Try to keep your legs straight and don’t bend your elbows. Slightly exaggerate the back-swing of your arms, which should alternate with your legs. Think of it like a stiffer version of walking.
Those were a few of the pointers doled out by Cadet Third Class Nick Felag at Primrose Hill School Tuesday afternoon, Nov. 20, who directed the comments at a group of students wearing floppy gray ears and fabric snouts atop their heads.
The Primrose Hill students will don the costumes when the school debuts “The Jungle Book” in January. It’s an Arts Alive! production and director Dena Davis said the organization always tries to make the rehearsal process educational and fun.
That’s where C3C Felag and “Elephant Boot Camp” came in.
The Barrington High School Class of 2011 graduate is currently in his sophomore year at the Air Force Academy just outside Colorado Springs, Colo. He’s a physics major who hopes to land an Air Force Specialty Code job after graduation.
He is also a former Barrington Community Theater actor who’s sister, Elizabeth, is a high school intern with the “The Jungle Book.”
C3C Felag was home for Thanksgiving and Ms. Davis thought it would be a good opportunity to teach the aspiring elephants the ins and outs of proper marching.
“We try not to have straight forward rehearsals. We try to do interesting things,” Ms. Davis said.
C3C Felag watched the group march without instruction once around the cafeteria before jumping in. He made a few quick adjustments and before the long, the group was standing straight and walking tall.
C3C Felag said it’s fun to come back home and work with young actors.
“It’s always good to get involved,” he said.
More than 60 students have been cast in “The Jungle Book.” Ms. Davis said the play is set in India and accordingly, students have been getting some education on the country and its culture, such as Bhangra dance.
Ms. Davis said she was interested in the “The Jungle Book” for a few reasons, including its numerous characters.
“I think kids this age love the opportunity to play animals too,” Ms. Davis said.
Some of the animals that will hit the stage include zebras, giraffes, flamingos, parrots, bees and even a couple Bollywood monkeys along with the story’s traditional characters.
The production will run on Jan. 25 and 26.