JungleBook by Edward Mast
Theschool play that I got to watch was called Jungle Book. The play wasfirst written by Edward Mast and is based on the famous novel byRudyard Kipling, Jungle Book. The story talks about a young boy thatis raised in the tropical rain forest by a family of wolves after hisparents are tragically killed by an evil tiger named Sherakhan. Theboy, Mowgli, grows up wild with no idea of his true nature. Sherakhancraves Mowgli’s flesh and works towards alienating the boy from thepack. However, a lone black panther, Bagheera, is on his side andalways protected him from the evil tiger. Mowgli ends up destroyingthe tiger using a rope he stole from a nearby village. That action isagainst the jungle law since the use of any artificial device isbanned. Mowgli now faces a dilemma because he either has to defy therules or be exiled forever. The setting for the play is the remoterainforests of India. This paper will critique the school playregarding its overall design and its production.
Thescenery for the play is expected to be jungle themed. The productionteam of the play attempted to bring out the look to the audience.There were several props used to mimic trees and other vegetation.The dominant color was green to display a lush and fertile forestcover. Other things that I saw on the stage were several rockformations that brought out the authenticity of the play.
Sincethe characters in the play included a human and several animals, Iexpected the costumes to be creative. The production team had torepresent the animals in a convincing manner to the audience bychoosing appropriate costumes. Mowgli was clad in a loincloth whilewalking around bare-chested. That made sense because the jungles ofIndia are usually warm throughout the year and the boy was not likelyto get hypothermia. The animal costumes were okay for me. It isusually difficult to portray animals in their true nature. Theproduction team handled the issue in a proper manner.
Theplay is solely set in a dense jungle. The usual sounds one expects insuch an area are birds chirping, monkeys screaming, crickets makingnoises and the occasional roar of some wild animal. The aim of addingsuch sound effects to the play is to ensure that the audience iscompletely transported to the setting of the play. The school playbrought about such aspects, and there were times that I had forgottenI was still in school and not in the rain forests of India. Thesounds also changed with the mood of the play. The moments whenMowgli was jumpy and playful, the music playing was rapid andenthusiastic. The emotional parts like when Mowgli was faced with adilemma, the music altered to slow and sad. The dangerous scenes likewhen Sherakhan attacks Mowgli the music had high energy to increasethe tension of the audience. The cast also used some pause effects togive impact to the words that were previously said. The practice gavethe viewers a chance to read the non-verbal messages and relate themto emotions like joy, anger, and fear.
Thelighting on the stage was effective. The brightness and color wereadjusted well according to the part of the play being acted out. Thespotlight was effective in displaying the character that was speakingor the one that played a central role in the different scenes. Theseeffects were accomplished to near perfection. They gave the schoolplay an added allure towards its production.
Overall,the school play performed well regarding its production. Theyselected a play based in a remote jungle and managed to recreate itin school. The effects moved the audience, and many felt like theywere transported to that forest and relived the life of young Mowgli.