Olivia Ramviken

As a result of three years in high school it is needed to write a final essay before you can graduate. It is required to take at least a hundred hours of you to write it, unless you are a part of the esthetics program. Then you are expected to cooperate with your classmates and put together a play, a show; theatre combined with dance. Not only are we supposed to act and dance, we are going to compose all performance design; scenography, costume and sound mixing, with just a little bit of help from teachers.

The only thing we can’t decide is what script we are going to go with, that is up to our director and teacher, and this year it was our turn to make the old fable ”The Jungle Book” into a theatrical reality. It is a rewrite of the original stories by Rudyard Kipling, taking place in a dystopian Stockholm a hundred years in the future, where the wolves are homeless people and the humans are capitalists fighting for gold.

I was honored to receive the role of Shere Khan although she (in this version) is a neo-Nazi human-hating tiger. It is a hard job to depict the evident evil antagonist and someone you would despise in real life. After many hours of pondering over the script I finally grasped the importance of the play, and how current it is. My first job was to understand her, why she so badly wanted to kill an innocent human child. Sadly, this was not too hard to understand, there are too many people in Sweden right now who would sympathize with Shere Khan and we have all heard the arguments too many times when the problem really stems from fear. So I knew Shere Khan was deeply afraid of something, and that the government must have failed to help her somehow.

Physically it was apparent I wanted to resemble a tiger, we had a few classes to figure our characters out but the rest was up to us. I knew I wanted to keep the ”hunting walk”, lingering in the grass before she hits her prey. I used demanding steps, to show that this was my territory. Other animalistic gestures would be the teeth, she showed them when she was irritated with other characters such as Tabaqui or Phao.

I had to choose a production group to go with too, so I chose the one of multimedia, which includes sound editing, mixing. Finding and recording sound effects that was needed for the play. Elsa and I decided to put emphasis on visual effects as well, videos that goes along with dance numbers on stage that helps bringing out the meaning. One of the things I realized during the process was that there is no one there to do the job for me, so I learned to take a lot more initiative and make things happen. We wanted to switch between serious elements in the videos and a little bit more light-hearted, for example we portrayed the leaders of the world in a way that is problematic, they rule over the world like with no thought in mind of civilians getting hurt by their decisions. In the jazz-dance I had the pleasure to find videos of bananas acting like humans or taking the shape of things that aren’t bananas, it was very humorous and I thought it would fit the dream-scenario that was taking place in the play. Right before the dance starts off two of the characters yell out “we got style, we got class, we got bananas up our ass!” and then a big banana is projected on the wall, I found it very funny.

All of this was not only made during school hours, a lot of time I had to take work home simply because there was no other time to do it. I took lots of planning too, if I did not know the day before what I was going to do the next day, I knew that day was going to be uneventful.

After long rehearsal days and weekends it was finally time for our premiere, which was well needed. The class, as an ensemble was in need of direct response from an audience that had not seen the play a hundred times. We did the first few shows, they went very well and we were all thrilled to hear what our relatives had to say about our work. Then we had two days off. The classic syndrome after a long time of stress is that you get sick when you finally get time to relax. Therefore, on Tuesday morning, we stood sick and tired, beginning a new week with five shows ahead of us. And they all went well. Some of them even good, some of them even amazing!

Our biggest drop over the week was when we had a show for our peers, we had never been met with such an uninterested audience before, and we did not know how to catch them! Sometimes that would be hard, because you can’t force an audience that’s only there for attendance in school to pay attention to the play. But when you do not even get a single applause it is hard to keep your energy up and realize why you are doing this. Maybe I acted a little bit unprofessional when I later didn’t enter the stage during curtain call, but I did not think the audience was worth that. I don’t regret it either.

Other school performances we were met with a few very talkative crowds, they liked to comment and have their own role in the play, which was only fun, because that meant they at least listened. And I had my way with it too, when a kid would say a line from my script, I imitated him and said my line like he did, which kept him quiet J

Over all, I am very proud of this production and I’m proud over what we and I have achieved, it was a fun experience to work with so many people. I think that is what I have grown from the most, I had to find a way to cooperate with so many people at the same time and we all have people we don’t really like to work with, but sometimes we just got to see it for what it is and there’s nothing we can do about it.

#1 - Signe

Superbra text!! Kul att läsa så mycket om olika publikmöten och hur du själv reagerade på det, bra med självreflektion liksom! Enda jag hade velat ha lite mer av kan vara lite mer de negativa delarna med den förberedande processen, att ta upp både negativt och positivt visar på hur svårt det faktiskt är med såhär stora grupparbeten!
Bra jobbat!!<33

#2 - Anonym

Texten var jättebra! Du gjorde den intressant genom att vara detaljerad och ta upp båda för- och nackdelar med vårt arbete. Det enda du kanske kunnat ha med vilka andra grupper som fanns att jobba i. Men annars var allt kanonbra!