The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

November 1, 2012

It's a jungle out there in wilds of Andover at Pymatuning Valley

Star Beacon

ANDOVER — Pymatuning Valley High School seems to have obtained a new obsession this fall: the jungle. First of its events to be jungle-themed would be this year’s Homecoming, paired with jungle music played by the marching band. The main number, “The Lion Sleeps Tonight,” was played during the halftime show of the Homecoming game in accordance with the planned theme of the high school’s Homecoming dance. The members of the band did little dances while playing, seemingly enjoying themselves, while the crowd clearly enjoyed themselves while singing along and cheering for the band.

The next night, students, who had spent all day preparing themselves for the Homecoming dance, arrived at the school to be greeted with wonderful jungle decorations the Student Council had spent all of the previous day working on. To walk into the gym, where the dance was held, there were even vines hanging down for the students to walk through. After entering, students were met with multiple jungle-like trees among other jungle decorations. Even the thrones for the king and queen seemed like they had come from the “Jungle Book,” which leads into the next event being held with a jungle theme.

Every year, Maribeth Miltner, who teaches at both the middle and high school, directs a fall play. For this year’s play, she has chosen to put on “The Jungle Book.” “The Jungle Book” is about a boy who was raised by wolves in the forests of India. Upon hearing of a great threat, the animals that look after him attempt to convince him to join the “man village” where he will be safe; but the boy, Mowgli, resists, wanting to remain in the forest. The play is sure to be fun for everyone involved, actors and audience both.

Upon being asked of how she believes this play will turn out, Ms. Miltner said, “There are no huge star parts, so hopefully everyone in the show will feel like a star.”

New to this year’s play is the addition of a student assistant director, Austin Blair. For the play, Blair helps get the actors together during rehearsal and leads them in what they need to do. Blair said he enjoys having this role because he gets to learn a bit more about theater and interact with Ms. Miltner to see what she goes through while directing.

Ms. Miltner said Austin has helped immeasurably and she is very grateful for the help of all of her assistants.

“The Jungle Book” will be available for the public to see on Nov. 9, 10 and 11. On Nov. 9 and 10, the show will be at 7:30 p.m., and on Nov. 11 at 2:30 p.m. Adult admission will be $6 and admission for students and senior citizens will be $4.

Special to Nov. 11, Veterans Day, veterans will be free of charge. Tickets are available at Hair Trends, Sparkle and all of the school buildings. Profits from this play will fund next year’s play. Also available at each showing, audience members will be able to purchase “jungle grams” to send words of encouragement to a certain cast member. The show choir will also be selling gourmet pretzels in the lobby.