WonderQuest’s The Jungle Book

Eleven years ago I was cast as Stargha the monkey in Gay Hammond’s adaptation of The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling.

That part and that play kicked my butt hard–it was the most physically demanding role I’d ever taken on. I started running, lifting weights, and doing crunches. Vocally playing a monkey is not that hard–other than working on my breathing so I could be loud and crazy while tumbling and twirling. It was tough, but I loved every second of it! Sometimes working hard for a part is the best and most rewarding.

Wow. Eleven years ago.

Well, time marches on and it has come time for WonderQuest to do The Jungle Book again. While I haven’t seen the costumes yet I have seen the set and it has a completely different feel to the scenery.  Emma Hoffbauer, the student who designed, is fabulous and her set feels like a jungle postcard–illustrative in nature but with fun trappings (there is a trampoline!). It makes me eager to see how the cast will interact with it.

Our production was very raw–mostly due to the very very intense natures of the actors playing Bagheera and Shere Khan. These actors seem like they will have intensity but of a different, less raw nature more fun, perhaps.  The show opens this weekend and I will see it sometime next week and will report back on the performance itself!

Stargha the monkey. Circa 2007
Theatre · Writing

Here we go again 

One of these days I will be satisfied with The Grand Adventures of Henry Rayne and the Airship Pirates and will be able to move onto the other stories in that universe. However, today is not that day! Ha!

I have found a submission call for scripts in progress from a group called The Playwrights Realm that seems like a good fit:

We love plays with evocative language, plays that contemplate big, unanswerable questions, that are intellectually curious and embrace the complexity of life, and demonstrate an understanding of the possibilities of dramatic storytelling. And of course, plays that are inherently theatrical—that could never be anything other than a play! 

Perhaps I am biased since this is my baby, but I feel like under the veneer of an adventure story my play hits on a lot of these. So here we go! Deadline is in SIX days–yikes! But there are only a few scenes I need to work on and I always work better under a tight deadline anyways.

I’m not sure what I hope happens–getting to go to New York to have my script professionally read and directed and acted would be a dream! Do I know yet how I would make it up there? Not a clue but that is something I only need to worry about if I get accepted.

Acceptance means letting go, that is the nature of scripts. You pour your heart and soul into these words and then must hand them off to others and hope you’ve put just the right details to get what you want while being pleasantly (and graciously) surprised at what the director and actors find with your story and characters that you never imagined for them. It is scary and tantalizing all at once, and is why I love writing for theatre. It’s a challenge.

So now I pull out these weary 117 pages and start scribbling furiously the last few edits before sending my baby out into the world. Even if I don’t get accepted at least someone besides me and my three closest friends will have read it! HAHA!


Conceptual Art by Enggar Ajar Adirasa