The Wee Actors Guild, a youth division of Manchester’s Millennium Repertory Company, will present “Disney’s The Lion King, Jr.,” at the Manchester Arts Center May 10 through 19.
Based on the animated film and stage play written by Elton John and Tim Rice, the story follows a curious lion cub named Simba as he struggles to accept the responsibilities of adulthood, guided home to his destiny by a wise mandrill named Rafiki.
“The African savannah comes to life on the stage of the Manchester Arts Center,” said Millennium Repertory Company Managing Director Joel Longstreth. “Join Simba, Rafiki and an unforgettable cast of characters as they journey from Pride Rock to the jungle and back again, in this inspiring coming-of-age tale.”
The 60-minute show for young actors is directed by Hope Petty and April Glosson-Smith, assisted by music director Kathy Damewood.
“‘The Lion King Jr.’ is the biggest show that I have directed,” Petty said. “We have 67 kids in our cast, ages 5 to 12 years old.”
Petty enjoyed being part of the process.
“I love watching the kids throughout our rehearsals grow in their confidence on stage,” Petty said. “I believe every child, despite their experience or training level, has something unique and beautiful to contribute to the arts.”
One of her favorite aspects was seeing the children’s acting skills develop.
“My job is to encourage them in developing a presence on stage that only they can give,” Petty said. “‘The Lion King’ is iconic and, with the new movie coming out this fall, this is a great way to introduce those kids who have never seen the animated movie to ‘The Lion King’.”
Show times and ticket information
“Disney’s The Lion King, Jr.” opened Friday. A matinee performance will be staged at 2 p.m. today, May 12, and additional performances are set for next weekend at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, May 17 and 18 and 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 19.
The Millennium Repertory Company’s homeschool program cast will stage a 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday, May 18. The homeschool program cast will also be performing the show for area schools the week of May 13.
Tickets are $5 for students and children and $10-$12 for adults.
To purchase tickets visit www.millenniumrep.org or call 931-570-4489.
The Arts Center is located at 128 E Main St., Manchester.
Upcoming MAC shows
“Newsies,” a production of the Teen Actors Guild, is coming the MAC’s stage Aug. 2-11.
“Much Ado About Nothing” will be presented Sept. 6-15.
“A Streetcar Named Desire” is coming to the MAC stage Oct. 4-13.
“My Fair Lady” will be presented Nov. 15-24.
Elena Cawley may be reached via email at email@example.com.