• Bob Vlach, Woodford Sun Staff

Northside students get to perform ‘Lion King’ – a year later

Being able to produce a virtual performance of “The Lion King” for

audiences was important to Northside Elementary School music teacher

Erin Casimir because “it feels like something semi-normal in not a

normal year,” she said.

Doing a stage production in a different way, with her cast’s voices

recorded in advance of last week’s video taping of their performance,

was embraced by Casimir’s students too.

“It’s very exciting … and it’s really fun to do,” said Caroline Glass,

10. The fourth-grader’s music teacher made many of the costumes for the

cast and hers “resembles Rafiki from the movie a lot,” she said.

Third-grade student Anne Katherine Lester, who portrays Young Simba,

described the costumes as unique. That word could also describe what she

and other students have gained from being a part of this musical. “It’s

a lot different than it would usually be, but … it’s still fun,” said

Anne Katherine, 9.

Bryan Dowell and Jeff Ison, who both work for Studio 46 in Lexington,

will edit and assemble “The Lion King” video for Northside Elementary,

Casimir said. Their wife and mom, respectively, work at Northside, she


Audiences can see “The Lion King” on Thursday, May 20, Friday, May 21,

and Saturday, May 22, at 6:30 p.m., and Saturday, May 22, at 2 p.m.

Tickets for the livestream shows may be purchased at

showtix4u.com/events/NSlionkingkids for $5 each.

Casimir said Northside already had the licensing to do “The Lion King

KIDS,” a 30-minute version of the Disney classic, so it made financial

sense to do the production this spring. Music Theatre International

extended all licensing for a year, she added.

Fifth-grader Iris Divine, who plays adult Nala, described not being able

to do “The Lion King” last year as a sad memory. “I’m actually grateful

that we got to do it this year,” she said.

Casimir said song recordings for the upcoming performances were

completed in six small groups of four students each in her classroom.

The cast of 26 students auditioned from home – virtually – with

videotaped recordings of themselves singing a song and script reading,

she said.

With tears in her eyes, Casimir reflected on the day she told those

students, “People said we couldn’t do live theater during this

(pandemic), and we proved them wrong. We did it. So, I’m proud of them.”

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