Mowgli (played by June Murray) and Baloo (Corin Boyd) begin their song, “The Bear Necessities.”

Mowgli (played by June Murray) and Baloo (Corin Boyd) begin their song, “The Bear Necessities.”

Music brings ‘Jungle Book’ to life

For Whidbey Children’s Theatre’s current season, the goal has been to give the spotlight to “the little guy.”

Such is the case in “The Jungle Book,” the theater’s newest musical production, which runs from Jan. 31 until Feb. 9. Older kids take a back seat so that younger ones can take center stage.

“It’s really cool to see them really shining as leads,” seventh grader Molly Nattress, the production’s sound technician, said.

Marketing Coordinator Lindsey Hensrude explained that it’s the first production for seven of the 19 members of the cast. The choice of show was decided by a vote held during a fundraiser.

It has also been the first time for Director Megan LeMay. A former theater kid from the north end of Whidbey, LeMay has used her skills as a choreographer to direct the show.

Kids from different schools on the island auditioned for parts in December and have been rehearsing ever since.

Musical Director Ann Johnson estimated the kids have logged about 60 hours of rehearsal time. The most grueling rehearsals took place the week before opening night.

The show is a musical based on the Disney movie and uses the same music.

“Musically, what we’ve really been working on has been bravery and confidence and making the loudest mistakes we can,” Johnson said.

During rehearsal the day before opening night, actors and actresses spring off the stage with vigor, treating the audience to a personal view of the wildlife they portray.

Nine-year-old June Murray, who plays Mowgli, said she is thankful for the support she has been given.

“I’m used to there being so many kids who are way older than me,” the star of the production said. “I like this show because it’s so big, bright, fun and colorful.”

Her co-star who plays Baloo, Corin Boyd, agreed.

“I like this play because it’s just so fun, and I like all the music in it. We had a great music director,” the 11-year-old said. “This is probably my seventh play that I’ve been in here, and they just keep getting better.”

Hensrude said some of the older kids have helped support the show by assisting behind the scenes.

Next up, the Whidbey Children’s Theatre will be doing a production of “Les Miserables” in the spring for grades seven through 12.

Photos by Kira Erickson / Whidbey News Group
                                An ensemble of elephants join the stage for a musical performance.

Photos by Kira Erickson / Whidbey News Group An ensemble of elephants join the stage for a musical performance.

More in Life

Photo by Georgia Edwards
                                David Welton has been building a 1/6 scale model of a 1916 Bristol M-1C, a British WW1 fighter named “Red Devil.” With more time spent at home recently, he estimates the project will be finished within the next few weeks. For story, see page A2.
He’s a model for using quarantine time constructively

With recent orders from the governor to stay home, several Whidbey residents… Continue reading

Easter baskets for those in need

Whidbey kids may be receiving an early visit this year from the… Continue reading

Residents craft face masks in response to shortage

Sometimes problems require creative solutions. In the midst of a shortage of… Continue reading

Rare visitor appears at Crockett Lake Preserve

Jann Ledbetter is accustomed to seeing raptors perched on the weathered posts… Continue reading

Photo by Brandon Taylor/Whidbey News Group
                                Daniel Tarango makes a pulled rib sandwich in the BBQ Joint on Midway Boulevard in Oak Harbor.
Your social distancing survival guide

Athough dine-in service is not allowed and social distancing is the order… Continue reading

Photo by Brandon Taylor/Whidbey News-Times John Del Prete’s fourth-grade class finally sees their published book, “Invisible Pollution in the Salish Sea,” since beginning the project in September.
4th grade students publish book on Salish Sea

John Del Prete’s fourth-grade class crowded around two cardboard boxes stacked on… Continue reading

Plenty to eat and drink for St. Patrick’s Day

Although many public events have been cancelled in the wake of the… Continue reading

Rockin’ a Hard Place: Love in the time of coronavirus

Last weekend, as I have for the past three years, I volunteered… Continue reading

‘The food abides’ at new Bayview restaurant

Frequenters of the Goose Community Grocer may have noticed a recent change… Continue reading

Some South Whidbey events are still planned during next week

Due to growing concerns related to the coronavirus, most of the calendar… Continue reading

Coming clean about goats

For Molly Jacobson, the creation of her Clinton soap business has involved… Continue reading

Creative workshop offers jewelry with hints of spring

Nature lovers will have a chance to create their very own jewelry… Continue reading