The sights, sounds, colors and costumes alone would have made for a show-stopping performance, but it was the hard work, natural talent and love of the musical that made this production of Disney’s, The Lion King, Jr. one to remember. Featuring fan favorite characters such as Rafiki, Simba, Nala and the anti-hero Scar, among many others, the middle school musical boasted a job well done from all who participated. Costume and set designers, directors and actors alike saw months of work come to life with three standout performances.
For many middle school students, this is their first taste of SBS theatre. Directors Cindy Blades, Claire Westmoreland and Sam Brown helped make the experience one our students will treasure for many years. From the auditions to the final curtain, our young actors enjoyed each moment.
“First, we went to auditions with everyone. It was really fun, but kind of scary since it was my first time,” said Caroline Lane ‘24, who played the role of Rafiki. “During auditions, I was really scared to sing, but Mrs. Westmoreland told us that she would sing with us if it would help us not be nervous.”
After the audition and callback process, the cast was set and rehearsals began! This time of bonding together as a cast is essential to capturing relational dynamics onstage. Spending time with classmates and meeting new ones who quickly become close friends are two things that our theatre students enjoy most about participating in musicals at SBS.
“My favorite part of the musical was making friends with the seventh graders and becoming closer friends with kids in my grade. I really enjoyed working with them and our directors to put on a great show,” said Lauren Schweers ‘23, who played the role of Nala. “Overall, the musical was so much fun and a great experience!”
“The tradition of the middle school musical at SBS is a well-orchestrated collaboration of the dedicated directors, dynamic parent volunteers, supportive faculty and coaches and enthusiastic seventh and eighth grade students,” stated Director of Arts Kathy Payne. She continued by saying, “Many of our cast members have waited years for their turn to take the stage and finally participating in the musical becomes a highlight of their middle school experience. After a standing ovation during curtain call, another memorable production left audiences wanting more from our exceptional theatre department. The smiles on our students’ faces proved they were having the time of their young lives, and a true love for theatre was born!”