JAC Publishing & Promotions

 
The Red Flower  adapted for the stage by Michael McGarty
Based on The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling

ISBN #1-60153-015-X
JAC
#2008-001
2

Cast  

  • MOWGLI (as a young boy)
  • MOWGLI (as a young man)
  • MOTHER WOLF
  • FATHER WOLF
  • TABAQUI: The Jackal
  • SHERE KHAN: The Tiger
  • AKELA: The Wolf Leader
  • LOBAR: The Wolf Elder
  • BAGHEERA: The Panther
  • THE COUNCIL OF WOLVES/VOICES OF THE JUNGLE: 

Synopsis
Based on Rudyard Kipling�s Jungle Book, this adaptation tells the story of Mowgli, a human toddler who wanders off into the jungle where a pack of wolves adopts him as one of its own, along with the help of Bagheera the Panther. The Tiger, Shere Kahn, seeks to kill Mowgli and, with the aid of some young wolves, tries to overthrow the pack leader Akela to free the way to his human prey. Mowgli, with the help of Bagheera, learns the use of fire and uses a blazing branch to defend Akela, driving Shere Kahn and his allies away.

The experimental nature of this piece creates numerous possibilities for it direction. Even though the major characters must be strong, the choral voices and movements are the key to success.

Concerning the vocal aspect, the director should combine all types of speaking manners, from whispers to shouts, snarls to pleas, to create a complete and varied sound. Try different combinations of single, double triple, male and female voices as you break up the choral speeches among your cast members. Don't be afraid of even breaking up individual lines into places for an echo building effect.

Movement is next in importance. The obvious pitfall of actors awkwardly crawling around on all fours must be avoided. Have your actors explore all types of offensive and defensive movements from stretches to crouches, lunges to retreats. Add a blending of both human and animal-like gestures to complete the picture. Each animal should have an individual personality which clearly identifies his place in the pack. Some will naturally be more dominate than others. Remember that Mowgli is more animal than human and should be played accordingly.

The possible approaches to this production are endless and the director shouldn't hesitate to create any additional business to enrich the script further. The greater the level of exploration, the greater the level of success.

The Setting
The Seeonee Hills of India. A varied setting can be attained by placing numerous platforms one upon the other at angles to create a series of acting levels. This will visually break up a possible horizontal monotony. The levels should provide numerous niches, summits and open areas so that, with the correct lighting, the audience will accept one staging as the den, Council Rock, and different places in the jungle.

MMcGarty.jpg (9706 bytes)Author Biography
Michael McGarty has an MA in French Theatre from Middlebury College (VT) and has acted as the Artistic Director for the Harvard Community Theatre (www.harvardtheatre.org) since its inception in 1989.  He has directed more than 100  plays over the past 30 years. During the 2002 theatre season, his production of 'night, Mother? won Best Production at the EMACT festival and his production of Acts and Contrition won Best Production at the MHSDG festival. He was honored in 1997 with the EMACT award for Best Director for his production of Still Life.  As the head of the theatre department at the Bromfield School, he has developed an acting program for students in grades 6 - 12. He also works as a member of the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts High School Drama Guild.

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$30/performance royalty

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Have you read McGarty's
FRANKENSTEIN:
Through the Eyes of the Monster
?
 
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