Having a roarin’ good time preparing for the Lion King Jr.


Spencer Litteral

Hakuna Matata! The Lion King kids learn the dance they performed at the end of their audition. Those auditioning needed to show range vocally, emotionally, and physically. "It's not just about math and science, while those are important, but some creative things are more important too," says first time drama participant, Maria Steiling.

Sadie Scott, Editor-in-Chief

After successfully pulling off the popular musical Annie last year, Meridian Middle School is ready to present another challenging production in March, The Lion King.

“…I thought it’d be a popular one because all the students know The Lion King, and it seems like they’re very interested in it,” says musical director, Mrs. Dowd. Choosing shows for younger actors involves taking into account age-appropriateness and interest from actors.

“Actually, I go by the direction of Mrs. Dowd on her assistance in figuring out music that would be appropriate for the middle school kids… The Lion King just seemed like a fun one,” says Mr. Pekovitch, director.

Although choosing a show can be difficult, casting is said to be one of the harder aspects of presenting a musical. Both directors agreed one of the biggest challenges was finding out who will be able to meet the demanding vocals featured in the show.

“I think the hardest part is probably finding the really strong singers for our main roles, but I think we’ll be able to get that just fine,” says Dowd. “I obviously look at talent in singing, if they can sing with a lot of volume, if they can stay on pitch.”

Another problem faced is emotionally handling actors who get denied the parts for which they auditioned.

“[One of the hardest parts is] helping to make sure that the kids will realize that just because they didn’t necessarily get the character they wanted, that they’re still a vital part of each part [of the show],” adds Pekovitch.

One returning actor, 8th grader Ellie Fitzpatrick, says, “I hope to pass on [to the younger actors] that acting is fun.” She says she wants people to realize acting’s not something you should do because you’re in a show, but because acting is something to be enjoyed.

New to the drama this year is Camryn Brown, 6th grade, who says she wants to let the other new members know, “It’s not as scary as you think it is. It’s just really fun to have fun with your friends and express yourself.”