26 Osceola children, under the direction of Kathy Kooiker, are putting the final touches on the musical play “The Jungle Book,” which will be presented to the public on the Clarke High School Auditorium Stage Friday and Saturday nights, Nov. 17 and 18, at 7 p.m.
It will be performed by the four through 12 year-old members of the Osceola Children’s Theatre, now in its 37th year of teaching theatre arts to local children’s and providing family friendly, live-entertainment to the Clarke Community.
The classic story, written by Rudyard Kipling and made popular by Disney, tells of little Mowgli being raised by wolves, befriended by Bagheera the panther and Baloo the bear, and threatened by the ferocious tiger Shere Khan. Kooiker said that all ages will be captivated not only by the talents of these children, but by thethemes embedded in the story including the importance of every individual, the power of love and family, good winning over evil, the triumph of justice, the need to work together and goal of living in peace.
“The songs will get your toes tapping and story lines and constant action will keep you engaged throughout the approximately one-hour show, whether you are two-years old or 102,” said Kooiker.
All seats are first come, first served with no advance ticket sales. Tickets are $5 for adults and $4 for children 12 and under; doors open at 6:20 p.m. Kooiker encourages community members to bring friends, neighbors, spouses, children and grandchildren and sit back and enjoy a night of laughter, music and adorable performances from the talented child actors.
“Watching the growth of each child through the years brings me great joy, and the skills of confidence, reading ability, speaking in public, cooperation and value of hard work they gain through preparing for each show stays with them for life, which is amazing to witness,” said Kooiker. “Having the community value and support them by coming out and seeing them perform provides encouragement to continue to work on these skills, which in turn improves our community for years to come.”
The cast of characters are: Anson Audlehelm as Scout a wolf cub, Bentlee Barton as Mowgli #1, Haydon Brokaw as Akela the wolf father, Aubrie Cross as Hathi Calf an elephant, Addilyn Cross as Hathi an elephant, Graylee Grainge as Fereo a woodpecker, Emma Jimmerson as Kaa a python, Sutton Jones as Mysa a buffalo, Rowan Keller as Queen of the Banderlog, Jack Keller as Hunter a wolf cub, Quinn Keller as Luna a wolf cub, Cameron Lampe as Gray Brother a wolf cub, Jayden Lampe as Mowgli #2 and Nangir, Paisley Lampe as Oriel a monkey, Ebony Lenz as Tabaqui a fox, Jocelyn Moomey as Raksha wolf mother, Jessa Navas as Mang a bat, Aubrey Nissen as Bagheera a panther, Brecken Porter as Mowgli #3, Brynnley Porter as Brichi a camel and Man Mother, Timber Page as Ikki a porcupine, Ryder Page as Baloo a bear, Collins Readout as Shere Khan a tiger, Landry Readout as Jago a monkey, Luke Readout as Chil a vulture and Man Father, and Keera Thornton as Mao a peacock.