Monkey see, David Butler do

Monkey see, David Butler do

by Brittney Pickei

“Jungle Book,” opening at San Diego State April 25, has a variety of different characters that wear exotic costumes to represent their animal persona. Among the many characters is theatre, television and film senior David Butler, who plays a monkey in the children’s literature adaptation.

Portraying the role of a mischievous monkey is no easy task, and is much different then any of the characters Butler has played before.

“Playing the part of a monkey is super physical, and I’m not a physical person. There’s a lot of rope climbing, and the tricks on the ropes are tough,” Butler said.

The monkeys in the play are not the villains in the show, rather they act as “puppets” of Shere Khan the tiger.

Through out the production, the monkeys are constantly getting into trouble. When talking with Butler about his role as a monkey, he conveyed that the costume he has to wear is “ really crazy” and resembles a capuchin.  Butler wears a headdress that rests along the rim of his face and is covered in feathers, which acts as a gigantic mane.  Since “Jungle Book” is Indian-themed, all the characters wear Indian trouser pants.

“Unlike the Disney version of “The Jungle Book,’ the show does bring in the darker themes that were more apparent in the original book written by Rudyard Kipling. The show is really imaginative and has tons of acrobatic chorography, almost like Cirque du Soleil,’” Butler said.

Some of the other theater productions Butler can be recognized in are “Squawk,” directed by Margaret Larlham and “The House of Blue Leaves,” directed by David Wieland. In the future, Butler plans to pursue a career in improv comedy in New York City. Butler explains that his audition techniques class and his script analysis class in SDSU’s theater department has really aided in him preparing for his future career in comedy.

“Everything I have learned in my classes has given me a well-rounded education,” Butler said.

Aztecs can watch Butler’s acrobatic performance as a monkey at the Don Powell Theatre April 25 through May 4.

Also read: Creating a jungle for new live adventure

Photo by Megan Wood, Staff Photographer