Adaptive program partners with Mesa high school for ‘Lion King Jr.’ performances

Jun 9, 2022, 4:25 AM

(City of Mesa Photo)...

(City of Mesa Photo)

(City of Mesa Photo)

PHOENIX — Individuals with intellectual disabilities will take the stage this weekend to perform the “Lion King Jr.” with the help of students from a Mesa high school theater program.

The Adaptive Off-Broadway Theater program is a partnership between the city of Mesa’s Adaptive Program and Red Mountain High School, according to a press release.

The show takes place at the school located at 7301 E. Brown Road with performance times set for 7 p.m. on Thursday and Friday and 2 p.m. on Saturday. Tickets are $7 and can be purchased at the door with all proceeds going toward the adaptive program and Arizona Disabled Sports.

“Mesa’s Adaptive Off-Broadway Theater allows individuals with disabilities to enjoy gaining peer relationships with the student volunteers and improve their skill levels because of the one-on-one attention and support they get from the volunteers,” Oscar Venegas, Mesa recreation supervisor, said in the release.

“It is very rewarding to see children of all abilities work together, adapt to each other’s strengths and learn to understand and accept each other.”

Students of the school assist the cast with production of the show, according to the release, such as lighting, choreography, props and acting as a shadow for the adaptive individuals. They also help adaptive individuals with their speaking lines.

This weekend’s show is the program’s first public performance since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the city said.

The program, which began in 2015 with a partnership between the city and Mesa Public Schools, offers a fall and spring session.

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Adaptive program partners with Mesa high school for ‘Lion King Jr.’ performances