Lion King Jr. director Sarona Mynhardt, a South African-born and trained teacher of music, choirs and director of musicals and plays with a string of accolades to her credit. She has an amazing rapport with children and brings that quality and all her skills to the Community Arts Council’s presentation of this classic Broadway production geared to youth. Contributed photo

Local Arts Council is presenting the junior version of the Lion King

Auditions will be held at the beginning of Spring Break on March 17

The Quesnel and District Community Arts Council is presenting a junior version of The Lion King, a fantastic musical theatre event that will engage about 30 youth actors ages eight to 18 and several volunteers to help launch the production.

Internationally acclaimed director Sarona Mynhardt and her daughter, Maderi Mynhardt, will provide master quality choreography for the production.

The Lion King Jr. tells the classic tale and features songs from the 1994 film, such as ‘Hakuna Matata’ and the Academy Award-winning ‘Can You Feel the Love Tonight’, as well as additional songs penned for the Broadway production.

Auditions will be held at the beginning of spring break, on March 17 in the West Fraser Timber Room of the Arts and Recreation Centre from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Mynhardts will be in town and will make the casting decisions that afternoon, with the chosen cast beginning work at 10 a.m. on March 18 and working through the week until the following Saturday.

Anyone wishing to audition should fill out a commitment form and be prepared to tell their name and why they wish to be a part of the project, sing a short song and be prepared to do a short dance sequence with a group of fellow auditioners, led by Maderi. Comfortable clothing that is easy to move in is recommended.

The Arts Council encourages all those interested to come to the auditions and try out. Even if you aren’t cast in the production, the experience is well worth the effort.

“As we need to have the commitment for the two weeks, beginning July 2, the performances July 12-15, as well as spring break, we realize many people would love to be a part but may have holidays planned,” says Arts Council’s Cathy Heinzelman.

“Unfortunately, the actor needs to make sure they do not miss even one rehearsal.”

The Arts Council will also be looking for volunteers to assist with sets, make-up, lights and costuming. There will be a sign-up sheet at auditions for this.

The Mynhardts have presented this musical before and have costumes, as well as parts of sets and props, so there will be a minimum of work to transform Correlieu Secondary School’s stage into the African Serengeti.

The Quesnel and District Arts Council is providing most of the money for the costs of this theatre project: however, participants will be required to pay a relatively small fee of $200 for the three-week rehearsal schedule and the performances.

“We will accept donations from the public to sponsor any youth who may be selected for the cast to assist with their costs,” Heinzelman says.

“This once-in-a-lifetime theatre opportunity will provide the cast with acting and dance training from the team of consulate professionals. They will also learn certain Swahili words, experience fabulous make-up and costuming, as well as hone their skills working in a theatre troupe and performing on stage.”

Once the cast is chosen, scripts and music will be given out and dance steps will be learned. Then each actor must practice through April, May and July in preparation for the final two-week rehearsal schedule with the Mynhardts beginning July 2.

For further information, contact Heinzelman at 250-747-3864 or Colleen Brines at 250-747-2207.

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