DRIPPING SPRINGS, Texas — A group of young thespians won’t let the curtain go down on them just as the coronavirus ended their school year abruptly.
What You Need To Know
- You can view performance live on Zoom
- May 7, 8, and 9, at 7 p.m.
- Zoom code: 322-397-150
The cast of Sycamore Springs Middle School's "The Jungle Book" turned to technology as a sort of "bare necessity" to make sure their show goes on, while the stage stays empty.
“I was kinda sad at first, but the fact that we’re still doing it and we’re still getting through made me happy because this is what people need right now," said eighth grader, Deacon Ivey, who played Tabaqui. "It’s really fun.”
It’s a win-win situation for the audience and the young actors.
“In quarantine, there’s not a whole lot to do and this is just so entertaining to do. Because, before this, like you kinda just wake up for school and I’d be like, ‘what am I gonna do for eight hours before I go to sleep?’ said eighth grader, Jones Willis, who played Balloo. "Now this is something to do and look forward to.”
“Ultimately it kinda manifested into this film style of a show and having to teach looking into the camera versus the interaction of having someone with you in person and being able to feed off of their energy like you would on stage,” explained theater director, Taylor Rainbolt.
Actors learned blocking by taking cues from their surroundings and even fashioned their rooms to be part of the set.
“I just have to like, pick out different parts and like, this is you, that’s you," explained Willis. "I have to look at like, a picture of my dad and be like ‘oh hi, how’s it going, Mowgli? You’re doing good.’”
Come opening night, it appeared seamless, but not without plenty of troubleshooting leading up to show time.
“A few rehearsals ago, in the middle of our scene, my brother was like ‘I’m gonna unplug the router,’" Jones laughed. "Hopefully everyone just pushed through with my lines.
Even then, Rainbolt wants her students to realize their achievements for tackling an innovative approach to a school play.
“I think it’s something we’re proud of,” said Rainbolt. “It’s a big part of who we are and it’s a big part of who the kids are, as well. So, if you commit yourself to something that you love, you find a way to make it work.”
If you would like to watch Sycamore Springs Middle School's "The Jungle Book," you can do so from the comfort of your own home through Zoom. It starts at 7 p.m. May 7, 8, and 9, with the recording available starting the 11th.
Here's the Zoom code: 322-397-150, make sure you watch in speaker mode.