Hakuna Matata and Eighth Graders

Eighth graders from Urban Promise’s Camden Forward School got a chance to “hakuna matata” or to “chill out” with “The Lion King” this week. Sitting at the top of the ampitheatre mountain of the Academy of Music, they experienced Simba’s progression into manhood together with about 1500 other people. They sat riveted to the tiny stage below as the voices and images wafted up, wrapped around and lifted each one to the plains of Africa. An interactive happening better than the computer, i-pod or TV. Magical in the impact they described at school the next day.

Art teacher, Julie Kring-Schriefels had briefed them about Julie Taymour’s artistry and had them start to create their own masks. We will post the results as soon as they’re completed.

Two younger students who had sung songs from the show at a recent school recital accompanied the eighth graders. Everyone had seen the Disney film. They knew the story backwards and forwards and yet it was new to them. That is what live theatre does for people:  it speaks to the immediacy of the moment and their involvement in it.

When the huge elephant, shown in the above picture, lumbered through the orchestra seating, gasps could be heard throughout the theatre. Up in the ampitheatre it took a while for us to see it. What a thrill!

Four years ago, Art Aware took students from Molina School to a production of “The Lion King.”

We hope to do it again for yet more students when it comes to Philadelphia again! It never gets old and it’s an experience of a lifetime!

One Response to “Hakuna Matata and Eighth Graders”

  1. margaret rose Says:

    how great that the kids could go to the theater. there is nothing like the real thing


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