Haas Center for Performing Arts to host performance of “The Jungle Book”

Courtesy / gvsu.edu

Courtesy / gvsu.edu

Jacob Creswell

The Haas Center for Performing Arts, located on GVSU’s Allendale campus, will be hosting several performances of “The Jungle Book” throughout November. These performances will be put on by students within the the Department of Music, Theatre and Dance.

The performances will be held at the Linn Maxwell Keller Black Box Theatre, located on GVSU’s Allendale Campus at The Haas Center for Performing Arts.

The Department of Music, Theatre and Dance’s website discusses the setting and plot of the play, highlighting, “The Law of the Jungle rules Mowgli’s adventures while growing up with a wolf pack. However, when Mowgli’s identity is challenged after realizing his human origins, his quest to master the laws becomes more complicated… and much more dangerous.”

Students and faculty within the department emphasize that this play, adapted by Monica Flory, is much darker in tone than the commonly known Disney movie. The website warns families that while children are welcomed, the thematic elements and themes are much darker than one might expect, reminding parents that certain scenes of the play may be frightening to younger children.

Furthermore, the Department of Music, Theatre and Dance notes that one main focal point of the play is the character of Mowgli, whom is often portrayed as a boy. This character will be depicted as a female protagonist in their rendition, played by GVSU sophomore Leanne Hoag.

“I remember I used to ask my grandma to watch it when I was over at her house,” Hoag said. “It is honestly surreal to be playing a character that I am so familiar with, but it is also so different from the Disney version, that I am able to take a few essential elements from that movie and spin it to fit this version of Mowgli.”

Another key difference between both versions of the play is that, unlike the Disney version, this play will contain no songs. 

“This play is more about survival in the jungle and the power hierarchy that results between predator and prey,” Hoag said. 

The Jungle Book debuted on Friday, Nov. 9 and will continue through Saturday, Nov. 17. Performances will be at 7:30 p.m. Student tickets are priced at $7 with adult tickets at $15 and faculty and staff tickets $13. All performances will be held at the Linn Maxwell Keller Black Box Theatre.