- Business Advocacy
When they heard “Nants’ Ingonyama” April 5, grand opening took on a whole new meaning for the elementary students of All Souls World Language Catholic School. The production of Disney’s Lion King Kids marked the inaugural opening night for these budding performers, stagehands, and lighting and sound support company of students. Some performed the iconic roles of Simba, Nala, Pumbaa, Timon, and other memorable characters while other students played critical roles behind the scenes.
“We are so excited for our kids — they have learned so much through this musical theater experience by auditioning, learning lines, dance steps, and working together and supporting each other through the disciplined process that is live theater,” said Lisa Vazquez, a parent to three students at All Souls and co-chair of the All Souls Arts Committee for the parent-led theater production. “We appreciate the support of the school administration, teachers and families — this has been a learning experience for all of us and, based on the quality of the show and the excitement of the performers and the entire school, it has proved a worthwhile investment. Our children will never forget this experience and have gotten so much from it that they can apply in their approach to their studies now and careers in the future.”
Kristina Leopold Jarvis directed the show based on her professional experience playing Nala in Hong Kong Disneyland’s The Festival of the Lion King. “I have had the privilege of growing up alongside this wonderful story that teaches us about the wonderment of a child, the toxicity of envy, the pains of loss, the freedom of letting go, the difficulty in forgiveness, the courage to face your fears, and the strength that comes with remembering who you are,” she said. “I am extremely thankful for this dedicated cast of storytellers, as each one brings a unique perspective to the story.”
A number of parents and children at All Souls designed a safari of costumes and meticulously hand-sculpted and laser-cut animal head pieces. Many children were also involved in creating props authentic to the story and the theatrical presentation. “Creative arts activities such as this foster growth and development in many aspects of our children’s education,” said Claudia Lucio, parent and co-chair of the All Souls Arts Committee.
The musical was presented on a set designed, constructed, and painted by parents. “This show is an amazing testament to the dedication of our school families to their children’s learning experience and the collective skill and professionalism our students’ parents model in every parent-led effort at our school,” said Dr. Carrie Fuller, principal at All Souls World Language Catholic School.
The play ran for three nights at the school campus located at 29 S. Electric Ave., Alhambra. For more information about All Souls’ dual language programs in English/Spanish or English/Mandarin, visit allsoulsla.org, or call 626-282-5695.