Disney Theatrical Productions has announced that it is adding school versions of The Lion King to Music Theatre International's Broadway Junior Collection. The Lion King JR. (a 60-minute musical for middle-school students) and The Lion King KIDS (a 30-minute musical for elementary-school students) will be licensed exclusively to accredited elementary and middle schools. The titles are planned for distribution in January 2015.
Each license will include materials for teachers to help students learn about performance and stagecraft. The Lion King JR. and The Lion King KIDS Showkit will also feature expanded costume- and scene-design sections along with puppet and mask demonstrations.
"I am thrilled we can provide the JR. and KIDS versions of The Lion King to students around the globe for the very first time," said Thomas Schumacher, producer and president of Disney Theatrical Productions, in a statement. "The entire creative team of The Lion King got started in the theater as children and those early experiences went on to inform our collective careers, so we are excited to be able to extend the legacy of the stage to the next generation of theater makers and theatergoers."
In May, schools will be able to sign up with Music Theatre International to be notified as soon as The Lion King JR. and The Lion King KIDS titles become available in 2015.