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Jungle Book comes alive

By Staff | Jul 18, 2014

Tim Chapman/PCT Kaitlyn Boucher (left) and Riley Grove rehearse their roles as Bagheera and Baloo, respectively, for the Village Arts performance of Jungle Book Kids.

“The Jungle Book” movie brings fond memories for the staff and students involved with this summer’s Village Arts children’s musical of the same name, sponsored by the North Dakota Council on the Arts.

“I remember loving it, but also being kind of scared of Kaa the snake and Shere Khan,” said Kate Heidlebaugh, who plays Shere Khan the Tiger.

The show is set for July 24 and 25 at 7 p.m., and July 26 at 2 p.m., at Tilman Hovland auditorium at Rugby High School.

Director Kyle Vareberg said part of the reason “The Jungle Book” was chosen is he was part of a successful version of the play while a student at Valley City State University.

“It’s just fun. It’s a familiar story with great songs that people remember,” Vareberg said. “The arts are alive in Rugby. Students can really come out of their shell with musical theater.”

The staff and students also discussed some of their favorite songs. Music Director Andee Mattson’s favorite is “Kaa the Snake”. Kate Heidlebaugh, Kendyl Hager (who plays a monkey), Karsyn Hager (who is part of the snake) and Vareberg agreed that “I Wanna Be Like You” was their favorite. Tesha Sobolik (Shanti) said her favorite song is “That’s What Friends Are For”.

The students involved enjoy being in “The Jungle Book”, but for various reasons. Karsyn Hager enjoys being there with her friends, Kendyl Hager likes singing and Sobolik likes dancing.

“I like theater because it gives me a chance to express myself in a different way,” Kate Heidlebaugh said. “I get to be someone that I am not.”

The play runs about 55 minutes without an intermission. Concessions are available before the show starts and a bake sale will follow. Tickets are available at the door. The production was put together in about three weeks with the help of Vareberg, Mattson, Mariel Procter (choreographer), Rachel Mack (stage manager), Glenda Mack (pianist), Darby Deckert (student assistant) and the parents who made the costumes. The actors and actresses are entering third grade through ninth grade, starring Mykell Heidlebaugh as Mowgli, Riley Grove as Baloo the Bear, Kate Heidlebaugh and Kaitlyn Boucher as Bagheera the Panther. Boucher did all the painting of the set and will do the face painting as well. There are 15 students new to theater and 17 returning.

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