Bored kids? Hakuna matata. They can go to theatre school 'on-lion' for free

'The Lion King Experience' - an interactive theatre course for children from the hit Broadway musical - is now free online

03 May 2020 - 00:00 By Elizabeth Sleith
The cast of 'The Lion King' perform during The Olivier Awards 2019 in London, England.
The cast of 'The Lion King' perform during The Olivier Awards 2019 in London, England.
Image: Jeff Spicer/Getty Images

Most kids already know a thing or two about being theatrical but now they can take it to near-professional levels thanks to the latest addition to the growing list of "things to do with your children online".

The Lion King Experience is offering to introduce kids and their parents to the joy and creativity of theatre through the lens of the Broadway production of The Lion King.

The programme was originally designed to support school productions of the show and is generally taught in classrooms. But Disney has now adapted the lessons for families to enjoy at home - entirely for free.

Before lockdown, it was sold in the US as an arts-education programme. As it says on its website, the experience includes a licence to stage the show and "will allow educators and students to explore theatre from many different angles including performance, design, directing, writing and technical theatre".

The curriculum - which has been condensed and modified for at-home learning - is split into a Kids' edition (for ages 8-11) and a Junior edition for ages 12-15. The younger kids get 11 sessions, and the older ones get 18.

Each session should take about 45 minutes, and starts with a video introduction from Jelani Remy and Syndee Winters, who played Simba and Nala in the Broadway show. There are lots of activities, including learning the song We are One (in isiZulu) from the show. Others include creating a birthday card for Simba, an original song, a lighting design concept and a theatrical mask.

At the end, you can print out a certificate to reward them for their hard work.