The Lion King Roars!

By Reed Gabhart, Head of Goshen Campus

I hope you were able to catch one of our performances of the 4th/5th grade play, The Lion King KIDS, this week! And that may have been difficult as both public showings sold out in advance online! Lower School music teacher Kim Rash really outdid herself this time, creating a beautiful version of this heartwarming and now classic tale. And I was also impressed at how our 4th and 5th grade parents answered the call to help out! The costumes they made and stage scenery were simply awesome! The first time I saw the “sun” on the back wall, my mouth dropped. Kim also had wonderful support from teachers Joanne Brock, our make-up queen; Judy Riendeau, with set painting; and 4th and 5th grade teachers Sarah Dewberry and Billy Spalding. I even got to make a cameo as a crazed wildebeest who hoisted Mufasa – Ben Rutherford – up in the air – and wrenched my back in the process! I had no idea Ben weighed 200 pounds! This was a wonderful experience our students won’t soon forget and just makes us all the more anxious to see our new theater come to fruition so we’ll have even more stage space for our wonderful productions. Kim, you certainly made us “Feel the Love” with this show! 

Also this week, Julie Mushkin and I took the cast and crew of A Midsummer Night’s Dream on a field trip to see Hamlet at Stage One Family Theater at the Kentucky Center’s Bomhard Theater! We were joined by the high school seniors, making it a very cool cross-campus experience. The kids absolutely loved the spectacle of Shakespearean tragedy and applauded loudly at the end when Claudius finally got his just desserts. With the combination of a ghostly spectre, Ophelia going mad, the “To Be or Not To Be” monologue, a fencing duel, and some madcap comic relief, this was truly a powerful presentation. When we came back to campus, I thought we’d debrief on the show for 10-15 minutes with the kids, but it quickly stretched into a 30 minute discussion! They had wonderful questions (“Why did they dress in modern clothes?”) and observations, and were able to draw connections to the language in our current spring production of Midsummer. And to bring all of this full “Circle,” they also were aware of the parallels between The Lion King and Hamlet! Our students comported themselves like perfect “gentles,” naturally, and Julie and I were very proud of their behavior and takeaway on this fantastic field trip.

Have a wonderful Winter Break!