‘Jungle Book’ opens at Griffith Playhouse on June 19


Eric Riggs, playing Shere Khan, rehearses with "Disney’s Jungle Book KIDS cast.

The Surry Arts Council will be presenting “Disney’s The Jungle Book KIDS” on Friday, June 19 at 3 p.m., Saturday, June 20, at 3 p.m., and Sunday, June 21 at 3 p.m. at the Andy Griffith Playhouse.

“We have an exceptionally talented cast of hard working eager young artists,” said director Joshua Whitt. “It’s been a thrill for me to have been a part of the entire process.” Whitt has previously directed “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” and “Disney’s The Little Mermaid JR.” at the Andy Griffith Playhouse. He has also starred in “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” as Joseph.

The production’s musical director is Jane Tesh. In addition to other roles at the Surry Arts Council, Tesh has served as musical director for numerous plays, including “Disney’s The Little Mermaid JR.”

Susan Michaels is overseeing the set decorating. “Susan has spent countless hours painting and creating props for numerous shows,” according to a release by the arts council. “She is an incredibly talented artist.”

A newcomer to the production is Marie Poole, who is making more than 50 costumes for the show for monkeys, elephants, a tiger, and all the other jungle animals.

More than 45 children across Surry County and beyond will be involved in bringing the Rudyard Kipling tale to life.

From the council, regarding the basic outline of the show:

“On the run from Shere Khan (played by Eric Riggs) a ferocious tiger who has banished him from the jungle, a human boy named Mowgli (played by Django Burgess) is aided by an agile panther named Bagheera (Gwyndolyn Bode). Along the way, the two meet a sinister snake named Kaa (Madison Lawson), a herd of elephants, and a giant bear named Baloo (Autumn Blakemore), who teaches them swingin’ musical rhythms of the jungle.

After surviving a dangerous encounter with a band of monkeys led by King Louie (Will Banfield), Mowgli and Bagheera are forced to run for their lives. Shere Khan returns, leading our protagonists to rally their follow jungle creatures into battle and restore peace to the jungle. This production is adapted from the classic film and includes all your favorite Disney tunes, like “The Bare Necessities,” and “I Wan’na Be Like You.”’

The cast includes Django Burgess, Gwyndolyn Bode, Autumn Blakemore, Eric Riggs, Robert Parks, Peyton Martel, Will Banfield, Raegan Amos, Wyn Hampton, Madison Lawson, Nauria Edwards, Anna Cockerham, Amy Cockerham, Riley Stanley, Sarah Martin, Anika Burgess, Ava Utt, Anna Windsor, Sara Windsor, Isaac Riggs, Maddie Kennedy, Riley Arnder, Zinnia Burgess, Sam Martin, Covia Laws, Hollie James, Daphne Dotson, Abby Brady, Kaylee Watoner, Cora Branch, Emma Brady, Reese Whitaker, Nicole Sawyers, Avayeh Wall, Maria Windsor, Ella Riggs, Jax Whitaker, Carolyn Williams, Daniel Atkins, Walker York, Sarah Martin, Jessica Smith, Elena McComb, Olivia Dotson, Molly Easter, and Macey James.

Tickets are $11 for adults and $6 for children 12 and under. Tickets are on sale now. Call 336-786-7998 or visit www.surryarts.org.

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