Dolores Huerta Elementary School Produces First-Ever Musical with “The Lion King KIDS”
Students at Dolores Huerta Elementary School will perform the school’s first-ever musical when they star in “The Lion King KIDS.” Parents and the Fort Worth ISD community are encouraged to attend this one-time performance at 6 p.m., Thursday, May 25, at the school. “The Lion King KIDS” provides Dolores Huerta Elementary School students with an opportunity to participate in a full-scale musical production usually reserved for students in secondary school.
The school received a grant with the rights to perform “The Lion King KIDS” through Disney’s “The Lion King Experience,” a program with a multi-media curriculum designed to introduce elementary teachers and students to a wide range of theatrical skills. The musical will feature 23 students in third, fourth, and fifth grades in full costume. Cast members auditioned for their roles and were chosen by an audition committee. Students are rehearsing twice a week with Director/Music Director Kayla Noriega Gutierrez and Choreographer Teresa Warnes. A student design team, led by art teacher Yolanda Darden, created all props, scenery, and masks.
Ms. Gutierrez said students have dedicated themselves to every part of the production.
“The kids have worked very hard and I know it would mean a lot to them to have an appreciative audience to witness the debut of our musical.”
The “Lion King KIDS” musical features classic songs from the 1994 film, including “Hakuna Matata” and the Academy Award®-winning “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” as well as additional songs composed for the Broadway production.
The student musical is aligned with the District mission of preparing all students for success in college, career, and community leadership. Musicals and other theatre activities can impact students’ growth in several areas. Students who participate in theatre develop confidence, learn the value of teamwork, and work to solve problems as a team. Students take personal responsibility for memorizing their lines and parts of the show because they understand the entire production depends on each student’s contribution.
“The Lion King KIDS” also supports 100X25FWTX, the District’s goal of ensuring 100% of third grade students read on grade level or above by 2025. When students read scripts, memorize lines, and learn songs, they are working toward language fluency, pronunciation, and language proficiency.
“The students working on the musical have had a chance to grow musically, of course, but also as people,” Ms. Gutierrez said. “I have watched them grow more confident, learn to work together and solve problems, and take responsibility for memorizing lines, song lyrics, and choreography.”
For more information about “The Lion King KIDS,” contact Kayla Noriega Gutierrez, 817-814-4400.