The Lion King Jr - April 07 - April 15, 2018

DMR Adventures

 End Notes 

A Note from the Director:


The Lion King is iconic both as a film and Broadway production. When the process for this show began, I was keenly aware of the expectations for a production of The Lion King Jr. However, large animal puppets and elaborate sets aren't always the right choice for every production. I began from a place that emphasized the story, which is a universal one that has been told countless times through history, literature, and film. From this, I came up with the idea of creating a production that was impressionistic. 
With the enormous help of our costume and make-up team, we created a vision for the cast to do more abstract impressions of the animals throughout the show, rather than pretending to be animals. This was helped along by the idea to costume the kids in more human clothing, but keep the makeup animal-like. It proved to be a wonderful challenge for the cast.
As anyone who has worked with children can tell you, they can be delightfully literal. As the team developed this idea of non-literal costumes, it naturally followed that the movement would only be suggestive of animal traits. Convincing the cast that they could do these repetitive, modern movements and still represent their assigned animal was an educational experience for everyone involved. The kids caught on quickly and were soon throwing all of their energy into the rehearsal for "Circle of Life."  They really began to fully grasp the concept once the entire production began to come together.
I wanted to continue with this idea of creating impressions even with the set and props. Because of the limits of our space, the team knew that the set should be static without much movement or many set changes. This allows the cast to focus on their individual and ensemble performances, and encourages the audience to focus on the story. We continued the conceptual theme even down to the props. This is where the cast has really grown from expecting literal items that have been listed in the script to treating the objects we gave them as representations and ideas. The cast has really taken to the concept and I believe it has allowed them to stretch their idea of what a theatrical production can be.
-Celena Cox
A Note from the Producing Artistic Director:
Professional and personal obligations required that I step away from The Lion King, Jr. for most of the rehearsal process. I knew that we needed an exceptional team to take on this beloved story, and I am thrilled to have found just the right fit for our production. I'm so proud of the vision and creativity of our director and creative team and thankful for the dedication of our staff and the dozens of volunteers who have brought this show to life. It has been a joy to see the students build confidence, creativity, and friendships throughout this process. 
Thank you to the entire DMR Family and to our incredible audiences for your support!
-Melissa Charles

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