Much as a lion teaches cubs skills they will need as the grow, some Quad-City high school theater students mentored the possible future of performing and had a “royally” good time doing so.

Davenport West High School’s musical programs embrace the idea of youth mentorship, routinely offering opportunities for younger school kids to have positive experiences in performing. On April 3, area elementary school students were invited to learn alongside Davenport West theater students and actually perform onstage for the opening number of the school’s production of ‘The Lion King Jr.’ Participants learned choreography and stage direction and had their faces painted to portray animals in the musical’s world.

QCA elementary students learned the opening number of ‘The Lion King Jr.’ and performed onstage along mentors from Davenport West High School (photo: Brian Weckerly)

“We really enjoy community outreach as a program, and what’s really important to us is that our older kids kind of pass on their knowledge to the younger kids,” Laura Engels, Director of Choral Activities for Davenport West and producer of the school’s production of ‘Lion King Jr.,” said. “It also gives our smaller patrons a really awesome experience.”

Engels wasn’t “lion” when she said she’s always floored by the growth and positivity she sees with such programs. “The talent on the stage is absolutely unbelieveable,” Engels said. “I think that what always really, really surprises me is just the motivation to work with our younger students.” She said it’s inspiring to see the mentorship, and “it’s really, really fun to watch!”

Sunday, April 3 was the last showing of ‘The Lion King Jr.’ To find out more information about Davenport West’s fine arts programs, click here.