If you enjoy musical theater and supporting young actors and singers, mark your calendars for Thursday, April 7, as the elementary-aged students at Grace Christian School (GCS) in Valrico will be performing Lion King the Musical under the direction of Rebecca McKeen.
According to McKeen, the drama program began at Grace Christian 21 years ago under her mother, Dana Gustafson, who taught high school drama for 11 years before her passing.
“I had always wanted to start an elementary drama department but couldn’t find anyone up for the challenge,” said McKeen. “So, in 2018, I decided to venture out of my comfort zone of being a full-time computer teacher and start elementary drama at GCS.”
Since starting the program, students have performed Snow Off White, Suessical Jr. and this year Lion King the Musical.
“All are high school versions done by third to sixth graders,” she explained. “I am blessed to be surrounded by so many amazing alumni in our school’s almost 50-year history that come help make this possible. From concession, costuming, makeup and decoration of the stage, they, along with some amazing GCS parents, make so much of this come together.”
The show, which features 32 elementary-aged students, will take place on April 7 at 7 p.m. in the GCS gymnasium. Tickets are $8.
The high school drama department, headed by Gustafson’s former student Leigh Anne Brown, will be performing Beauty and the Beast on Thursday and Friday, May 5 and 6 at 7 p.m. This is open to the public, and tickets are around $10.
Grace Christian School is located at 1425 N. Valrico Rd. in Valrico and can be reached at 813-689-8815.