In addition to being a kindergarten teacher, I also direct the annual 8th grade musical at my school. I grew up acting in musicals and plays from middle school through college and saw many plays on Broadway and in Philadelphia, which I think has assisted me greatly as I make a vision and stage each show for my student actors.
I always begin by making a Pinterest inspiration board with ideas for sets, costumes, and make-up that I share with my set designers and costume designer. My boards for my last couple of shows can be found below:
I worked with a large ensemble this year, so I kept in the back of my mind that I did not want them changing costumes often. Instead, the ensemble wore black tops and pants and we used props to set the scene and establish characters. The students and art department created the exquisite animal props, lion headpieces, Pride Rock, and the tree set. I did a lot of online shopping on Amazon and Walmart to buy the colorful tunics for Simba and Mufasa, the brown and tan tunics for the lionesses, and the black bases for most of the cast. The fantastic leather jackets for Scar, Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed were loaned to us by members of our faculty.
Two of my favorite purchases were the #meerkat and Got warthog? shirts for my Timon and Pumbaa.
I also indulged in my crafty side to make Zazu’s cape. My kindergarten students were impressed with my costume making. I also created hyena and lioness make-up looks for our student make-up artists, as they prepared to do make-up for their classmates.
It truly takes a village to put on a show, and I would not be able to do anything without my amazing production team! I am so lucky to work with such hard-working, talented, and inspirational friends every year.