Everyone with a teen or pre-teen, everyone with a concern for adolescence and the struggles of coming of age, everyone with a love of theatre and its relationship to joy and community should go to see The Jungle Book, the new production by the Synetic Teen Ensemble.
Directed by Joseph Carlson, and told by his ensemble of thirteen teens, this Jungle Book has clarity and purpose, plus all the vitality of any Synetic show. Using spare but effective dialogue, the story unfolds through a series of nine energetic scenes, beginning with contemporary student life as it is in a big public high school before then launching through dream into Rudyard Kipling’s classic.
Mowgli, an outsider bullied in high school, seeks companionship in the jungle. Once there, though initially robbed by a Bandarlog (a monkey), Mowgli is then attacked by the Wolf Pack before being offered a chance to join the wolves. The young exile from the world of Man must first pass two challenges. Mowgli succeeds and begins to learn the laws of the jungle. Temptation, however, lurks and soon gets the best of Mowgli, and this tale of redemption and forgiveness and ultimately ethical maturity takes flight.
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