Flat Rock Playhouse Presents Final Weekend of Performances for The Jungle Book

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Explore a faraway land full of mysterious and magnificent creatures at Flat Rock Playhouse’s first 2019 Studio 52 Series production, The Jungle Book! With performances continuing on the Leiman Mainstage through March 30, this adaptation brings the beloved childhood tale to life as you’ve never seen it before.

While Flat Rock Playhouse’s 2019 homecoming season celebrates love, family, and adventure, family takes center stage in this upcoming production.

Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book explores the adventures of a lost young boy in the jungles of India. This onstage adaptation of the literary classic features all the characters we love, Mowgli, Bagheera, and Baloo, as well as those we love to hate, Shere Kahn and Kaa. While Mowgli struggles to find his place in the world, young Rudyard Kipling also learns the challenges of growing up. Sent to a British boarding school, Kipling encounters his own “jungle” that parallels many of the animal characters. Amidst an array of wild creatures and school children, the play highlights the struggle of good versus evil, the strength of friendship, and the undertaking of courage.

The Jungle Book features a cast of local young performers, working professionals, and families. With almost 100 individuals auditioning for this production, 49 cast members appear on stage at each performance, not including participants who are double cast or share a role with another person. For this production, there are 31 returning vets and 22 first-time rookies. The diverse cast includes 12 families performing together. Young performers represent 16 local schools: Hendersonville High, Middle, & Elementary School, Blue Ridge Community College, Rugby Middle, Atkinson, Hendersonville Middle School, TMCS, Brevard Middle School, Hendersonville Elementary, Flat Rock Middle, Apple Valley Middle, Glen Arden Elementary, Invest Collegiate Imagine, Clear Creek Elementary, Bruce Drysdale Elementary, Classical Scholars & home school students. Parents will also have the opportunity to see what goes on behind the scenes by participating in the volunteer program, Backstage Parents.

The ensemble includes Xavier Cacaindia as Rudyard Kipling, Asher Holmberg as Fielding, Nyles Clark as Hanley, Rick Huhn as Headmaster Price, Ashby Knox as Chaplain Willies, Chris Edwards as Professor Crofts, AJ Hernandez as Mowgli, Mitch Corn as Ballo, Michelle Anderson as Bagheera, Lindsay Hall and Zoe Corbin double cast as Tabaqui, Frank Davis as Shere Khan, Brice Farris and Ezekiel Mercado double cast as Akela, Jayna Gerber and Chloe Belle Edwards double cast as Mother Wolf, Layla Zeferino as Kaa, Isabel Dewberry as Rann, Clare Kelsch as Hathi, Betsy Tankersley as Massua, Lily Mercado as Dari, Julian Rose, Henry Knox, Cade Edwards, Calvin Hockenberry, Reese Cox, Hattie Hodge, Ellie Beasley, Savannah Edwards, Parker Beasley, Emma Grace Scroggs as the Wolf Pack, Sophia Larsen, Ella Leatherwood, Campbell Hodge, Peter Schnitzer, Adam Schnitzer, Colbie Corn, Abi Leigh, Adah Beasley, Ema Taylor, Emme Tilden, Marin Ristler as the Magnificent Monkeys, and Suzannah Best, Ava Treadway, Alayna Anderson, Jamie Johns, Carly Corn, Claira Harvey as the Indian Villagers. As a part of Studio 52 productions, high school students and adults have the chance to work backstage in technical theater positions.

Flat Rock Playhouse previously produced this version of The Jungle Book in 2003 under the direction of Betsy Bisson, current Artistic Director at the South Carolina Children’s Theater. The cast included Matthew Glover, current Flat Rock Playhouse Artistic Associate, Christoph Sanders, currently on the popular sitcom Last Man Standing with Tim Allen, and Jesse Siak, current Associate Director of Education at Charleston Stage Company.

Looking forward to the 2019 year at Studio 52, summer camp information will be available in early March and a second production opportunity takes place in the fall with The Lion, the Witch, and The Wardrobe. More information can be found online at www.frpstudio52.org or on the Studio 52 Facebook page.

The Jungle Book will be directed by Dave Hart. Taylor Russell serves as Stage Manager with Riley Hewitt as Student Stage Manager. Eleanor Knox, Joy K. Glass, Cassidy Bowen, Ann Corbin, Sonia C. Arnold will serve as Wardrobe and Run Crew. Jami Brooks will serve as Costume Intern. Adam Goodrum will serve as Production Manager. Dennis Maulden, CJ Barnwell, Ashli Arnold Crump, and David Gerena will serve as Scenic Lighting, Costume, and Sound Design respectively. Cassidy Bowles will be designing the properties.

The Jungle Book is presented by Studio 52 Productions Sponsor Advent Health and Executive Producer Kimberly Clark.

Performances run March 15 through March 30 at Flat Rock Playhouse Leiman Mainstage. Performances are Friday at 7:00 pm, Saturday at 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm, and Sunday at 2:00 pm. Tickets are $14 – $28 and can be purchased by calling the Playhouse box office at 828-693-0731, toll-free at 866-737-8008, or online at www.flatrockplayhouse.org.

And there’s still time to enter Hendersonville.com’s ticket giveaway for The Jungle Book! Visit www.hendersonville.com/giveaways/flat-rock-playhouse-tickets/ for additional information.