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Thickwood Heights students centre stage in The Lion King Jr.

Fort McMurray, AB, Canada / MIX 103.7

A group of elementary school students from Thickwood Heights Public School were centre stage at the Keyano Theatre last night.

The grade four to six students performed The Lion King Jr. as part of Thickwood’s Theatricks Program.

Every year a different musical production is chosen to showcase the art school’s youth talent.

Ashley Ponak, who played Timon in the show, auditioned for the Lion King Jr. after starring in the last two productions.

“I did it the last two years at the school and it was really fun. I really enjoy acting so I figured it’s be really fun to do again,” says Ponak.

Janecska Van der Berg, who played Pumba in the show, was in the last two productions.

“I’ve always loved The Lion King and it’s just been my favourite. Before we actually joined the show, I downloaded a few songs on my phone and I listened to them a lot,” says Van der Berg.

The cast and crew met after school every week for three months to rehearse the show.

The cast of 45 rehearsed after school beginning in December to prepare for their performance.

Val Gondek, the show’s musical director, says they try to pick shows that will teach the kids life lessons.

“Last year we did Shrek, we have done a lot of Disney shows, we like to do shows with great morals for kids to share with other community members,” says Gondek.

Gondek has been part of each of the last 28 productions.

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