Disney Company Holds Auditions for “The Lion King” in Kingston

Jamaican dancers and singers auditioned for its world-famous production, “The Lion King” musical. The auditions took place last month, hosted by casting agents based in the United States, were held in Kingston at The Little Theater, opening the way for local talent to be part of the international theater scene.

Tapping Jamaica’s exceptional talent pool

The general manager of all global productions for the Disney Company, Thomas Schlenk, told LOOP that he was excited to explore the potential of Jamaica’s talented singers and dancers and described their level of talent as “extraordinary.” He noted that the island nation had already made significant contributions to Disney productions, with more than 10 Jamaican artists playing various roles, including the leads, “Nala” and “Mufasa.”

Auditions excite local artists

The leading coordinator of the local auditions as artistic director of the Ashe Company and head of the University of the West Indies Phillip Sherlock Center for the Creative Arts at the Mona campus, Michael Holgate. He also headed auditions for “The Lion King” in Jamaica in 2013 and 2019, supported by coordinators Conroy B. Wilson and Deby-Ann Stern. Holgate expressed his excitement about the auditions as well, adding that interest in the auditions spread throughout the artist community by word-of-mouth and that the auditions can serve as a significant step forward in a career.

A respected theatrical legacy

“The Lion King,” which began as a Disney 1994 animated feature and was later adapted for the stage, made its Broadway debut with songs by superstar composer and singer Elton John in 1997. It was an instant hit and won six Tony Awards in 1998. Since its debut, there have been 25 global productions of “The Lion King” that have been enjoyed by more than 110 million people around the world. Two of the products have been running for 15 or more years, and four others have been running for over two decades.