A step back in time, and into the jungle

By Ivy Jensen

ECHUCA-MOAMA Theatre Company is heading back to the ’80s and the jungle for its junior productions.

Following on from the success of The Addams Family, the company will hold an information night for Back to the 80s and The Jungle Book Kids next week.

EMTC secretary Lesley Summers said after doing junior shows for three consecutive years, the company thought it was time to do a show that would appeal to teenagers and Back to the 80s was chosen.

‘‘At the same time, we didn’t want the eight to 12-year-olds and possible new members to miss out for a whole year so we decided to do a Disney Kids show and Jungle Book Kids was chosen,’’ she said.

Back to the 80s co-director Zali McKee said the musical followed Corey Palmer who ‘‘reminisces about his final year of high school in the ’80s when he was vying for student body president and trying to get the girl of his dreams’’.

‘‘It’s also filled with 80s classics such as Footloose, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun and I Had The Time of My Life,’’ she said.

‘‘It also includes a lot of laughs, a Star Wars dream sequence and throwbacks to the time that was the 80s. It’s a fun-filled show that’s great for all ages.’’

Zali said she was looking for teens aged between 12 and 18 who wanted a chance to shine and improve their performance skills, but also create life-long friendships and enjoy themselves.

‘‘We want to bring a positive and uplifting atmosphere and support the teens on their journey,’’ she said.

Jungle Book Kids is a 30-minute musical, based on the novel by Rudyard Kipling and the Disney film, with the most recognisable song being The Bare Necessities.

Lesley, who is directing the show, said the age range for the cast would be eight to 12, with everything happening in conjunction with Back to the 80s.

‘‘We will be looking for some children in the upper age range to take on the lead roles of Mowgli, Baloo, Bagheera, Shere Khan and Kaa and the ensemble has some opportunities for double casting,’’ Lesley said.

‘‘Initially we will rehearse only once a week. Both shows performances will be open on November 8, however Jungle Book Kids will do only four performances on the first weekend and Back to the 80s will do eight performances over two weekends.

‘‘Running two performances at the Paramount on the same day will have its challenges but at the end of the day, we hope to make it possible for a wide range of children to be involved.’’

The information night will be held at The Shed in Simmie St, Echuca, at 7pm on Monday, June 24.

All those wanting to audition and their parents/guardians are encouraged to attend.

Auditions, which will be held on July 12-13, will be booked on the night.

For information, email info@emtc.org.au