September 18, 2014

Welcome to the jungle

Pinconning Theatre Company presents Disney classic

By Tim Barnum|Staff writer
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PICONNING — Looking for something to do next weekend? The Pinconning Area Schools Theatre Company (PASTC) will be performing the musical version of Disney’s “The Jungle Book” once a day from April 16-19.

According to Tina Bauer, co-advisor of the PASTC, this year’s production will be the first of its kind.

“This year Pinconning went from having a drama department in the high school to having the PASTC, which includes all students,” she said. “We have first grade all the way through twelfth grade in this play.”

However, integrating the younger students and teaching them the proper dance moves and words to songs was no small feat, Bauer says.

“It is more difficult when you have smaller children in a production because they don’t understand the language we use in theatre,” she said. “The choreography of course is a little bit difficult. … To sing and dance in general is difficult.

“Our high schoolers ended up being good role models and mentoring our younger students.”

But Bauer says the tough parts of the play production, which is being directed by David Krzisink and assistant director Tera Wieland, included more obstacles than just teaching the young children choreography.

“You’re looking at animal costumes which are more intense. They’re heavier. They’re hotter,” Bauer said, adding getting accustomed to the suits was another hard part of the production. “We’re creating ice vests to wear under the costumes.”

Fortunately, the set isn’t as complicated as the costumes, though.

“It’s a smaller production when it comes to set design. The reason we decided to do that is because we’re (Pinconning High School) in the middle of construction. We’re moving stuff in and out,” Bauer said. “This set design is smaller, more portable, and a little bit easier.”

Overall, Bauer added, 40 students are involved in the performance and production of “The Jungle Book” and on April 16, a special dinner theatre performance is also available for fans of drama.

Bauer says on April 16 at 6 p.m., for $30 a person, the audience will be served a prime rib dinner by Pinconning Area Schools District Board of Education members.

“Then you stay in your seat and actually watch the play,” she said. “Our tickets sell out every year.”

She also added tickets for the dinner theatre must be purchased in advance.

The productions on April 17 an 18 are at 7 p.m. and the play on April 19 is a matinee performance at 2 p.m. For more information or for advance tickets, call 989-879-7291. All performances of “The Jungle Book” will be in the Pinconning High School gymnasium.

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