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Poster:
Photography by Ben Laird with graphic design by Jennifer Merio

The Urban Jungle Book

"Oliver" meets "Hamilton" in this musical about the families we’re born into and the families we choose.

in development
Book Musical
Comedy
Drama
Fantasy
Set In Canada
Canadian Story
Ensemble Cast
Suitable for Teens
BIPOC Cast
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"... a diamond in the rough... powerful and uplifting... This version could travel far, but an expanded two-act version could become a staple for regional and community theatres."
Louis B. Hobson, The Calgary Herald

Coming Soon To...

"The Urban Jungle Book" was commissioned by StoryBook Theatre in Calgary, Alberta, in December of 2015. Artistic Director, JP Thibodeau, wanted a modern interpretation of the Rudyard Kipling stories to be told by a diverse, multi-ethnic cast. The show was cast in May of 2016 and workshops were held in June, October and December to try out the new material as it was written. An hour long, one-act version of the show opened on March 3, 2017, and ran until March 18 with a cast of talented amateur performers. In his review of the current hour-long version in The Calgary Herald, Louis B. Hobson called the show, “powerful and uplifting,” but also felt there is so much potential in it that the writer “…should draw it into a full-length musical.” In the Fall of 2017, The Urban Jungle Book was shortlisted for the Playwrights Guild of Canada’s Tom Hendry Awards as one of the top three new musicals in the country. Author Joe Slabe always conceived The Urban Jungle Book as a full-length musical, and, in February of 2018, he was given a ten-day residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts to expand the work. The residency was invaluable in expanding the content while tightening the structure and work continues on the full-length version with an eye to a future professional production.

A red and white star
Although the location is not specified, the story takes place here and now, which is today's Canada. The cast is ethnically diverse and reflects the make-up of contemporary Canadian society.
A red and white star
The show features an ethnically diverse cast and examines the problems faced by foster kids and the challenges facing foster parents in a flawed system.

notes about Development

roles
11-15
Pop/Rock
acts
1

sample media

The World Inside My Head (Excerpt)
JJ Penaranda and the 2017 StoryBook Theatre cast under the direction of JP Thibodeau.
Good Hunting (Excerpt)
Andrea Page and the 2017 StoryBook Theatre cast under the direction of JP Thibodeau.
The Law of the Jungle (Excerpt)
Jolene Anderson, Tenaj Williams and the 2017 StoryBook Theatre cast under the direction of JP Thibodeau.
M.O.N.K.E.Y. (Excerpt)
Justine Westby (with Alex Smith and JJ Penaranda) and the 2017 StoryBook Theatre cast under the direction of JP Thibodeau.
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Perusal Materials

Coming Soon!
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