Jungle Book

Jungle Book, Sept 29-Oct 7

“Thou art of the Jungle and not of the Jungle. And I am
only a black panther. But I love thee, Little Brother.”

Come to deepest, darkest India and meet the Man-cub Mowgli, his funny, faithful friends Baloo the bear and Bagheera the panther in their adventure to discover which is best:  the Law of Man or the Law of the Jungle?  Mowgli must use both to try to save his animal friends and himself from the wrath of Shere Khan, the most feared of all!  Filled with the beautiful language of Rudyard Kipling’s poems and stories.

Rated G     Run time: 55 minutes

Overview

Performances

Family Performances
7:30pm, Sept 29 & 30, Oct 6 & 7, 2017
2:30pm, Oct 1, 2017

School Matinees
9:30 & 11:30am, Sept 28 & 29, Oct 4-6, 2017
(Click the TEACHERS tab for school matinee information)

Special Events

Free Stage Tour (a peek behind the scenes!)
6:00pm, Sept 19, 2017

FREE Meet-the-Actors Reception
(for patrons, cast and crew following the performance): Sept 29, 2017

FREE Ice Cream Social with the Cast
(following the performance): Oct 1, 2017

“Marvelous Monkey Jungle Party”
(special pre-show fun for patrons 6-12 years old!) – 6:30 p.m., Oct 6 or 7, 2017

Want to go on safari to spot jungle animals or play a game of Monkey Tag?   Or maybe stop in at the Safari canteen to sample to Hippo MUNCH and the Tiger CRUNCH?!  As a special pre-show treat, young cubs ages 6-12 are invited to a “Marvelous Monkey Jungle Party,” a fun time of jungle-themed crafts, games and snacks! Meet in the Pearce Auditorium lobby at 6:25 p.m., then head to “darkest India” for a wacky jungle party before the Oct 6 and 7 performances. Tickets just $5 (show tickets sold separately).

Theatre

Brenau University’s Historic Pearce Auditorium, 500 Washington Street SE, Gainesville, GA 30501

BUY Tickets

Ticket Information

Family performance tickets are $12-15 for adults and seniors, $8-10 for students** and children, depending on seat location. Select your own seats online by clicking the link below or by calling the Box Office at 678.717.3624. The Box Office can also make arrangements for ADA seating or, if you have a group of 12 or more, a group discount of 20% off — making a night of live theatre a great option for friends, family, church groups or scouting troops!

*Teachers with groups of 10 or more ($6 tickets; $10 for chaperones; teachers are FREE! See “Teachers” tab.)
**UNG and BU faculty/staff/students must contact the Box Office for specially discounted tickets.

Create your own package!

Purchase tickets to this production AND to one other production at the same time and you’ll get an automatic 10% discount; 3 to 4 shows will receive a 15% discount, and 5 shows or more gets an automatic 20% off. Discounts will be shown (with your savings) in the payment screen.

Artist Spotlights

What were they THINKING when they took this crazy JUNGLE from page to stage?!

Gay H. Hammond (Playwright & Director)

Gay Hammond

For some young patrons who may have only been exposed to Disney’s adaptations of The Jungle Book, what should we expect to see differently in this live adaptation?

For one thing, the WonderQuest play is not a musical!  We have also included a great deal of Rudyard Kipling’s original language and poetry, such as the Hunting Songs of the Seonee Wolf Pack.  And, of course, we have live actors wearing often abstract costumes which suggest the animal characters, as opposed to either animated talking animals or digitally enhanced talking animals.  Our costumes pull from Eastern Indian and Thai dancers and folk dress.

How is adapting Kipling’s work different than some of the authors you’ve worked with in the past such as Lewis Carroll or Bram Stoker?

Actually, all three of them were Victorian — or late-Victorian – authors, therefore, each of them has a certain elevation and longer thought-patterns exemplified in their language. Kipling definitely feels more like Alice in Wonderland than, say, the highly casual language found in The Adventures of Pecos Bill.   For each, I am looking for the essence of the style, the main purpose of the story, and the quirks which make it delightful and individual for the audience.

