Trike Theatre, Ra-Ve Cultural Foundation and Dhirana Dance present
The Jungle Book
DATE: Saturday, March 25, 4pm
LOCATION: Baum Walker Hall at Walton Arts Center
Deep in an Indian jungle skulks the tiger Shere Khan. Mowgli, a human girl, must learn the language of the jungle to face this fierce hunter down. An original adaptation of this well-known story, The Jungle Book mixes theatrical storytelling with classical Indian dance. A collaboration of Trike Theatre, Ra-Ve Cultural Foundation and Megha Rao of Dhirana Dance, this performance features NWA youth actors and dancers amid professional adult actors. Join us to witness the strength of the jungle in The Jungle Book.
From Kassie Misiewicz, Trike Theatre Founder and Artistic Director:
“This is the project that initially brought our three companies together. Srividya Venkatasubramanya (program and curriculum director for Ra-Ve Cultural Foundation) and I have known each other for many years, but it was just two years ago when we started talking about collaborating on a play. I discovered that a similar partnership model had been taking place in Portland (with a professional theater for youth company and a professional Classical Indian dance company) and reached out to them for advice.
They suggested that we start with a familiar title, The Jungle Book, which they had just closed a very successful run. The Jungle Book follows Mowgli's journey to embrace the idea that she is stronger when she trusts her community instead of going alone. ‘The strength of the jungle is us. And the strength of us is the jungle.’
All three of our companies are equally producing this show, each of us bringing our strengths to the rehearsal room. It's a seamless melding of traditional theater acting and classical Indian dance, each artform are highlighting and supporting the other. I have thoroughly enjoyed watching Megha Rao (director of Dhirana Academy of Classical Dance) choreograph the classical Indian dances and learning about the variety and nuances in Indian music. The young dancers are incredibly talented and dedicated. When our entire cast rehearses, I'm thrilled to see performers from different backgrounds building community and creating a space where they feel like they belong. We are only the second professional theater for youth in the U.S. that is producing this type of collaborative performance.”