By Laurie Colton
Venice Theatre’s “Generations” Series is proud to present “The Jungle Book” on Pinkerton Stage through Sept. 15.
Rudyard Kipling’s “The Jungle Book” was first published in 1894. The adventures of the little boy Mowgli and the exotic animals of the Indian forest remain timeless. Countless adaptations for film and stage prove that the themes of law, freedom, obedience and bravery never lose their power.
Director Kristofer Geddie is excited to present Stuart Paterson’s adaptation of Kipling’s original stories. He says the Disney version he saw as a child will always be imprinted on his mind, but that Paterson’s script is closer to Kipling’s original stories of Mowgli.
Geddie says, “From day one of rehearsal I’ve insisted that the cast remember, ‘this is not Disney.’ And it’s not. As I read Paterson’s adaptation, I saw how relevant it was. The young boy, Mowgli, is trying to fit in and find his place in the world and is not readily accepted by many. He is hated for being different. It could be a tale right out of today’s headlines.”
Geddie and his actors, ranging from elementary school students through adults, are telling the story through drama, puppetry, and “lyrics” from the original literature re-conceived as raps and spoken-word poetry. Drummer and percussionist Joel Broome is providing original percussion for the show.
Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays.
Tickets to this family-friendly show are $12 for students through 12th grade, $15 for college students, and $22 for adults. They are on sale now at 941-488-1115, VeniceTheatre.org, or in person at the theatre located at 140 Tampa Ave. W. The production is generously sponsored by The Edmund and Elizabeth Campbell Family Foundation.
Venice Theatre is at 140 Tampa Ave. W. on the island in Venice. Summer box office hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday and one hour before performances. Regular hours will resume in October: Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and one hour before showtime.