Beth Tfiloh’s The Lion King: Showcasing Talent Both On and Off the Stage

The entire Beth Tfiloh Creative Arts Department is a bustle in preparation for the upcoming Middle School performance of Disney’s The Lion King. It’s easy to recognize the talent of the performers on stage, but what we do not see is the degree of skill and training involved in the production of sound, lighting, set design, costumes and make-up that goes into each outstanding production.

In the backstage recesses of the BT theatre, seasoned High School students are supervising Middle School students as they create the elaborate lighting and sound designs required for a production on par with Disney’s The Lion King. Using the latest technology and applications, students become proficient in running projections for the main stage and setting up a comprehensive soundboard that manages more than 23 wireless microphones, each controlled by a team of student sound engineers whose collaboration makes up the backbone of all we see and hear on stage.

While the sound engineers tease out the intricate safari-like details that create the magical world of Simba and friends, the student-run costume and make-up team are hard at work developing the diverse wardrobe and stage make-up concepts for a varied cast of characters. Middle and High School student costume designers have become proficient with sewing machines, the elaborate puppetry required of such a show, and the incorporation of complex live-action stage effects.

All of this would fall short, however, without the visionary efforts of the student set designers who work independently with machinery and building equipment to create the backdrop of the African jungle that brings this show to life. Director of the Creative Arts program Diane Smith shares her thoughts on the invaluable skills these students are developing explaining that “in both extracurricular programming and in-school set construction course offerings, these students learn the best practices and skills needed to transform the stage into a different world.”

The collaboration of these “behind the scenes” student teams is what makes it possible for the talent of Disney’s The Lion King performers to shine on stage. With BT Theatre Teacher Miss Lizzie Jaspen overseeing all student efforts, the students can seek guidance when needed and take ownership of their leadership roles. Eighth Grade Floor Crew Manager Penelope S. ‘27 looks back on her past four years as a member of the backstage crew sharing that she has “learned so many things as a member and now manager of the off-stage team. I’ve developed hands-on skills, learned how to work with a team and stay cool under pressure, and I’ve come to value the opportunities that have been presented to me.”

The Beth Tfiloh Creative Arts program provides a far-ranging curriculum in creative and performing arts that makes this year’s production of Disney’s The Lion King a prime example of the many outstanding Middle and High School theater productions that have come out of the BT Creative Arts Department and provides a comprehensive foundation of arts education which, for many, begins the journey of lifelong learning in the arts.

Beth Tfiloh’s Middle School production of Disney’s The Lion King will host three performances beginning on March 16th. You can purchase your tickets here:

To see how the Beth Tfiloh Creative Arts program can help shape your child’s future, contact 410-413-2323 or email [email protected] to set up a personal tour.

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