Niles West Theatre Puts on “The Jungle Book”

By Mara Shapiro

Starting Thursday, Dec. 2 through Saturday, Dec. 4, Niles West Theatre will be putting on the play The Jungle Book in the Robert L. Johnson Auditorium.

The play is a new adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s classic story. It is about a boy named Mowgli, a man cub who was raised by wolves living in the jungles of ancient India. This play will take a little spin off of the book and the Disney classic, however. There will be mask work, dance, and live tribal drumming thrown in the mix.

Theatre Director Andrew Sinclair said he likes the spin that Niles West is putting on the beloved children’s story.

“I realized [the play gives] a much darker and a much stronger message than the Disney version,” Sinclair says.

The play will begin on Thursday, Dec. 2 at 10 a.m., a free community performance. More performances will be held on Friday, Dec. 3 at 10 a.m., 4 p.m., and 7 p.m. The 10 a.m. showing is also a free community performance. The final show will be held on Saturday, Dec. 4 at 2 p.m. Ticket prices for adults are $10, and for students, senior citizens or children under 12, the price is $7.

Sinclair said he feels that The Jungle Book is a unique play for Niles West Theatre to put on.

“I think [The Jungle Book is] different from every other children’s story we’ve done here,” Sinclair says.

Senior Maddy Weil, who plays Kaa, feels that The Jungle Book is a great play to go see.

“[People should go] if they’ve ever seen the play… it’s a cute story and the costumes are really cool,” Weil says.

Sinclair says that the Theatre department has been working on the play for four weeks, and that 2,800 kids are already expected to attend.

Sophomore Aria Caldwell, who is the assistant stage manager, feels confident in The Jungle Book.

” I think Mr. Sinclair and the whole company did an outstanding job bringing this whole thing together,” Caldwell says.

” [The Jungle Book is] going to be a spectacle to see on stage,” Sinclair says.