Kennedy Middle School Drama Teacher Pilots Theater Curriculum for Disney’s “Lion King, Jr!”

Exciting projects are afoot at Kennedy Middle School in their theater department!  Under the direction of Casey Lane, the program has been granted elite permission to pilot the Disney Jr. version of the “Lion King” production.

Lane, who attended the national theater conference AATE in Bethesda,  Maryland, this summer, ended up gaining the coveted ability to pilot seventeen 4- minute lessons developed around the “Lion King Jr.  The course is designed as a survey of theater/intro to theater course dealing with all aspects performance, costumes, mask, production, voice, movement.  This show is not available for use with schools at this time as it is still running in professional shows in high rotation.

A typical lesson in the curriculum includes a warm up using  African rhythms and drumming based on the work of the show.  A  video component is then used to  introduce a concept or idea that is done in 3 “prides” or groups of students.   Each group has a “challenge” for the day and they deal with the stage, performance, craft of theater and connection to the outside world within each challenge.  Each lesson has a sharing component where the prides share what they have investigated, and ends with a “ritual.”  This experience bonds the classes, exposes the students to all aspects of theater and to music and video of African music.  It’s a comprehensive arts experience that is truly innovative and exciting for our students.  Thanks, Mr. Casey!

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