The Rose Children’s Theatre is busy this fall, first with “Schoolhouse Rock Live!” and then “Disney’s Lion King Jr,” both onstage at the Wildish Community Theater

(Above: The Rose Children’s Theatre production of “Disney’s Lion King JR,” which opens Oct. 27, features, left to right, Miles Griffith as Simba, Brennan Connelly as Scar and Maren Nixon as Nala; photos by Jane Kovash)

By Randi Bjornstad

“Schoolhouse Rock!” was an Emmy Award-winning TV cartoon show that aired on Saturday mornings in the 1970s, using music and movement to teach young children the ins-and-outs of grammar, mathematics, history, science and even politics.

The Rose Children’s Theatre presents “Schoolhouse Rock Live! JR” with a cast of elementary school students from around Lane County

Now “Schoolhouse Rock Live! JR” is a fast-paced musical that does the same thing onstage with real kids. The nonprofit Rose Children’s Theatre production of the show just opened and runs through Oct. 15 at the Wildish Community Theater in downtown Springfield.

The cast includes elementary school students from throughout Lane County, under the direction of Rebekah Hope, Wayne Strong and Lyn Burg.

Once that’s done, the theater turns its attention to “Disney’s Lion King JR,” which also will be performed at the Wildish Community Theater, from Oct. 27 through Nov 5.

Simba’s best friend from childhood, the lioness Nala, is played by Maren Nixon in The Rose Children’s Theatre’s “Disney’s Lion King JR”

The full-fledged coming-of-age musical is the third-longest show ever to run on Broadway and has been seen worldwide by 90 million people.

The Rose Children’s Theatre’s “Disney’s Lion King JR” version, recreated for youthful actors, has a 55-member cast of middle school students from throughout the county. It’s based on the original version by Julie Taymor, with music and lyrics by Elton John and Tim Rice, with book (script) by Roger Allers and Irene Mecchi.

Dody Hansen, Chris Dobson, Adam Kelly and Lyn Burg are in charge of the local production.

The Rose Children’s Theatre has been providing children and their families with the opportunity to participate in live stage productions since 1978.

Schoolhouse Rock Live! JR

When: 7 p.m. on Oct. 13 and 2 p.m. on Oct. 14-15

Where: Wildish Community Theatre, 630 Main St. in downtown Springfield

Tickets: $9 for students, $12 for adults, available at the door or in advance at therct.com/tickets/

Information: 458-215-0220 or therct.com

 

Disney’s Lion King JR

When: 7 p.m. on Oct. 27-28 and Nov. 3-4; and at 2 p.m. on Oct. 29 and Nov. 4-5

Where: Wildish Community Theatre, 630 Main St. in downtown Springfield

Tickets: $9 for students, $12 for adults, available at the door or in advance at therct.com/tickets/

Information: 458-215-0220 or therct.com

 

 

Randi Bjornstad

Has more than 30 years' journalism experience after a previous stint as a land-use planner. Got first rejection slip at age 11, but the editor wrote an encouraging note. Lives in Eugene, Ore., with husband-and-photographer Paul Carter, adorable dog Tallulah and quirky cats Pearl, Audrey, Garbo, Harry and Ozma.

randi has 160 posts and counting.See all posts by randi

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