Trailside Elementary Proudly Presents: Lion King Kids

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February/March 2023

In partnership with Black Box Theater Company, Trailside Elementary School is proud to debut its first musical production since it’s official opening last fall. Lion King Kids opens on Friday, March 17 at 7:00 p.m. followed by two shows on Saturday, March 18 at 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. at Trailside Elementary.

Trailside Elementary Lion King

A True Local Community Effort

Volunteer and Zionsville Community Schools parent Elizabeth Kiser shared some of the behind-the-scenes details and the growing anticipation of the school’s first musical production.

“I can tell you that Trailside is doing an amazing job getting up to the level of offerings that the other [elementary] schools are at,” Kiser said. “I’ve been really impressed with [Trailside].”

Kiser expressed that the interest from students as well as the support from parents and community members has been remarkable.

“This [production] is in partnership with Black Box Theater out of Lebanon,” Kiser stated. “We’ve got Kelley Johnson [from Black Box], who’s directing this production, and Mrs. Jy’s Music Studio [Zionsville] is leading the ensemble. This production of Lion King Kids is comprised of [Trailside Elementary] 3rd and 4th graders. And there are 49 kids in the cast and crew, which is a significant number considering it is a smaller school body. There has been a lot of interest and participation in this first production.”

Trailside Elementary Lion King

Supporting Local Arts and Creative Outlets

Serving as director of this production is Kelley Johnson, who is a member of the Black Box Theater team. Black Box Theater is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational children’s theater in Lebanon, Indiana.

“We service all ages but predominantly K through 8,” Johnson said. “Black Box was started in 2012 under the guidance of our artistic director Emily Wolfgang, and we just recently expanded upon our internal structure to include an executive director, and that would be Tricia Acton. We exist to provide opportunities in an area where they weren’t accessible before and to also make them financially accessible for the people in the Boone County area.”

Johnson continued, “Our mission is teaching character to build character, so that kids are not only learning theater skills but they’re also learning how these skills relate back to the real world and are learning a lot about emotional wellness from that. When some of the parents of the 3rd and 4th graders at Trailside wanted to put on a musical production and reached out to Black Box, this fit one of Emily’s initiatives to take the Black Box mission and structure and make it portable. The support from the [Trailside] administration, faculty and parents has been amazing.”

Trailside Elementary Lion King

Watching the community come together in support of the student cast and crew has been inspiring to Johnson.

“It’s really incredible to see the community come together because they want something for these kids so badly,” Johnson expressed. “And doing everything they can to make it possible is such a short amount of time on top of that. I think we’ve only had 6 or 7 weeks of rehearsals, and we only met once a week for a giant 3-hour chunk. That’s a lot for that age group, but they still powered through it because it is something they really want to do! And when folks come to see Lion King Kids, they’re going to see 3rd and 4th graders having a great time and doing some really cool things!”

Tickets for this family-friendly musical are on sale, and there is limited seating, so don’t wait … buy yours today at