Posted in Seonee

Seonee: Behind-the-scenes with the cast

Hear what our amazing cast of children and young adults has to say about their experience in the show:

“I definitely learned not to laugh on stage! I started looking at panthers on YouTube. Last time, I played a deer that dies; this is a bigger part, it is more challenging, more lines. I had to learn the walk of a panther, movements. The Disney version of Bageera is more playful but way more serious in this version. ‘Bagie’ is my nickname now. I also play an ostritch, ‘mimi’ which is fun.”

– Krishna Vaidyanathan, Bagheera

“It was fun to learn how to be a wolf. Sometimes, it [hurt] because we have to walk on our fists. I play an ostritch, snake and Akella. It was interesting to learn different expressions.”

– Radhika Rajalal, Akella

“My favorite part is the monkey because I get to ride on someone’s back!”

– Gopika Rajalal, baby monkey

“The wolf walk was the most challenging. Its fun when all of it comes together. The deer is really delicate and then AI have to do other more aggressive roles so I like the variety.”

– Bhavana Dokka, various

“I like my roles in Jungle book because the songs are nice and I am excited by the quick costume changes. The monkey kingdom is funny and my favorite line is with that role. The birds are my favorite because i like the masks and costumes and we’ve called ourselves the three musketeers!”

– Ananya Akella, various

“Overall, it was fun and nice to know I am playing an important role. I had to act like someone who grew up in a jungle, almost like an animal and not decent and all. There are a lot of emotions to show- super scared, silly, confident etc., At first it was challenging. I had to learn the school scene which is a long scene with more action and less dialogue. I had to learn not to laugh in the monkey scene and act scared.”

– Shragvi Balaji, young Mowgli

“It was fun but tiring. There were so many parts to remember. We got to be with friends during rehearsals. I like the ‘kite’ role because I am the only one who gets to play it.”

– Sindhura Sridhar, various

“I really like that it’s a jungle story and you get to run around and play your animal and learn what they do.”

– Sarika Venkat, various

“The challenging part was to learn how to be superior and mean to the other animals who are actually my friends in real life. It helped me to make my abhinaya better. The fun part was I did the play once before, I was a wolf back then and a bird. Now it’s a bigger role. The story has a wide range, I like this interpretation of Jungle Book. I am dancing with friends and buddies at Natyalaya and that’s always fun. When I come to rehearsals I forget about tests and school work!”

– Manjula Andakuri, Shere Khan

“Originally, I played Tabaqui and other animal roles. I wanted to join this performance because I like Narendra and Anusha’s productions. I got to be a big part of it: teaching and helping the younger kids which is a challenge because kids get distracted, but when they do well you have the satisfaction of having contributed. It feels like being part of a family. There are days when its rough but in the end we are all together. I am in College Station now so managing rehearsals has been a bit difficult.

“Tabaqui is the side kick of Shere Khan. He will put himself first and looks out for himself first. He is very intelligent and cunning. He gets what he wants without drawing attention to himself. He is the only bad guy who survives. A light hearted evil character who picks sides with the person who is winning; its not about right or wrong. It is survival. I had to watch some movies. I need prep time to get into it. I love the part. Staying in character is difficult, he is so unique in his thoughts. I had to keep uncomfortable facial expressions in long scenes. It takes some focus to stay in his skin.”

– Ambika Venkat, Tabaqui

I like being Baloo because he is cheerful. He is helpful. The hardest part about rehearsals was the distance as I live in Temple. Following directions of the [directors] helped a lot. I like the songs and dances; they are light and cheerful. He lifts the mood of the play. The school scene was challenging because I had to be in sync with the kids. Hope you enjoy the show!

– Meera Gopal, Baloo