Panther Creek Treads in the Jungle with “The Jungal Book”


For the 2019-2020 school years Panther Creeks Theatre Arts fall play is “The Jungalbook” that is an adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, which centers around a human boy named Mowgli, who was raised by wolves, and other animals living in the jungles of India. Other versions include Netflix movies and a Disney musical adaptation.

In September, Mr. Cox, the director of Panther Creek’s show, had cast the play after a two-day audition process.

Kiya Shahidi, a sophomore who plays Mowgli, recalls why he auditioned for the show, “Because I’ve always really loved theatre and it’s helped me grow a lot as a person, and I really like the Jungalbook … so I’d love to get myself involved in that.” 

“I auditioned for every show in Panther Creek since freshman year, and I love it,” Dianne Caffrey, a senior who plays Kaa, adds. 


Mr. Cox had also worked with the crew backstage to construct the set and come up with queues for lights and sound. However, in order to embody real life animals, the cast relied on an outside choreographer, Heather Strickland. Who came in and taught the cast how to act and sound the animal that they played.

“It’s been a lot of fun. Heather’s great; she helped me a lot with how to move like a bear and . . . having her in the show really changed the whole vibe,” Pepijn Den Hartog, a senior who plays Baloo, says.

Izzy Oyler, a senior also comments, “It’s been pretty cool; she’s taught us a lot of cool, like, fight combat techniques and just like acting techniques I never would have thought about before that really kinda helped bring the show together a lot.” Oyler plays a part in Hathi the elephant and a monkey in the ensemble. 

The animalistic costumes was created by Deb Cox, who also built the set for Jungalbook along with other productions at Panther Creek. Mrs. Cox worked with Sydney Michell and Akshaya Sidharth Sundar in creating the makeup for the actors to make them more like animals.

After months of hard work and relentless rehearsals, the cast and crew is ready to bring Mowgli’s story to life. 

The opening night for the Jungalbook, premieres this Thursday, November 21, at 7pm. The show will run until Saturday, November 23. Tickets are $7 at the door and there will be a special “Meet the Characters” matinee on Saturday at 10am, giving the audience a chance to talk to the actors while they’re playing their character in full costume.  

“…everyone’s really working together and just having a lot of fun and we’re all doing it together, so it’s a great way to finish off the year,” Sterling Parker, a senior who plays Sherekhan, comments.