 with an additional show at 3 p.m. April 24 in the Williams Center for the Arts Black Box Theater.

Tickets are $2 for students, $3 for Lafayette faculty and staff and for students at LVAIC schools, and $6 for the public. They can be obtained by calling the Williams Center box office at (610) 330-5009.

The production was developed in the course Theatre for Young Audiences, taught by Mary Jo Lodge, assistant professor of English. In the class, students both rehearse their roles in the production and learn techniques for leading interactive children’s theater workshops. Four additional performances of The Jungle Book will be presented to second-fourth grade students from area elementary schools. The children who attend the productions will see the show and participate in a workshop of theater related activities with the cast.

This version of The Jungle Book was adapted from the Rudyard Kipling classic by playwright Monica Flory, who came to campus and gave a drama workshop for students involved in the production. The play follows Kipling’s original stories closely and focuses on the precocious Mowgli, a human child who grows up in the jungle believing he’s as fierce a wolf as any of the other members of his pack. When Mowgli discovers he is different from the other animals, he must decide whether to remain with the pack, or return to the human world of his birth.

Directed by Lodge, the play includes non-Western style Bunraku puppets created by professional artist Alisa Sickora Kleckner. A Faculty Innovation Grant from the Provost’s Office that was designed to incorporate non-western theater into the curriculum was utilized to pay for the creation of the puppets. The students in the Theatre for Young Audiences class use puppetry extensively in the show, including shadow puppets and hand puppets. Large Bunraku puppets will play all human characters in this colorful production for children ages 6 and up.

Cast and Crew:

  • Meredith Castor ’10 (Chalfont, Pa.) – Mowgli puppet voice and operator
  • Carolyn Fast ’10 (Rockaway, N.J.) – Stage manager
  • Naomi Itescu ’10 (Havertown, Pa.) -Shere Khan the Tiger, Kaa the Snake, and Mowgli puppet operator
  • Dana Pardini ’12 (Whitehall, Pa.) – Bagheera the Panther
  • Sydney Peyser ’10 (Livingston, N.J.) – Mother Wolf, Mowgli puppet operator, and Messua the Village Woman puppet voice and operator
  • Daniel Ricken ’12 (Woodbury, N.Y.) – Baloo the Bear, Messua puppet operator, and Mowgli puppet operator
  • John Rowland ’11 (Haddonfield, N.J.) – Father Wolf, Trout the Monkey, and Mowgli puppet operator
  • Devon Thorsell ’13 (Lake Forest Park, Wash.) – Tabaqui the Jackal and Mowgli puppet operator
  • Liz Witmer ’10 (Santa Barbara, Calif.) – Puff the Wolf Cub, Funky the Monkey, Akela the Wolf Pack Leader, and Mowgli puppet operator
  • Carolyn Zawislak ’10 (Clarks Summit, Pa.) – Kite/Narrator, Cheeky the Monkey, and Mowgli puppet operator

posted in Committed Teachers and Scholars, Faculty and Staff, News and Features, Students

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