By Kelsey Kirkendall
Originally Published: November 10, 2012
The curtains rolled open to reveal a three-tiered stage that had been transformed into a jungle paradise. The audience sat in hushed silence until ‘The Great Wolf’, played by Dean McCombs, walked onto the stage and began to tell the children what jungle sounds they would need to make during the performance. “We made lion sounds, storm sounds, and wind sounds,” said Derrick Clay (3rd grade).
The Jungle Book, presented by Rhodes State October 8-20, was the 18th production of Theatre for Young Audiences. The play was based on the book The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling and was performed for almost 2,000 students from all over Northwest Ohio. Temple students from grades K4 through 5th attended the performance on October 19.
The play was about an orphaned boy raised in the jungle by wild animals, including a friendly bear named Baloo and a Panther named Bagheera. In the end, the friends had to fight the tiger Shere-Khan that terrorized the jungle.
“My favorite characters were the monkeys, because they were pretty,” said Elaina Helser (3rd grade). The cast included a wide array of jungle animals all dressed in colorful costumes. “I liked the tiger,” said Ellie Clevenger (3rd grade.) “His costume was really cool.” The play ended with a grand finale, which according to Derrick Clay (3rd grade) was the best part. “It was really cool!”
This field trip to the theater offered students a glimpse into the hard work of creating a production and provided a whole new perspective on the classic that has delighted children for over a hundred years.