Tuesday, September 11, 2007

In Which I Am Training Elephants

Yesterday afternoon was spent with a herd of elephants. Or at least elephants in training. Nothing political in the event (thank goodness). No this is something sort of new for me - helping to direct a musical for kids, called "Jungle Book Kids", being produced by the Morristown Theatre Guild, with performances set to begin October 7th at Rose Center.

I haven't really been a part of a musical production since I was in a musical version of "Hansel and Gretel" when I was in elementary school. The scars from that, which included wearing lederhosen, have never healed. (Oh, sure, there was a brief musical number which we created some years back for the Improv Comedy group I worked with, a country music horror tale called "Drac'ler", but that is another story.)

But I am reaching for new things and hoping to learn much, which I can always do when I work with the vastly talented Mr. Horton who is THE director for the show. With two full casts, this show is a massive project, and I most happy to have been invited to help. Singing and dancing jungle creatures (even monkeys!!) moving to some great music is going to be great fun. Professor Horton has skills beyond reckoning and his shows always entertain crowds and educate performers.

So for me, yesterday was day one, working with two groups of youngsters, who will perform as the elephant herd in this musical based on the famous Disney script and music. It must be noted that this show also requires the participation of many parents, schedules, costumers, plus music rehearsals, choreography and giant heaps of coordination. In other words, it involves many people whose talents and responsibilities far exceed mine.

In coming days, I'll share more from this venture and can, I hope, remember all the names of the key players. Most in my elephant herds were forced to correct my pronunciation of names like Mowgli and Hathi.

A constant element of productions is taking the immense journey ahead, starting with a script and a score and a host of backstage and onstage talent, and reaching the moment of live performance. I never tire of such work. although I am sure some exhaustion will occur as the rehearsals gather momentum.

In coming days, I'll try and offer some pics from this event and hope many of you will come out in October to see the show.

3 comments:

  1. Well, if this ain't groovy, I don't know what is.
    You have a fabulous life. Seriously.

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  2. paige7:55 AM

    JP,
    SO glad to hear that you're working with the TG! i'm sure Horton will do a bang-up job, as will you. My crew and i look forward to seeing the show next month. If you're still having pronunciation troubles, my boys will offer a master class soon.

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