“…a perfect metaphor for the way we apprehend stories…”
“The Jungle Book maintains a light, all-ages vibe from the moment the audience takes its seats.”
A couple of years ago Artistic Director Judson Jones and Associate Artistic Director Christa Kimlicko Jones attended an Arts in Education symposium with Educator Maxine Greene. At one point she said, “Part of the problem is literature is being replaced by literacy.” Bed time stories were a big part of the nightly ritual growing up. Jones and his mother would tackle classics like Moby Dick, Call of the Wild, Last of the Mohicans, David Copperfield and so on. These stories not only solidified his love for reading but ignited the imagination.
As Theatre East prepared to enter its fourth season the company knew it was time to serve not just the adults in our community, but the children as well.
The The Jungle Book was decided upon because it addressed many of the same issues as our main stage production Normalcy. Adoption. Identity. Characters on the verge of change.
And they knew we wanted to focus on the wonderment of children’s imaginations.
What they didn’t know was how we were going to do it.
After a couple of meetings with Playwright Megan O’Brien the directors knew she had the answer.
Shadow puppetry. Inspired by the Javanese art form we would utilize these puppets to bring the jungle and the characters within to life.
The play opens with Alex under his sheets with a flashlight reading long after he should be asleep. And as he reads the shadows in his room come to life. Alex then becomes not just an onlooker but becomes Mowgli and the adventures begin!
With esteemed Director Dina Epshteyn at the helm Theatre East knew this was going to be an experience for the entire family!