Come to the jungle at Little Theatre

Published 12:22 am Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Greetings Natchez & the Miss-Lou!

Natchez Little Theatre’s 68th Season and 2017 Summer Youth Workshop proudly present Disney’s delightful and beloved musical classic, “The Jungle Book,” at 7:30 p.m. from June 29 through July 1 with a final Sunday matinee on at 2 p.m. on July 2 at Natchez Little Theatre located at 319 Linton Ave. at Maple Street in historic Natchez.

Disney’s “The Jungle Book” is based on the novel by Rudyard Kipling and the Disney 1967 animated film.  The book and additional lyrics were adapted by Marcy Heisler.  Music and lyrics are by Richard M. Sherman, Robert B. Sherman and Terry Gilkyson.  The Music was adapted and arranged by Bryan Louiselle.  NLT’s production is produced by special arrangement with Disney Theatrical Group and Music Theatre International.  “The Jungle Book” has been adapted into plays, musicals and films for many decades, but the most beloved is the Disney 1967 cartoon adaption that captured the heart of the world.  In 2016, a new Disney animated adaption won an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects.

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Participants in the 2017 Natchez Little Theatre Summer Youth Workshop and Disney’s “The Jungle Book” are Ginny Borum, Katie Borum, Adair Carey, Skylar Carson, Caleb Dougherty, El Day, Taylor Ferguson, Lizzie Fife, Jyrah Griffin, Amelie Harris, Annie Hickman, Patty Jo Hickman, Gibson Hillyer, Jailyn Hurst, Addison Laird, Anabella Laird, Parker Claire Maxwell, Tyler Merriett, Zaide Paine, Julie Richardson, Trent Robinson, Jonathan Rosso, Luke Simpson, Mallary Simpson, Symone Thomas, Gianna Tuccio, Maggie Waddill, John Elliot Ward, Vincent White, Jasmine Winding and adult volunteers, Chris Borum, Sara Davis, Shirani Hickman, Pat Martin, Janet McNeely, Terrence Robinson, Jennifer Rosso,  Heather Simpson and Judy Wiggins.

I am the proud director of this incredible cast and production and designed the sets which were constructed by Don Vesterse and executed by the talented artist, Jennifer Rosso, with some assistance from Katie and  Ginny Borum and Jonathan Rosso and the rest of the cast.  Katie Borum has assisted me with the choreography and was so good that she took it over!  Terrence Robinson, once again serves as the Musical Director, and has turned this cast into future recording artists and Broadway musical stars!  The fantastical costumes have been designed by Judy Wiggins with assistance from Pat Martin, Jennifer Rosso and the cast and their families.  Serving as my assistant directors are John Elliot Ward, Sara Davis and Janet McNeely.

This summer has seen NLT’s 13 years of summer youth workshops come together into the ultimate theatre workshop by bringing in the many talents of volunteers from our community to share with our local area youth, who were able to participate in every aspect of theatrical production.  I am so proud and grateful to Terrence Robinson for his incredible musical skills and his inspiring all the youth that with practice and diligence they can sing and sing outstandingly; to Jennifer Rosso, who will be teaching Art at Natchez High School starting this fall, and her sharing her love and many talents in art, design, crafts and creation to make the sets and theatre like an Indian jungle and inspiring all the youth participants into being creative forces in the implementation of those designs and crafts; to John Elliot Ward, who just graduated from the Mississippi School for the Arts into coming home for the summer to teach improvisation and teaching all the youth participants theatre games that help them to improve their skills and techniques prior to his departure to the University of Southern Mississippi where he hopes to pursue a BFA in Acting; and Chris Borum. President of the NLT Board of Directors for organizing all the youth participants’ parents and family into an awesome involved support group for our workshop snack breaks and being here in support throughout the workshop!

It has been an amazing and busy June at NLT, so, please come see the talent that flourishes in our community in Disney’s “The Jungle Book” June 29 through July 2.  I guarantee you will be overwhelmed and thrilled at how this community in all its incredible diversity can come together and create something so beautiful, special and entertaining!  It gives you hope for a happy harmonious future and shows what you can do when everyone comes together in love for a shared goal…success!

Tickets are $20 for non-members of NLT and should be reserved as NLT Summer Youth Workshop productions have a history of selling out.  For reservations, call 601-442-2233; toll free 877-440-2233 or avoid the lines at NLT’s box office by purchasing your tickets securely on-line at!

We look forward to celebrating summer with you at Disney’s “The Jungle Book!”
Layne Taylor is the Natchez Little Theatre’s artistic and executive director and director of Disney’s “The Jungle Book.”