The Mansfield Youth Theatre, under the direction of Dauphne Maloney and Brian Nabors, will present Disney’s “The Lion King, Jr.” at the Renaissance Theatre, September 8th through 10th. In addition to three full performances, the group will also perform a free Sensory-Friendly performance for immediate families of individuals with special needs on September 9th at 1 PM. The event is presented as a part of the Mechanics Bank Education Series.
“The Lion King, Jr.” features a cast of students grades 9 and younger from the following school districts: Clearfork, Crestview, Discovery School, ECOT, Homeschool, Lexington, Madison, Mansfield, Mansfield Christian, Ontario, Richland School of Academic Arts, Shelby, St. Peter’s (Mansfield), Willard, and Wynford.
Director Dauphne Maloney comments, “This adaptation of the iconic stage production of Disney’s The Lion King has provided our young actors with exceptional material with which to hone their performance skills; whether they’re new to theatre or a “veteran” of the stage. We’re excited by the opportunity to present this piece as Disney’s The Lion King prepares to celebrate twenty years on Broadway!”
Set in the flourishing African Pride Lands, The Lion King, Jr. is an adaptation of the lively and moving Disney stage production. The young and precocious lion cub, Simba, is born into the royal family; and spends his days exploring the savanna grasslands and idolizing his kingly father, Mufasa. When an unthinkable tragedy, orchestrated by Simba’s wicked uncle Scar, takes his father’s life, Simba flees the Pride Lands, leaving his loss and the life he knew behind. Eventually companioned by two new friends, Pumbaa and Timon, Simba learns to start anew. When news of the now-ravaged Pride Lands reaches him, Simba answers a desperate plea for help from his childhood friend Nala who comes to find the adult prince. Simba learns he must take on his uncle Scar, and fulfill his destiny to be king.
Based upon the 1994 Disney animated film of the same name, The Lion King debuted on Broadway on November 13, 1997. The musical features music by Elton John and lyrics by Tim Rice; with a musical score by Hans Zimmer, and choral arrangements by Lebo M. Additional music and lyrics are by Lebo M, Mark Mancina, Jay Rifkin and Hans Zimmer. The book of the show was written by Roger Allers and Irene Mecchi. The Broadway production was directed by Julie Taymor, and produced by Disney Theatricals. The Lion King is currently the third longest-running show in history, and has played to more than ninety million audience members worldwide. The show has been recognized with more than 70 theatre awards internationally, including six Tony Awards.
Cast includes the following students: Zavier Alterio – Young Simba, Lathan Beard – Jungle Creature, Abby Bechstein – Hyena, Kadelyn Becker – Hyena, Hannah Billheimer – Hyena, Brie Blevins – Lioness, Isabelle Blevins – Jungle Creature, Padraig Browning – Mufasa, Reuben Browning – Hyena, ESaeLynn Cameron – Rafiki, Lillian Casey – Lioness, Jaselle Clark – Jungle Creature, Liberty Dulaney – Hyena, Amy Gardner – Lioness, Braylon Gardner – Hyena, Danny Gardner – Hyena, Justice Gardner – Banzai, Megan Hayes – Lioness, Emma Htuchison-Deehr – Hyena, Gwyneth Jones – Jungle Creature, Kristin Kaufman – Nala, McKinnley King – Jungle Creature, Cassandra Kurek – Timon, MiKayla Lawrence – Jungle Creature, Grace Masi – Hyena, Jackalyn Metz – Jungle Creature, Austin Michel – Pumbaa, Ellie Nickoli – Sarabi, Zoe Parrott – Lioness, Anna Perkins – Lioness, Luke Reavis – Hyena, Nick Reavis – Jungle Creature, Ella Schag – Serafina, Naomi Schag – Young Nala, Tommy Secrist – Simba, Christian Shepherd – Scar, Audrey Smith – Jungle Creature, Natalie Smith – Lioness, Asher Stefaniuk – Hyena, Katherine Stefaniuk – Lioness, Mariana Stefaniuk – Hyena, McKenna Stoffer – Zazu, Alexandria Switaj – Lioness, Justin Switaj – Jungle Creature, Alex Tate – Hyena, Leandra Viscioni – Lioness, Allison Volz – Jungle Creature, and Bailey Young – Shenzi.
Tickets are $15 for the full performances and are available at the Renaissance Box Office, via phone at (419)522-2726, and online at MansfieldTickets.com. Sensory-Friendly registration is required for all attendees and is available by calling the Box Office at (419)522-2726. Sensory-friendly tickets are limited to 6 per family.
Source, Photo: Renaissance Performing Arts Association