Local children’s acting troupe to present “Disney’s Original Jungle Book” | MyWindsorNow.com

Local children’s acting troupe to present “Disney’s Original Jungle Book”

Emily Wenger
ewenger@mywindsornow,com

Maddie Whitlock, 9, twirled around the stage Tuesday morning while she avoided perils like a monkey king and a tiger with the help of her friends.

Maddie is playing Mowgli in "The Jungle Book" during this year's Trails End Acting Troupe summer camp. In her second year, Maddie said all the rehearsals, even though they are a lot of work, are also fun.

"I think it's cool, because you make so many new friends," she said.

Memorizing all the lines is tough, Maddie said, but working with the other actors in the camp makes it worth the effort.

Sophia Contino, a senior in high school, started the camp out of a garage, after gathering all the neighborhood children for their first play when she was 12 years old. A long-time lover of theater and music, Contino said her school at the time, Windsor Charter Academy, suggested she lead children in a play.

"All the elephants should be backstage," she called during Tuesday's rehearsal.

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Children, ranging in age from 5-13 years old streamed back into the backstage area as the stage manager brought up the lights on the Windsor Community Playhouse stage.

While Contino worked to keep the 23 children focused, her mother, Debbie Contino, helped them get into costume and keep their voices down while other children acted on the stage.

Debbie Contino said while her daughter keeps rehearsals fun, she also teaches terminology like "downstage" and "upstage."

"It's a good combo," she said.

Sophie Contino said that was one of the reasons parents suggested she begin to charge for the camp after her second year. Now, in the fifth year of the camp, she is partnering with the Windsor Community Playhouse to give children even more opportunities to learn about the inner workings of a production.

Parker Whitlock, for example, is serving as the technical director, and adjusted lights and sound levels as children danced and sang.

Contino hopes she can pass on her love of theater to the children who act in her camp.

If you go

“Disney’s Original Jungle Book,” a play put on by more than 20 area children in the Trails End Acting Troupe, shows at 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Windsor Community Playhouse, 561 E Garden Drive A. Admission to the play is free, but donations are accepted.