Disney's The Lion King JR.
Introduce theatre to your classroom today! Explore, Create and Share the arts with this easy-to-use, multi-media program.
Show Essentials
17
Roles
+ Ensemble
G
Rated
1
Act

Full Synopsis

EXPLORE

A complete curriculum, including detailed lesson plans and corresponding student materials, allows you and your students to explore the varied aspects of theater: Acting, Design, Directing, Writing, Music and Dance.

Each session launches with a video introducing the day's theme through backstage access and on-screen instruction. After a teacher-facilitated, full class activity, students work in groups to solve a creative challenge, then share their work, reflect as a group and learn from one another.

As a holistic arts education program, The Lion King Experience fulfills many educational standards, including some Common Core State Standards and National Core Arts Standards.

CREATE

Apply what you've learned! Use the foundations of theatre-making, explored in the curriculum to rehearse, produce and build your own version of The Lion King – adapted and developed expressly for school students. A comprehensive ShowKit® provides all the materials you need to get started.

SHARE

See your hard work come to life on stage when your students put on the show! From acting and design, to creativity and collaboration, building a production allows your students to develop and experiment with a variety of skills that will stay with them long after the applause.

Includes a license to produce The Lion King JR., a 60-minute adaptation created especially for the strengths and skill level of middle school students (Shoe Synopsis Below), and an 18-session curriculum that explores fundamentals of theatre-making, including: ACTING, DESIGN, MUSIC, PLAYWRITING, CHOREOGRAPHY, DIRECTING, TECHNICAL THEATER and STAGE MANAGEMENT!

SHOW SYNOPSIS

RAFIKI gathers the ANIMALS of the Pridelands to welcome the newborn cub of King MUFASA and Queen SARABI ("Circle of Life with Nants' Ingonyama"). The king's jealous brother, SCAR, no longer heir to the throne, skips the ceremony, upsetting Mufasa. Time passes ("Grasslands Chant") and YOUNG SIMBA grows into a curious young lion. Mufasa explains the circle of life and that Young Simba will one day be king of the Pridelands. Young Simba shares this news with Scar, who encourages his nephew to visit the forbidden Elephant Graveyard. Young Simba finds his best friend, YOUNG NALA, hunting with SARAFINA and the LIONESSES ("The Lioness Hunt") and invites her on his adventure. Once they ditch their overbearing babysitter, ZAZU ("I Just Can't Wait to Be King"), the cubs encounter the ravenous SHENZI, BANZAI and ED in the graveyard. Mufasa arrives and pummels the hyenas then takes the cubs home. Scar emerges from the darkness to recruit the HYENAS in his murderous plan to become king ("Be Prepared"). Back in the Pridelands, Mufasa reprimands Young Simba then shares the guidance of their ancestors, up among the stars ("They Live in You").

Enacting his plan, Scar leaves Young Simba alone in the gorge and signals the hyenas to scare a herd of wildebeest ("The Stampede"). Scar alerts Mufasa, who leaps into the stampede to save his son. Mufasa rescues Young Simba, but Scar pushes his brother back into the gorge, where he is trampled. Scar blames Young Simba for the king's death and tells him to run away and never return. As Sarabi, Young Nala, Rafiki and the lionesses mourn the loss of Mufasa and Young Simba ("The Mourning"), Scar assumes the throne, uniting lions and hyenas under his dark reign. Lost in the desert, Young Simba meets TIMON and PUMBAA, who take him to their "worry-free" jungle home ("Hakuna Matata").

Under Scar's reign, the Pridelands are nearly destroyed. Now grown, NALA decides to leave and seek help ("Shadowland"). To her delight, she finds SIMBA alive in the jungle ("Can You Feel the Love Tonight"). Nala urges him to take his rightful place as king but, still ashamed, Simba refuses. Rafiki appears and helps Simba remember his father ("He Lives in You"). With newfound courage, Simba agrees to return to the Pridelands. Timon and Pumbaa distract the hyenas ("Luau Hawaiian Treat") while Nala rallies the lionesses. Simba confronts his uncle, the truth of Mufasa's murder is revealed and Scar runs away, pursued by angry hyenas. With peace restored in the Pridelands, Simba takes his place as king and the circle of life continues ("Finale").

