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The Jungle Book cast shines in memorable spring drama production

May 10, 2024
By KCS Staff

From its opening scene filled with howls, wolf shadows, and the surrounding presence of the Wolf Pack, The Jungle Book quickly captured the audience's attention, drawing them into the world of Mowgli's jungle. Directed by UH Professor of Theatre Mark Branner and assisted by Mrs. Branner, this year's spring drama production brought together a talented 38-member cast and crew, primarily comprised of 4th-12th grade students. The cast and crew worked for months to bring this classic story to life, from the meticulous crafting of wolf masks to the hours of rehearsals after school and on weekends. They enjoyed the fruit of their labor as their live performances, complete with humor, action, and suspense, entertained audiences on April 12-13.

Thanks to an amazing prop and design team, the Worship Center was transformed into the jungle, with lighting, music, and shadow puppets enhancing the immersive experience for the actors and audience. Several students in lead roles also acknowledged the transformation in themselves as they grew in their abilities to portray an animal character. Jacinda Ching '24 and Katelyn Hsieh '26 both credited the guidance of Mr. Branner and encouragement from cast members for helping them embrace their respective characters and overcome their nervousness and fears on stage. Jacinda reflected that she performed "a version of Shere Khan that is uniquely mine." Both girls enjoyed the experience of working with other grade levels and being part of a big production. Katelyn also added that "getting to see the audience's reactions on the performance day" was a highlight for her.

Students not only had the opportunity to grow individually in their skills and confidence but also to experience the power of theatre through sharing Mowgli's coming-of-age story. In reflecting on The Jungle Book, Mr. Branner said, "I am honored to have been able to create this production with the students of KCS. It is a special place – a place where 4th graders and 12th graders can work together in wonderful ways to tell a story well."