Disney Theatrical Group has announced that it will now be licensing The Lion King Experience, a unique holistic arts education program that gives accredited elementary and middle schools the opportunity to produce condensed, age-appropriate JR. and KIDS adaptations of The Lion King. The licensing will be done exclusively through Music Theatre International's (MTI) Broadway Junior Collection.
In addition to a license to perform either The Lion King JR. — a 60-minute version for middle school students — or The Lion King KIDS — a 30-minute musical for elementary school students — The Lion King Experience features a rigorous curriculum designed to introduce teachers and students to a wide range of theatrical skills. Before mounting their productions, teachers and students will examine theatrical processes before applying the skills they've learned to the stage.
This new venture marks the first time any long-running hit musical has released a specially created version for elementary and middle school students while the original show is still playing on Broadway.
"I am thrilled we can provide The Lion King Experience to students around the globe," said Thomas Schumacher, producer and president of Disney Theatrical Group. "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."
The Lion King Experience was workshopped at Harlem School of the Arts in 2012, and further developed in pilot productions at schools in the U.S., U.K., and Germany. Each license comes with a ShowKit and curriculum materials. The ShowKit includes fully orchestrated and professionally recorded rehearsal and accompaniment CDs; a choreography and demonstration DVD; a resources disc with program, budget, and poster templates, among other tools; a full-color director's guide with an annotated script; 30 actor's scripts with interpolated sheet music; a piano vocal score; and 30 Family Matters booklets, intended to integrate parents into the theatrical process. The ShowKit also features expanded costume and scene design sections, along with puppet and mask demonstrations.
The Lion King, based on Disney's 1994 animated musical, opened on Broadway November 13, 1997, at the New Amsterdam Theatre, and earned six Tony Awards. Now the fourth longest-running show in Broadway history, the production is currently playing at the Minskoff Theatre.
For tickets to The Lion King, click here.
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