‘Jungalbook’ takes center stage


Junior Charlie Plese, playing Mowgli, and Sophmore Haley Newton, playing Akeelah, act out in intense scene together

Sofie Salcedo, Staff Writer

Each year, Roswell High School’s advanced drama class puts together a one-act play, in which they take to the Georgia High School Association competition, and if they’re lucky, the Georgia Thespian Conference (ThesCon). Formerly, the drama department has only orchestrated school showings of a one-act play after the competition, if at all. This year, however, under the leadership of new fine arts teacher Rebecca Stern, Roswell Theater held three school performances of their show Jungalbook by Edward Mast.

Ulises Colina plays Bagheera holding baby Mowgli surrounded by Haley Newton, Nicole Price, and Jaylin Warmouth playing the wolves.

Like the Disney classic, Jungalbook is based on the stories of Rudyard Kipling. Don’t be fooled though, because as Senior Claudia May says, “This play is nothing like the movie.” With a jungle gym as its singular set, the show relies on emotion, lighting, and props to help tell the story. The animals are anthropomorphic and all of the actors are enthralling in their performances. Junior Jessi Kirtley steals the show as the fierce tiger Shere Khan. And as Senior actor Justin Doyle comments, “Jessi’s the best; her part is killer”.

Juniors Charlie Plese and Jessi Kirtley playing Mowgli and Shere Khan standing on the jungle gym.

Jungalbook centers on the story of Mowgli, a “man-cub” raised in the jungle, who struggles to create a sense of self-identity. Junior Charlie Plese is once again starring as the lead, after her success as Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker last year. The show deals with many serious topics, including death, betrayal and coming of age. Junior Chloe Taylor, who is stage manager, says that her favorite part is “the connection between the actors and their characters.” She adds that, “Seeing the actors connect so deeply with the animals is so inspiring!”

Those interested in watching the performance had three opportunities to do so: Sept. 27, 28, and 29 at 7:00 PM. Lighting technician and Senior Meredith Olsson urged students to attend, saying that “It’s the first show we’ve done with our new drama teacher and we are all really excited to show you how we have breathed new life into the theater program!”

To watch the play, click here.