Berginski: A new ‘Jungle Book’
A new ‘Jungle Book’
When I heard Village Arts was doing a Children’s Theater production, my first thought was “Good.” When I heard they were doing “The Jungle Book”, I thought “What?”
See, there was another version of “The Jungle Book” done in Rugby for Children’s Theater a long time ago. I know, because I was in it along with several friends of mine.
In that production, I was the bear. I don’t recall ever singing “Bear Necessities”, in fact I don’t even think that was in the script. I do remember the beehive.
My mom made this “beehive” out of papier mch. It looked almost like one of those deformed attempts at making a planet in elementary school science class. In a scene I was supposed to throw it to create a distraction so the guy playing Mowgli would be able to escape danger. That thing barely survived opening night, and it was toast by the final performance.
That wasn’t the only role I ever had in Children’s Theater. I was also a goose who ran around the Memorial Hall like a (insert tasty ornithological creature’s name here) with its head cut off. I was a French chef in a Pizza Hut shirt who “hated violent women”. I was someone’s twin. I was a dapper-as-all-get-out burrowing mammal. And I also lost a few pounds in a huge, chicken wire and cloth egg suit.
But that was then, this is now. A new crop of kids are taking the stage today, as they have been for the past two days (not counting at least a month of rehearsals). The amount of work everyone, from the directors to the smallest of parts, put into it will no doubt be amazing.
Even with a script and a bit of coaching, it is an outlet for each performer’s imagination as to how they want to be perceived by the audience.
So, theater children, break a leg. (It’s bad luck if you say you know what.) Stay hydrated. When it’s over, and I know this is as clich as clich gets so bear with me, the memories and experiences you had will stick with you, even if the lines and lyrics you’ve had to sing and recite won’t.
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