The Lion King amazes audiences in Tatla Lake

The Lion King musical staged in Tatla Lake last month was a roaring success.

Senior actors pictured in the back row from the left are Jude Thompson, Tessa Clement, Syndey Schuk, Rylan Schuk, Dorian Lavoie. Pictured in the front row from the left are Lenaya Schuk, Cynan Thompson, and Ethan Jensen. Bryn Thompson photo

By Linda-Lou Howarth

Special to Tribune/Advisor

The Lion King musical staged in Tatla Lake last month was a roaring success.

Set on a hillside with a beautiful view of the mountains Tatla Lake Elementary Junior Secondary School has only 20 students ranging from Kindergarten to Grade 9 and all of them had parts in the musical along with a few adults.

The colourful costumes and imaginative performances left audiences mesmerized and spellbound.

The Lion King musical was performed at the school for more than 100 visiting students from Bella Coola, Dog Creek, Anahim Lake, Alexis Creek, and Canoe Creek on Thursday, April 27.

The musical was performed again for a sold-out public performance on Friday, April 28 that included a delicious pre-show dinner organized by Kelly Emke. And the cast and crew played to another full house again on Saturday afternoon, April 29.

The audiences were amazed that such a little school under the guidance of principal Clare Gordon and her staff could put on such a brilliant show.

The students had the audience wiping their eyes of tears in the sad scenes, clapping loudly at a spectacular song and giggling at the funnier parts.

After the shows everyone met in the school gym for photographs, dessert and refreshments.

Carol and Derek Thompson had a huge hand in organizing and directing the musical.

Carol took on the task of leading the team creating and sewing the many colourful cloth costumes and other costumes made using cardboard, paper mache and paint.

Rebecca Harris stepped in and helped with a lot of the children’s costumes, proudly bringing them to Carol for approval and then seeing what else she could make!

Over in the “sweatshop” corner Dorothy Evans, Alyson Schuk and myself had a lot of fun stitching up costumes and laughing and yakking.

We had a great time admiring the students’ final costumes as they proudly came and showed them off to us, joined our laughter and banter then would quickly put on their acting faces as soon as they left us.

Carol and Leanne Iverson spent hours getting the makeup just right. Carol and Derek also had the help of their son Bryn and his wife Lisa. Bryn and Lisa’s three young sons were among the student actors.

Bryn played a big part in directing the musical, making sure the students knew their lines, where to stand and the best way to present themselves. He was awesome with the students, suggesting a better way to do the scenes but listening carefully to their ideas and just generally getting the best performance from each of them.

Lisa spent a lot of time with the adult actresses, guiding them in the proper tune and choreography for their songs.

Working with Carol, local artistChris Czajkowski put her painting, cutting, gluing and weaving skills to work creating scenery, backdrops and animal costumes.

Wearing many hats Carol never once lost her cool as students and adults came to her with questions and problems to solve.

Rick Smalley, Doug Sjoquist and Bryn also filmed the performance to make a DVD. John Kerr and Deborah Stephenson-Kerr provided the sound and lighting equipment that was operated by Angela Hartwick and Daryl Visscher.

With skill and talent the Thompsons brought out the best in everyone for this show that left audiences mesmerized and totally amazed that a little school could put on such a wonderful performance. This was the third annual musical staged by the school.

It was so cool to sit beside a young man who literally sat on the edge of his seat watching and laughing, and looking at me with a face full of wonder as he watched the performance spellbound.

Plus a little girl kept waving at her friend on the stage and was literally singing all the songs with the musical.

She had so much fun!