Casting

Casting

Cast Size: Flexible
Cast Type: Children
Dance Requirements: Standard

Character Breakdown

Rafiki
A wise mandrill who acts as healer of the Pridelands and guides Simba on his journey home. She is an omniscient character, evincing an air of mystery. Rafiki has significant solos in "Circle of Life" and "He Lives in You," and leads the African chants throughout the show, so cast a confident performer with a strong singing voice.
Gender: female
Vocal range top: C5
Vocal range bottom: A3
Ensemble
The ensemble plays various inhabitants of the Pridelands, such as giraffes, elephants, antelopes, wildebeest, and other creatures you choose to include. This group can have as few or as many performers as your production permits. Be sure to cast many strong singers. There are also several moments to showcase individual dancers in "The Lioness Hunt" and "I Just Can't Wait to Be King."
Mufasa
The strong, honorable, and wise lion who leads the Pridelands. Mufasa should command respect onstage and also show tenderness with his son, Simba. Cast a mature actor who can convincingly portray the king.
Gender: male
Vocal range top: C5
Vocal range bottom: B3
Sarabi
A featured lioness, Mufasa's mate, and Simba's mother. Sarabi has a few key speaking lines for an actor who can deliver the care and command of a queen.
Gender: female
Zazu
The anxious yet loyal assistant to Mufasa who is always busy trying to do his duty. Zazu's lyrics are spoken rather than sung, and the role can be played by a boy or girl.
Gender: both
Scar
The antagonist of the show, overcome with jealousy of his brother, Mufasa, and nephew, Simba. Coldhearted and wickedly intelligent, he will stop at nothing to become king of the Pridelands. Cast a mature performer who can bring out this villain's dark side while handling Scar's sarcastic sense of humor. As his solos can be spoken, opt for an actor over a singer.
Gender: male
Vocal range top: A4
Vocal range bottom: A3
Young Simba
The protagonist of the story, is an adventurous and endearing cub who can't wait to be king of the Pridelands. Simba is playful, energetic, and naive, but after his father Mufasa's death, Simba struggles with shame and his destiny. Cast a strong singer and dynamic performer in this role.
Gender: male
Vocal range top: E5
Vocal range bottom: B3
Simba
Grows from a cub to lion in "Hakuna Matata." Older Simba has more complex moments as he reunites with Nala, mourns his father, and returns to confront Scar, so cast a more mature actor. Be sure that the change in actors is clear: Try having Young Simba hand-off a costume piece, such as a medallion, to older Simba. Also be sure that Simba and Young Simba share a movement vocabulary.
Gender: male
Vocal range top: E5
Vocal range bottom: B3
Lionesses
The fierce hunters of the Pridelands and featured in "The Lioness Hunt," "The Mourning," and "Shadowland." These actors should be strong singers, as the material can be challenging. Depending on the complexity of your choreography, particuarly for "The Lioness Hunt," strong dancers may be desirable as well.
Gender: female
Young Nala
A courageous lion and Young Simba's best friend. She is not afraid to speak her mind. While Young Nala does sing a little, look for a strong female performer who can portray this confident cub.
Gender: female
Vocal range top: C5
Vocal range bottom: A3
Nala
Grows from a cub to a lioness before she confronts Scar, so cast a more mature actress to play the character beginning in Scene 10, As with older Simba and Young Simba, ensure that this switch in actors performing a single role is clear. Direct the actors to share a mask or costume piece that distinctly represents Nala, as well as a movement vocabulary.
Gender: female
Vocal range top: E5
Vocal range bottom: G3
Sarafina
A featured lioness and Nala's mother. She has one short, spoken line, so consider giving this part to an actor who is putting in a lot of effort and hard work in rehearsal as a lioness.
Gender: female
Shenzi
One of Scar's hyenas who plot to take over the Pridelands. She is the sassy one of the trio and is always looking out for herself. With Banzai and Ed, she should be able to laugh loudly and long, as well as be menacing to Young Simba and Young Nala.
Gender: female
Banzai
A slick yet childish hyena who works for Scar. He would be the leader of the group if hyenas weren't so lazy. Look for an outgoing and confident actor who can portray nastiness and gruffness. As banzai is always featured with Shenzi and Ed, consider audit
Gender: male
Ed
The third member of Scar's trio of lackeys. He has a loud, cackling laugh that is his only form of communication. Ed should be played by an actor who can laugh unabashedly and communicate through physicality and facial expressions rather than words. This role can be played by a boy or girl.
Gender: both
Hyenas
Scar's army, helping carry out his evil plot to take over the Pridelands. Hyenas are mangy, mindless creatures who sing in "Be Prepared." Cast actors who are able to sing the background parts of that song while playing the loud and raucous characters. Your hyenas can double as animals of the Pridelands or lionesses.
Gender: both
Timon
An outcast meerkat who lives in the jungle with Pumbaa. He is afraid of his own shadow, but pretends to be the confident, relaxed leader of the duo. Timon is one of the funniest characters in the show and should be played by a charismatic actor who understands comic timing. This part can be played by a boy or a girl.
Gender: both
Vocal range top: B4
Vocal range bottom: B3
Pumbaa
A kindhearted, sensitive warthog who enjoys his simple life of grubs and relaxation. Cast a boy or girl who can portray this loveable and loyal friend to Timon and Simba with deadpan humor.
Gender: both
Vocal range top: G5
Vocal range bottom: D4
Full Song List
Circle of Life with Nants' Ingonyama
Grasslands Chant
The Lioness Hunt
I Just Can't Wait to Be King
Be Prepared
They Live in You
The Stampede
The Mourning
Hakuna Matata (Part 1)
Hakuna Matata (Part 2)
Shadowland
Can You Feel the Love Tonight
He Lives in You
Luau Hawaiian Treat
Finale
Bows

