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Art Students Present "The Lion King Jr"

lion king

‘The Lion King Jr.’
7 p.m. March 15
St. Augustine Amphitheatre

Disney’s “The Lion King, Jr” will be presented at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre on Tuesday, March 15 at 7PM. Students from the St. Johns County Center for the Arts at Murray Middle School will perform in the musical as the dancers, the familiar characters and chorus.

New York City singer and actor Gregory Sheppard will play Mufasa, the king of Pride Rock. Sheppard has performed operatic roles and made singing appearances with symphony orchestras and chamber ensembles in the United States and Europe, including the New York City Opera, San Francisco Opera, Philadelphia Opera, the Savonlinna Opera (Finland) and Vienne Festival (Austria).

The show is directed by drama instructor JoAnn Kirby Nance, with music direction by choral instructor Frank Schmidt. Dance instructors Carole Dickens and Catie Burkhardt are the choreographers.

“Choreographing for musicals is very different than creating works for a dance concert. I always have to take into consideration where the actors will be and the singers, and location of set and scenery. I think that Catie is doing the most challenging pieces — the hyenas and lionesses!” Carole Dickens said.

“Catie and I are both choreographing ‘Just Can’t Wait to be King’ in classic Disney style. Everyone is familiar with the song and I’m sure the crowd will love it,” Dickens said.

Morgan Kelly, who has a background in educational theater and puppetry, is working to create the enormous elephants, giraffes and other animals on stage in the show. Kelly was instrumental in designing and building the big elephant, a baby elephant and the birds in the show, including the narrator, Zazu.

“I am not aiming to mimic the Broadway musical, but rather being inspired by it,” Kelly explained. “Puppets are magical. They add a very special imaginative element to any show. People of all ages respond to puppets using their imagination.”

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students/children.

Tickets are available online at showtix4u.com. Tickets are also available at the door one hour before the performance.

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