(Photo above: Jack Lawson as Young Simba, and Ensemble Cast perform I Just Can’t Wait to be King, courtesy of BEAT Children’s Theatre)
In 1994 Disney released a film that changed the way we look at animated storytelling. The Lion King, with its stunning visuals, it’s emotional storytelling, and the music of Elton John and Tim Rice captivate audiences around the world. Disney went on to adapt this beloved film into a Broadway masterpiece, with the help of the unforgettable costumes and art design of Julie Taymor. Anyone who has seen The Lion King onstage will never forget the experience.
And now, BEAT Children’s Theatre is proud to participate in the Lion King tradition by bringing their own production of the Junior version to Central Oregon this February. 45 young performers will take on the roles of Simba, Nala, Mufasa, Scar, Timon and Pumba, and all the other well-know characters and bring them to life for audiences here in Bend.
BEAT is very excited to have two student directors at the helm of this production – Jarod Gatley and David Purkey! Jarod and David have been seen on the BEAT stage as performers for a few years, and are now trying their hands at directing. Working with Angelina Anello-Dennee, BEAT’s Production Coordinator, Jarod and David lead an amazing team that are helping to bring a joyful, colorful Lion King experience. The team includes a student choreographer in Maria Kramer, who is tackling the challenge of creating meaningful movement to go with each and every musical number. Maria has also performed on the BEAT stage, and has helped as Dance Captain on previous productions.
Bree Beal, BEAT Executive Director, shares, “it is so exciting to see our young BEAT students start to step into adult leadership roles. They have worked hard to get to this place and they share our passion for bringing a quality theatre experience to young people on and off the stage. We are so proud and honored to work with them!”
With sets designed by Gary Loddo (and built with the help of BEAT’s Set Apprentices), costumes designed by Tempel Corpstein, make-up design by Julee Vadnais and Musical Direction by Danielle Gosselin, this is sure to be a beautiful production.
All the cast and crew look forward to sharing an evening of Hakuna Matata – no worries! – with audiences this February! For more information please visit tickettails.com.