by Allison FitzSimmons, TAFK high school junior
Theatre Arts for Kids presents Lion King Jr. a timeless Disney classic that leaves us all saying “hakuna matata!”
Following the plot line of one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays, Hamlet, The Lion King is a story that has survived the test of time. It is set within the deserts of Africa, in the kingdom of Pride Rock. After the King, Mufasa, is tragically killed by his cold-blooded brother, Scar, his son is left to flee in despair and confusion. However, he doesn’t get far before he runs into the dynamic duo, Timon and Pumba, who take young Simba under their wings and become his closest companions. Meanwhile Pride Rock is in turmoil under the tyranny of Scar; famine, war, and devastation are around every corner. With the help of friends new and old, Simba realizes what he must do to save his kingdom. In a vicious battle, he faces his murderous uncle, and rises triumphantly as the king he was born to be.
The only thing that could be better than these larger than life characters, is watching them be portrayed by kids! TAFK’s production of The Lion King will consist of a cast ranging from ages 7 to 15, all of whom have a hunger and drive to make an unforgettable performance! If that isn’t impressive enough, they will put it all together in less than two weeks! That includes full memorization, choreography, costumes, lighting- the whole shabang!! TAFK graduates, Tatum Sesow, Teresa Goodwater, and Josh Matthews are working closely with Artistic Director Leah Kolar to create a powerful aesthetic using makeup, masks, and projections that will be unique to this production.
Parents, students, and teachers alike have raved about the unique benefits of the Theatre Arts for Kids program. Not only do the children get to live out their wildest dreams onstage, but their world is forever changed offstage as well. They develop key qualities such as leadership, teamwork skills, accountability, work ethic, and empathy, while making friendships that will last a lifetime.
Needless to say, “The Lion King Jr.” is one show you will NOT want to miss. Performances are Thursday, July 18 at 7pm and Friday, July 19 at 2pm and 7pm at Christ Lincoln (4325 Sumner Street). Tickets can be purchased at www.brownpapertickets.com.