For over nine months, the Harlem School of the Arts (HSA) has worked with Disney Theatrical Group to develop adaptations of Disney's musical The Lion King for young performers. Aubrey Lynch is an original cast member and former associate producer of the Broadway production, and he has been overseeing HAS's workshop presentations of Disney Theatrical Group's newest in-development musical for young people. This process has become a vehicle for HSA to further its mission and develop a fifth discipline, musical theatre.
During January 2012, over 150 children ages 8 - 13 auditioned to participate in a student-focused workshop to discover whether young children could sing in Zulu, learn the choreography and illuminate the story, while exploring African cultures and the world performance traditions celebrated in the award-winning stage production. As part of the project, HSA students have the unparalleled experience of working with actual cast members of Broadway's The Lion King.
"Working on this project was an absolutely amazing experience," said Lynch. "I am honored to have been a part of creating the original Broadway version of this musical and to have led the creative team in opening the show in ten other countries. Reliving this experience with our HSA students was profound, and it has helped in transforming the school and its community. I am grateful for this gift."
Disney's The Lion King KIDS/JR. Presentation plays tonight, May 31, 2012, tomorrow, June 1, 2012 and June 2, 2012 at 7:00PM at The Harlem School of the Arts, located at 645 St. Nicholas Avenue at 141st Street, New York, NY.
In 1964, internationally acclaimed concert soprano Dorothy Maynor, brought a gift to Harlem – her fervent belief that world-class training in the arts stimulates the child, strengthens the family and gives pride of ownership to a community. After nearly a half-century, the mission of the Harlem School of the Arts (HSA) continues to enrich the lives of young people and their families in Harlem and the greater New York City area through unrivaled on-site instruction, essential partnerships with NYC schools, presenting community concerts, performances and programs, and providing workspaces for aspiring artists. HSA stands apart among the major arts institutions in New York City, as the sole provider of arts education in 4 disciplines - music, dance, theater and visual arts – in an award-winning 37,000 square foot facility nestled at the base of Harlem's histoRic Hamilton Heights district.
HSA offers its students access to the arts and the freedom to discover and develop the artist and citizen within themselves in an environment that emphasizes rigorous training, stimulates creativity, builds self-confidence, and adds a dimension of beauty to their lives, empowering them to become the creative thinkers and innovative leaders of tomorrow. For more, visit www.hsanyc.org.
DISNEY THEATRICAL GROUP (DTG) operates under the direction of Thomas Schumacher and is among the world's most successful commercial theatre enterprises, bringing live entertainment events to a global annual audience of more than 19 million people in more than 50 countries. Under the Disney Theatrical Productions banner, the group produces and licenses Broadway musicals around the world, including Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Elton John & Tim Rice's Aida, TARZAN®, Mary Poppins, a co-production with Cameron Mackintosh, and The Little Mermaid. Their two new shows opened on Broadway this season, receiving 17 Tony® Award nominations between them: the breakout new American musical Newsies, now playing on Broadway at the Nederlander Theatre, and Peter and the Starcatcher, at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre. Other successful stage musical ventures have included King David in concert, the national tour of On The Record, several touring versions of Disney's High School Musical, Der Glöckner Von Notre Dame in Berlin, and the premiere stage adaptation of Aladdin at 5th Avenue Theatre.