What are some of the worthwhile challenges for actors in bringing to life so many animal characters?

Portraying animal characters is the BEST training for an emerging actor!  The analytical process involves abstracting the essence of what makes that creature unique and identifiable, and then creating bold physical choices which will both express the animal nature AND the sentient, motivated character.  Very fun, and very rewarding.

What do you hope audiences will take away from this story?

Kipling’s book is a love note to the magic and mystery of India, and to the jungle in particular.  So, I hope the audience will take a sense of that mystery with them.  Also, Kipling’s story is ultimately about lovely concepts such as honor, family, bravery and loyalty, and WonderQuest always wants to imbue in children and their families a stronger sense of those qualities.  Mowgli, Baloo, Bagheera and the Wolf Pack risk their lives for each other. The story condemns selfishness and is about togetherness: “The strength of the Wolf is the Pack, and the strength of the Pack is the Wolf”.  We all need to remember, always, that we live and find strength in the love and support of others.  That is the message of The Jungle Book.

 

Isabel & Moriah Curley-Clay (Costume Designers)

What inspiration did you pull from Indian culture or the wildlife in order to create the fanciful characters of this WonderQuest adaptation?

We looked at color and silhouette a lot and then exaggerated what we wanted from the multi-cultural research we did. We also looked at a lot of videos of how animals move and what features of the specific animals that popped out to us.  The nature of these movements is reflected in the sleekness or billowy structure of the costume silhouettes.

Which character or characters have you found to be the most challenging to bring to life?

Bageera actually.  The character is so specific in the original story, but we wanted to make sure she fit into the multicultural and colorful world of the rest of the design.

How do you hope the costumes help convey the world of the play and its messages?

The Jungle kingdom, like the human world is vastly multicultural, in belief and structure.  We tied some of the families together with a similar motif; the wolf tattoos and Mowgli’s for example put them in the same family but there are also aspects of color that group friends together and the overall pallet and silhouettes help to tie everyone together and reflect the theme of an underling universal value system.

Could you elaborate on some of your professional experience and what that brings to your work here with GTA?

We both started out assisting professional designers in New York while attending college there.  We discovered theatre design rather late, but rather then switching academic tracks completely we started working where ever we could to gain some experience outside of the academic environment. After grad school- where we earned M.F.A degrees in theatrical design- we traveled for work a lot.  We had some contacts in Boston and New York, spent a couple of seasons designing in New Orleans, before making Atlanta our home.  In addition to our work in Atlanta where we’ve designed at almost all of the professional companies, we probably do another third of our work out of town at other regional companies. We got connected with GTA when Gay Hammond saw a costume design of ours at the Horizon Theatre in Atlanta, where we are the resident scenic designers.

 

Emma Hoffbauer (Scenic Designer and Paint Charge)

You designed last year’s Discovery Series The Raven and the Nightingale with Gay Hammond. What lessons are you taking forward into another project with Gay?

Working with Gay showed me what director’s might look for in a set when they don’t necessarily have a background in scenic/or technical theatre, whether that be entrances/exits, levels or actor challenges. It helped me create spaces in which she can play with blocking and create fun and intriguing stage pictures, which Gay loves.

What inspirations have you worked with when approaching the play’s Jungle setting?

We knew from the beginning that we wanted the jungle to seem huge. I wanted some elements of the Indian forest where the original story takes place, and there were several specific pieces of scenery that I wanted to work into the design. So the challenge came with mixing all of those cohesively. I researched different types of jungles and ruins, and even took a field trip to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens!

What has been the most challenging or rewarding aspect of the design?

Most challenging for me was narrowing down all the ideas for fun set pieces so that the set isn’t overcrowded or too crazy. The most rewarding is seeing the scene shop create the coolest jungle leaves ever! I’m very excited for all the plants taking over the stage!

Reviews

Check back to see what our patrons say about the show!

Teachers

Reservations for school matinees of The Jungle Book are now closed .  Thanks for making this a record-setting audience of over 6,300 students!

Study Guide: