Cast and mask-making ready for LEC’s upcoming fall production of “The Jungle Book”

Fine Arts,

The Lake Erie College Department of Theater’s November production of “The Jungle Book” will showcase a young cast and lead actor Tom Visel, in addition to the mask artistry of the Cleveland Museum of Art’s Robin Heinrich and the direction of Dr. Jerry Jaffe.

Performances will take place Thursday through Sunday on Nov. 9-12 and Nov. 16-19. Thursday and Friday performances will be evening shows at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday performances will be matinee, at 2 p.m. All will take place in the C.K. Rickel Theatre in Royce Hall for the Fine and Performing Arts.

Before every matinee performance, children may attend a free, pre-show mask-making workshop led by an LEC student at 1 p.m. Those who participate may wear their wolf masks during the performance.

Adapted by Tracey Power from the famous Rudyard Kipling novel The Jungle Book, the stage production magnifies intimacy with the audience and theatricality. “This approach is unlike the famous Disney version,” noted Jaffe, associate professor of theatre.

The play follows the adventures of Mowgli (played by Visel), the jungle boy raised by wolves. The menacing tiger Shere Khan wants to kill Mowgli, who is protected by friends Baloo the bear and Bagheera the panther, who raised him. The play also features the monkey king, Kaa the hypnotic serpent and numerous monkeys.

Its cast includes Lance Steele, Gabriela Peters, Quinlan Cayen, Jessi Moore ’17, Fennesse Henry, Deja Wilson, Jamie Kuta ’17, Val Krsacok, Sayali Collins, Arwen Collins, Richard Keay, Jayla Lindsey and Sammy Meyers.

“Working with young actors is one of the best parts of my job,” said Dr. Jaffe.

Stage Manager Katelynn Archer will be aided by assistant stage managers Justin Keeler and Siyali Collins, Costume Designer Margaret Rose Gatzke ’07 and Lighting and Set Designer Martin Bluestein, an LEC instructor.

Tickets for the show are $5 for community members and free for children ages 12 and under, all Lake Erie College students and staff. No reservations are necessary. For more information, call the Lake Erie College Fine Arts box office at 440-375-7451.

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