breaking news

Ohio native says he killed 90 people; law enforcement corroborates 30

Backdrops, masks make ‘Disney’s The Lion King, Jr.” roar with pride


It’s a team effort when the Springfield Arts Council’s Youth Arts Ambassadors put on a production. Not just on the stage but behind the scenes.

For its presentation of “Disney’s The Lion King, Jr.” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9 and Saturday, Nov. 10 at the John Legend Theater, the Ambassadors were aided by members of Project Jericho, who helped create backdrops, and cast parents, who crafted elaborate masks some cast members will wear.

MOREXenia seeking key person to help revitalize its historic downtown district

Project Jericho artists helped bring Wonderland to the stage two years ago. This time, the group headed for Africa in their minds to create an original backdrop for this musical at the Ambassadors’ invitation.

“Our Project Jericho artists had so much fun painting the backdrop for their production of ‘Alice in Wonderland, Jr.’ we were excited to partner again,” said Project Jericho director Lo Houser.

They contracted Cera Marie, a Columbus-based artist who specializes in large-scale painting installations and has done two mural backdrops with Project Jericho previously.

Cera Marie created three unique sketches for show director Krissy Hartman to choose from and after one was selected, she blocked it off on the canvas to make the painting process simple and efficient according to Houser.

The painting began on Oct. 1 and each Monday after as part of the Open Studio program. Eleven students painted for a combined 34 hours in October.

“As we’ve been painting, we have received updates on how the costumes and set pieces were coming along. They are all impressive,” Houser said. “Every piece of the show is thoughtful and creative. It’s sure to be a masterpiece from start to finish.”

Susan Kittles studied at the Columbus College of Art and Design, but never made a mask before.

That didn’t stop her artistic instincts when she got an email with a request for help to make masks for “Disney’s The Lion King, Jr.”

CRIME2 arrested in gunfire incident that led to lockdown at Urbana University

As several of the main actors in the stage productions use the masks, it becomes an important part of telling the story. So Kittles and husband Andy along with another parent went to work making sculptures out of clay, created a plaster cast and painted and embellished the masks with metal attached to a sports helmet.

It became time-consuming, taking seven weeks for the eight main lions’ masks. Simba’s in particular was the largest challenge with his big mane.

The seal of approval came when the cast got the finished products. Colin Carn, who is playing Young Simba, especially liked his.

“I thought only the big kids got masks,” he said, thrilled to mount it on his head.

This type of reaction and now that it’s done has Kittles also feeling satisfied.

“I’ve really enjoyed being a part of it,” she said.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Community News

FBI investigating death of American on cruise ship bound for Aruba
FBI investigating death of American on cruise ship bound for Aruba

Investigators with the FBI are probing the death of an American woman on a Princess Cruises ship bound for Aruba, according to multiple reports. The 52-year-old woman, whose name was not released, died early Tuesday while aboard the Royal Princess, The Associated Press reported. Princess Cruises officials told WPLG in a statement that Aruban...
Ohio native, convicted murderer confesses to 90 deaths; 30 corroborated
Ohio native, convicted murderer confesses to 90 deaths; 30 corroborated

A man convicted of three California murders and long suspected in numerous other deaths now claims he was involved in about 90 killings nationwide spanning nearly four decades, and investigators already have corroborated about a third of those, a Texas prosecutor said Thursday. Ector County District Attorney Bobby Bland said 78-year-old Samuel Little...
Atlanta bans pet stores from selling cats and dogs
Atlanta bans pet stores from selling cats and dogs

Under a new bill signed into law Tuesday, pet stores in Atlanta cannot sell cats or dogs to customers. The ordinance is a preventive measure, as officials aren’t aware of any stores that were selling dogs or cats in the city — a practice that has fallen out of fashion as more pet owners choose to adopt from shelters instead of...
Ohio congresswoman may challenge Nancy Pelosi for speaker of the House
Ohio congresswoman may challenge Nancy Pelosi for speaker of the House

Rep. Marcia Fudge, a Cleveland Democrat who led the Congressional Black Caucus from 2012 to 2014, is considering challenging Nancy Pelosi for speaker of the House. Fudge, whose spokeswoman said she was unavailable for comment Thursday, told Cleveland.com late Wednesday she was considering a run for the top leadership position, and a spokeswoman Thursday...
Rapper Young Dolph returning to Memphis to hand out Thanksgiving turkeys
Rapper Young Dolph returning to Memphis to hand out Thanksgiving turkeys

A rapper is giving back to the city that he says made him who he is today.  Young Dolph will make a guest appearance for teens and young adults from Memphis Athletic Ministries on Thursday, Nov. 15 at 4:30 p.m. >> Read more trending news  Students from all five ministry locations will be bused to a Memphis community center to hear a...
More Stories