The Durand School Performing Arts, under the direction of Mrs. Kimberly Kell, would like to present their version of The Lion King...The Pandemic Way. For the past 33 years, Mrs. Kell has produced the Durand school musical each Spring. Due to the pandemic last year, the 2020 show was cancelled. When coming into this year, the prospect of doing the show was still not looking good. Mrs. Kell had a vision and presented it to her principal, Mr. Greco and vice principal, Mrs. Tomlin. With that, they encouraged her to pursue her vision. Mrs. Kell states, “The arts are an essential part of learning for all children. This pandemic has isolated students and they have withdrawn from social interactions.” Mrs. Kell knew she was not able to have students perform on a stage or have many students gathered together so she recreated the story. She wrote the script in a narrative format, having students telling the story and some performing their character’s songs. She held Google meet rehearsals with groups and individual students. Students involved in the show were both hybrid and virtual, and they consisted of all 5th graders. The parents of these students played a big role and were very supportive. This could not have been done without their help and encouragement. Using iMovie, Mrs. Kell was able to bring her vision to life. Scheduling individual students to video their parts was a challenge, but with the cooperation of all the 5th grade teachers, and parents, everything fell into place. The story of The Lion King shares a beautiful message, and perhaps now, more than ever, the message truly resonated. We need to remember who we are so let us rejoice, celebrate our lives with those who have gone before us and who have impacted our lives and always remember that we are all connected in the great circle of life. The cast is one that brought forth the empowerment of love, support, hard work, and dedication to the production of “The Lion King...The Pandemic Way." The talented cast included: Simba Bryson Mendibles-Evans, Timon Bella Eubanks, Pumbaa Alix Paz Aquino, Scar David Valentin, Shenzi Bre’Nasia Days, Musfasa Demont Parker, Rafiki Genesis Gonzalez, Rafiki Tareek Williams, Rafiki Juliana Auger, Narrator Regan VanOsten-Ferrarie, & Narrator Jimmy Figueroa.
Mrs. Kell and the cast hope you enjoy the show and know that all things are possible...even in a pandemic. Hakuna Matata!
Click the link below to watch the show!