ISQ Middle School's Production of
"THE JUNGLE BOOK"
premiered to SOLD OUT audiences!
I am trying to think of the best way to describe how much this show has meant to me, but it seems I am at a loss for the right words.
Instead, I would like to list as many things I can think of to give a glimpse for those who couldn’t join me in celebrating my directorial debut.
- The first theatrical production performed in our new school building
- 30 cast members from 11 different countries
- 3 elementary school cast members portraying a young Mowgli, a wolf cub, and a young monkey
- 17 tech crew students under the guidance of our talented technical director
- A breath-taking jungle set that completely transformed the school
- Two night performances that sold out in two days (a FIRST in ISQ history!)
- A global livestream of both performances
- A matinee performance attended by our elementary school students AND a local bilingual school
- Over 500+ audience members total
- A program translated from English into both Chinese and Korean
- Concessions provided by local international families serving foods including traditional Indian, French, and Mexican
- Laughter, tears, inspiration, overwhelming stress, doubt, excitement, exhaustion and enthusiasm
- Sleepless nights followed by nights were I was asleep before my head hit the pillow
- SO MANY ANSWERED PR--Y--RS & SO MANY WONDERFUL MEMORIES!
This show was certainly not built by my hands alone. In fact, I was so surprised and filled with gratitude at the way the community here came alongside me throughout the process. I want to take a quick moment here to introduce you, my blog readers, to some special people who not only contributed to this show in a big way, but also helped sculpt me as a director (and a person) throughout the creation of “The Jungle Book”
I have two wonderful ladies who headed up the costumes for this show. Again, I had a vision for these costumes that was unique and not a "fluffy" animal show. Instead, I wanted all the costumes to be inspired by traditional Indian garb (with the exception of Kaa, our Chinese dragon, and the monkeys). Not once did these women tell me I was crazy, but instead recruited help and spent some major time sewing. All but six of our actor's costumes were handmade by an army of talented women. I cannot express how overjoyed and satisfied I was with the results of their hard work and dedication.
Lastly, my roommate and I really bonded during the course of the show as well. She stepped up in a big way through the preparation for this show... which she totally didn't have to do as her only tie to the show was that she was my roommate (she teaches at the elementary school level). She took on everything from buying snacks for the students and food for me, to hair, makeup, and even fight choreography.
These few are just a glimpse of the many, many hands, voices, and p—y—r warriors who believed in this show and in me... then worked to make it the best thing ever! I also need to take a moment to acknowledge that SOMEONE VERY BIG was looking out for me upstairs and pouring out His Heavenly blessings on this production. That means more to me than any other piece of 'success' that can be seen from this production.
Now, all I know is that I’m going to have a very hard time living up to this one next year! All the same, I very much look forward to trying! (But maybe after some serious hibernation though because boy, am I exhausted!)
Please enjoy some photographs from both rehearsals and performance days in the slideshows below!
PeriscopeTV has portions of the performance available online, but I am unsure how clear or complete they are. You can find them by clicking HERE.
My Director's Note
By: Sarah "Sarai" Manning
This is my story. It is also Mowgli’s story. When scouting for a show to direct this year, I was looking for a story that members of an international community would find relatable. One afternoon while reading a script I found this line, it read, “Mowgli was born in the village, but it was not his home.” I resonated so deeply with this line. I felt sure that Third Culture Kids in my classroom would also find their own story in Mowgli’s.
There are three main focuses I hope both cast and audiences members glean from “The Jungle Book”, but I will share only the first two. The first focus is a new sense of family. Yes, we have our immediate family we are born into, but the wolves’ sense of the Pack is something beautiful. Your Pack is friends and family who stick by you no matter what you face (revenge-seeking tigers being a prime example). The Pack are people you protect, you love, and you count on. Mowgli learns no matter how close or far away your Pack is, you always carry their love and support with you wherever you go.
Second, Rudyard Kipling was a British-born TCK in India and he wrote “The Jungle Book” as an identity story. Mowgli, like many middle school students, struggles to find his place. Who am I? Will I ever be able to fit in? Mowgli is a version of the TCK (where the cultures surrounding him are the animals he’s befriended). In the end, Mowgli discovers that it is not his jungle-ness nor his humanity that make him special. Instead, it is because he is a blend of both village and jungle that makes him unique and gives him strength.
Our school is blessed with students, teachers, and faculty from all different villages. When people walk through the doors of ISQ, they join the Pack. It is with our differences, our fusion of cultures, experiences, passions and learning that we stride into the world as beautifully unique individuals of purpose and hope.
Please enjoy as ISQ Middle School Theatre presents “The Jungle Book”!