The Lion King, an original animated Disney movie, was released in 1994 and then took the Broadway stage by storm in 1997. The story itself is heartwarming enough, but seeing the characters come to life on stage is an unforgettable experience for many. Thankfully, on June 7th and June 8th of 2019, the Belmont Community was able to have this live theatre experience when forty-two students from Belmont Charter School’s Out-of-School Time Program wowed audiences with performances of The Lion King Jr., under the incredible vision and leadership of Ms. Folashade Forman-Bey, who directed the entire production and choreographed fifteen beautifully mesmerizing, original dance numbers. From the opening moment when Rafiki takes center stage, until the finale as Simba regally takes his place on Pride Rock, the audience was in amazement. Over the course of six months, the students sacrificed their Saturdays, after-school time, and even spring break to prepare and rehearse for this production. Their sacrifice enabled the students to put on a performance that exemplified true talent, art, and creativity! They were given the opportunity to shine, and they took this opportunity and shined their brightest!
We are very thankful for all of the Staff who worked with Ms. Folashade and made this production possible! Special thanks to Creative Designer, Mrs. Sharon Hundley-Smith (“Mama Sharon”) who designed and hand-crafted stage props and original costumes for every actor and Puppeteer Mr. Sean Glass, who created larger-than-life puppets for Timon, Pumbaa, and several other, “jungle creatures.” Mama Sharon and Mr. Glass used their artistic creativity and skill to bring every one of the characters to life! Each character had unique and unforgettable features that left the audiences in awe; Theatre and Acting Coach (and Ms. Folashade’s mother!), Mrs. Rashida Forman-Bey (“Mama Rashida”) who travelled from Baltimore, MD to coach the students and develop them into stage-ready actors; Mr. Sherman, whom Ms. Folashade has named her, “Executive Director.” Mr. Sherman sacrificed Saturdays, many weeknights, and spring break to make sure that the building was open for the students to rehearse, and assisted in many capacities to help rehearsals and performances run smoothly. Special thanks to Mr. Brian Quinn and his OST Woodshop Crew, who built Pride Rock, Ms. Emily Andrews who also helped create props and did an amazing job as makeup artist for all the performers, and to the many former and current Belmont Charter School students who assisted behind the scenes as wardrobe assistants and stage crew! Last but not least, special thanks to Mrs. Jacqueline Pochadt who was the videographer and photographer for each show! We are very proud of all the students and staff that made this possible! This was one production that you had to see to believe!