Phoenix, AZ - Valley Youth Theatre (VYT) opens The Jungle Book on Friday, February 7 – the midway point in the non-profit theatre’s 25th Anniversary season.

This adventure-comedy is based on Rudyard Kipling’s short stories about a boy named Mowgli who raised by wolves, befriended by a bear and hunted by a tiger. It was inspired in part by ancient rules for the division of spoils and first published as a compilation in 1894.

“The theme of this story runs deeper than ‘a boy and a bear’,” said Producing Artistic Director Bobb Cooper. “It deals with some complex issues like adoption, prejudice and finding one’s own identity.”

The show’s geographically-diverse cast, ages 9 to 18, include Vincent Jacovo (Mowgli) from Surprise, siblings Sophia and Erick Deyden (Mother Wolf, Father Wolf) from Mesa, as well as Tim Oakes (Baloo) and Destiny Walsh (Bagheera) from Gilbert, bot and attend Chandler-Gilbert Community College.

Several of the cast have been in previous VYT productions. For example, Jacovo was Jojo in Seussical, Sophia Deyden played the lead in Dora The Explorer LIVE!, and Oakes is making sixth appearance.

Remaining cast members include Constantino DeAngelis (Cub) from Anthem, Kaila Inman (Funky) from Scottsdale, Alexandra Kirby (Black Kite #2) from Paradise Valley, Josh Pike (Tabaqui) from Peoria, Katy Sprowls (Kaa) from Tempe, and Eli West (Wolf #1) from Goodyear.

The rest of the cast from Phoenix are Sophia Drapeau (Black Kite #1), Cole Flowers (Wolf #2), William Harris (Shere Khan), Anand Khalsa (Akela), Zane Niezgodzki (Cheeky), Ethan Shanker (Trout), and Hayley Trueman (Black Kite #3).

Tickets to The Jungle Book are only $18.00 each, plus service fees, and available online at or by calling the box office at 602.253.8188 x2.   back...
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