Triad to Get More Lion King
Aycock Middle students show off their new materials to perform "The Lion King Jr."
Image courtesy of Guilford County Schools
Simba must love it here in the Triad. On the heels of the Community Theatre of Greensboro (CTGSO) production of The Lion King Jr., Guilford County Schools Aycock Middle’s choral department recently learned that they received a $4,000 grant to perform the popular musical.
CTGSO was the first community theater in the country to receive the rights to perform The Lion King Jr. as well as host The Lion King Jr. Experience, which engaged the cast, crew and community in a series of pre-show workshops that focused on everything from African mask making to dance and culture as they worked toward creating and enriching a meaningful theatrical experience on stage, off stage and within the audience. The CTGSO run was so successful, additional performances were added to accommodate demand.
Similarly, thanks to a grant from Music Theatre International, Aycock Middle’s choral department will receive not only the rights to the production, but an immersive curriculum that fulfills many of the Common Core State Standards. The school will receive African Djembe’ drums to bring the production to life and an 18-session curriculum that explores the fundamentals of acting, design, music, drumming, playwriting, choreography, directing, technical and stage management.
“I am so proud we are able to give our students the opportunity to produce and perform a production of this caliber,” says Mark Maltby, chorus teacher at Aycock Middle, who wrote the grant. “On top of that, our students are excited about producing a show based on the story they already know and love.”
Work on the production is already underway, with public performances planned for April. To ensure the musical is the best it can be, the department is also applying for grants to pay for additional costumes, lighting and sound.