Durango Arts Center presents ‘Lion King Jr.’

Arts & Entertainment

Durango Arts Center presents ‘Lion King Jr.’

Some of the cast rehearses “The Lion King Jr.” on Wednesday evening at the Durango Arts Center.
Emily Simpson Grandt, right, director of Durango Arts Center Youth Theatre Company, and set and puppet designer Jennifer Bayer are getting ready to stage the production of “The Lion King Jr.”

Durango Arts Center presents ‘Lion King Jr.’

Some of the cast rehearses “The Lion King Jr.” on Wednesday evening at the Durango Arts Center.
Emily Simpson Grandt, right, director of Durango Arts Center Youth Theatre Company, and set and puppet designer Jennifer Bayer are getting ready to stage the production of “The Lion King Jr.”
Meet DAC’s Emily Simpson Grandt

Emily Simpson Grandt arrived in Durango in 2014 from Kansas City, Missouri. She started the San Juan Ballet School in the dance studio at the Durango Arts Center. Now, she’s director of the Durango Arts Center Youth Theatre Company.
A native of Abilene, Kansas, Simpson Grandt studied ballet from childhood and made the transition from dancer to teacher to administrator at the Kansas City Ballet School. In 2012, she became director and supervised 50 faculty members, accompanists and administrative staff, not to mention a variety of programs.
“At 25, I hung up my ballet shoes and shifted to teaching,” she said.
Her classical ballet career included performing and choreographing modern dance using “the Martha Graham system,” she said. Having appeared in shows like “Mattress, Cinderella and Mame,” she added, she was ready to enter a new chapter of her creative life at DAC and has logged several significant productions like “Annie,” “Elf” and “Seussical.”
“We’ve been preparing ‘The Lion King’ for two months, and we’re ready to open,” she said.
Simpson Grandt credits her early education in a Montessori school for her ability to help student performers manage their time, learn new material, develop skills, focus on the task at hand and function as a company.

If you go

WHAT: “The Lion King Jr.,” a musical by Roger Allers and Irene Mecchi, music and lyrics by Elton John and Time Rice, presented by the Durango Arts Center Youth Theatre Company, directed by Emily Simpson Grandt.

WHEN: 7 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday.

WHERE: Durango Arts Center, 802 East Second Ave.

TICKETS: $14 DAC members, $16 nonmembers. Available online at https://bit.ly/2w7i2Hz or by phone at 259-2606. A credit card fee may be additional.

More information: Visit durangoarts.org.

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