Connect

Curriculum Connection

SESSIONS AT A GLANCE: JR. Edition

Session 1: INTRODUCTION

Discover fundamentals of musical theatre, learn about jobs in the theatre, explore the characters and plot of The Lion King JR. and perform scenes.

Session 2: PRIDE

Explore the structure of The Lion King Experience, create an Ensemble Contract and develop a strong community.

Session 3: RHYTHM

Explore call and response, learn foundations of djembe drumming and create original rhythms.

Session 4: RITUAL

Understand the theatrical ritual of warming up, learn various physical and vocal warm-ups and create an Opening Ritual.

Session 5: STORY

Investigate the story of The Lion King, explore dramatic structure, experiment with adaptation and write in character voice.

Session 6: FOUNDATIONS

Learn the parts of the stage and experiment with foundational music, dance and acting concepts.

Session 7: PROCESS

Discover the audition, rehearsal and performance processes for The Lion King and bring them to life.

Session 8: OBJECTIVE

Explore characters objectives in The Lion King, investigate given circumstances and experiment with various acting techniques to perform strong objectives.

Session 9: CHARACTER

Explore various characters in The Lion King and develop strong characters through movement, improvisation and analysis.

Session 10: ENSEMBLE

Understand the importance of a strong ensemble in the theatre, and create original ensemble characters.

Session 11: VISION

Meet the director of The Lion King, explore the concept of a director's vision and create a directorial vision for The Lion King JR.

Session 12: IMAGE

Explore the design process, and discover how a director's vision can be realized through design. Create original mask, puppet and costume designs.

Session 13: TRANSITION

Understand the various transitions used in the theatre, and create original theatrical transitions through design, directing and performance.

