For the last couple of mouths our class has been working with our final production called “Djungelboken” written by Alexander Mörk Eidem. This is the last and biggest thing our class does together and has been preparing for during our 3 years of High School but mostly the last year. With help from our teachers and classmates we were able to create a full production with dance and acting.
This means that we are responsible for everything. We create our own costumes and stage decoration even background music.
Our teacher and director is the one who decide which play to set up and she´s also the main boss. Every decision goes through her.
The first time we read the script I had difficulty´s grasping it, I had difficulty understanding the meaning even when we started working with it. Especially when it come to the connection between animals and humans. It actually took me a while to understand. I think it really helped working with it as much as we did to really understand. I´m pretty sure that the audience were just as confused as we were in the beginning. It´s a lot to take in during 2 hours but I hope they went home with some kinds of thoughts.
I learned to realized that it´s actually a very meaningful and deep story. It´s pretty similar to the original jungle book but we are not animals. Instead we are humans that are influenced by animals.
The characters have found traits in themselves that resemble animals. For example I played Baloo (the bear) who is a older man with the instinct of fighting, to protect the people he loves and himself. Someone other people have respect for. The main focus is to criticize all the flaws of our society such as homeless and rich people, racism, the human greed and lust for power and money. The play take place in a futuristic Stockholm in the year 2117.
Our director was the one who gave us the roles, but we were allowed to wish which one we wanted to play the most. As I mentioned earlier I played Baloo, which I wanted.
After reading and learning the script it was time to learn more about our characters. To do that we did different types of theatre exercises. We dug deeper into each character, weaknesses and strengths, relation to others, background story and so on.
After that it was time to rehears the different scenes on stage. Which was a long progress with a lot of work behind it. At this point it was hard to find motivation sometimes and even harder to see the final result. The most fun part about rehearing was the development you did both as a characters and as a person. From just reading the script to the final result on stage.
Personally I worked very much with my character. My interpretation of Baloo was changed several times. Just from reading the script to work on stage was a big step for me. I can honestly say that I had trouble feeling comfortable on stage. My body language became personal and I moved across the stage in lack of anything else. I got a lot of tips from the teachers on how to find my character but it was difficult and took time. I think I interpreted my character like an angry person from the beginning and simply had difficulty losing it. My teachers understood my problem and helpt me. They told me that to be a chilled person you need to have the body language. I tried to imagine how a high person would feel like and tried to work from that. After that it became a lot of fun to play with Baloo, to find new things every day and become more and more comfortable. The result turned out very good and I am very proud of myself.
I wasn´t prepared for all the work behind decorating a stage. It was a challenge to make our stage look like Sergels Torg in Stockholm, personally I didn´t really have any ideas on how I wanted the stage to look. To be honest I think no one thought that the stage would turn out the way it did. Everyone of us had their own picture of it. For example from the beginning it was supposed to be a new floor which we later realized wasn´t possible become of lack of time and ideas. The plans and ideas changed contently. Some things we even had to remake. I also think that each of us imagined it to be more plats, but we had the same problem there: lack of time.
I didn´t have responsibility for a specific thing. I just help in every way that I could with different stuff each day. We created ideas by discussing with each other´s. Some lessons we used all of the time to discuss.
It was really something special to meet the audience for the first time. Something that we had been working on for so long became reality. To finally get some kind of good response such as laugh and cheers gave a new king of energy. It was no longer a matter of preforming in any way, it was about delivering, having fun and entertain an audience. The audience could either give or take energy depending on if they were for example not clapping at all or talking when we were talking, or cheering for us and laughing at our jokes. No show was like the other. We tried new thing every time. Every character kept on develop until the very last show
In retrospect it will be something that miss. I has been very fun and educational in many ways. I have grown as a person and my interest for theatre has become bigger.