Within minutes of the close of Purdy Elementary’s Veterans Day program last week, the school gymnasium transformed into a vast rehearsal scene for the school’s upcoming production of Disney’s “The Jungle Book Kids.”
It will open at 6:30 p.m. Friday (Nov. 18) and play again at 3 p.m. Saturday (Nov. 19).
“We invite the community to see our students perform,” said Paige Schulte, Purdy’s parent coordinator for the production. “This is an impressive turnout and shows that our families are excited about drama coming to our school and for their children to build lasting friendships and bring the community together around the stage.”
The Purdy PTA and administration continues to enhance educational opportunities for students, Schulte said.
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“They have partnered with Tacoma Musical Playhouse to bring their stage to life with the school’s first-ever full musical production,” she said.
As a first-year program, the all-student cast has attracted 64 students from kindergarten through fifth grade. Tacoma Musical Playhouse has offered this program for the past 10 years, explained Schulte, who added, “this colorful version of ‘Jungle Book’ promises to be a great introduction to the performing arts at Purdy.”
The play’s director, Danni Krehbiel, grew up performing in children’s productions.
“I loved it so much,” she said.
Krehbiel got her bachelor’s in theater from Cornish College of the Arts and has been acting professionally in Seattle ever since.
Said Principal Kristi Rivera, “This is such a great opportunity to allow students to build confidence on stage with their peers. We have had a very successful talent show offered by our art teacher and this production offers more opportunities to be involved in the arts at a younger age.”
This is Krehbiel’s first time in a directing position.
“It’s incredible to watch the amazing impacts theater has on these kids,” she said. “They make lifelong friendships, learn to be a dependable and responsible member of a team, find the confidence to make their voices and opinions heard, and have the opportunity to imagine the world through the lens of someone different than themselves. Theater helps them become more compassionate, understanding, curious and imaginative future members of society.”
“The Jungle Book Kids” is perfect for ages 3 and older and showtime is approximately one hour.
Tickets at $5 per person are available online at purdypta.org/clubs. All proceeds benefit Purdy’s performing arts programs. To learn more about Purdy PTA or Tacoma Musical Playhouse, visit purdypta.org or tmp.org. For information, contact Paige Schulte at 253-313-4093 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hugh McMillan is a longtime contributing writer for the Gateway. He can be reached at email@example.com.