Session 14: SPACE

Explore the use of space in the theatre, and use scene changes, set design and blocking to tell the story of The Lion King.

Session 15: SOUND

Explore the use of sound in the theatre, and experiment with microphones, Foley art and underscoring to create the aural world of The Lion King.

Session 16: ATMOSPHERE

Explore how atmosphere is created on stage, and use sound, lighting and movement to create atmosphere and mood for The Lion King.

Session 17: CUE

Discover how various people in the theatre work together to bring a show to life. Investigate the various cues that take place on stage, backstage and in the house.

Session 18: REFLECTION

Reflect on the various sessions and accomplishments of The Lion King Experience, and put everything together for a final performance.

Billing

Based on the Broadway production directed by Julie Taymor.

Requirements

You must give the authors/creators billing credits, as specified in the Production Contract, in a conspicuous manner on the first page of credits in all programs and on houseboards, displays and in all other advertising announcements of any kind.
Percentages listed indicate required type size in relation to title size.

Author Billing – Disney’s The Lion King JR

In accordance with the Dramatic Performing Rights License, all advertising, such as posters and program covers, must include the show logo as provided in the ShowKit® Director’s Guide and all of the following author billing.

It is a violation of your contract if you crop or edit this logo in any way. You may keep this page for your records.
 
[name of school]
Production of
[IMAGE HERE]
 
Music and Lyrics by
Elton John & Tim Rice
 
Additional Music and Lyrics by
Lebo M, Mark Mancina, Jay Rifkin,
and Hans Zimmer 
 
Book by
Roger Allers & Irene Mecchi
 
Based on the Broadway production directed by 
Julie Taymor
 

The name of your organization must be billed in the form specified above, including the words “Production of” below your billing, which shall be visually contiguous with the title, all so that the audience is informed that you are the producer. Your billing shall be no less than 50% of the size of the logo or artwork title, as measured by the proportion of the average size of their names to the largest letter in the logo or artwork title. The size of the credits to the authors (listed above) shall be no less than 20% of the artwork or logo title as measured by the proportion of the average size of your name to the largest letter in the logo or artwork title.

The following credits should be included with MTI billing:

Music Adapted & Arranged and Additional Music & Lyrics and
“Luau Hawaiian Treat” written by Will Van Dyke
 
“It’s a Small World” written by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman

Video Warning

If you purchase a separate license to allow non-commercial video recording of this production, you must print the following in your program. ANY VIDEO RECORDING MADE OF THIS PERFORMANCE IS AUTHORIZED FOR PERSONAL, AT-HOME, NON-COMMERCIAL USE ONLY. THE SALE OR DISTRIBUTION OF SUCH RECORDING IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED UNDER FEDERAL COPYRIGHT LAW. If you do not purchase the separate license for video recording, you must print the following in your program. The videotaping or other video or audio recording of this production is strictly prohibited

Included Materials

ItemQuantity Included

Production Resources

Resource
ACTOR'S BOOK TENPACK
CUSTOMIZABLE SHOW POSTERS
DJEMBE (DRUM - SINGLE PIECE)
FAMILY MATTERS
FAMILY MATTERS (PACK OF 10)
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK ADULT LARGE
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK ADULT MEDIUM
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK ADULT SMALL
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK ADULT X-LARGE
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK ADULT XX-LARGE
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK CHILD LARGE
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK CHILD MEDIUM
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK CHILD SMALL
PRIDE JOURNAL: LION KING EXPERIENCE
SPECIALTY SHIRT ADULT LARGE
SPECIALTY SHIRT ADULT MEDIUM
SPECIALTY SHIRT ADULT SMALL
SPECIALTY SHIRT AXL
SPECIALTY SHIRT AXXL
SPECIALTY SHIRT CHILD LARGE
SPECIALTY SHIRT CHILD MEDIUM
SPECIALTY SHIRT CHILD SMALL
STUDENT REHEARSAL CD
VIRTUAL STAGE MANAGER