John Anderson Photo

Imagine being one of the 491 audience members in the lower level of the Auburn High School auditorium when suddenly a group of wild African animals begins roaming through the aisles. Lions, wildebeests, hyenas and even a meerkat, warthog and baboon mill around the humans but finally gather on the stage.

This is part of the experience when Auburn Middle School presents The Lion King, Jr. this Friday and Saturday at the high school. About 100 students are involved with the musical and 79 are in acting roles. Director Christine Taylor said she couldn’t turn down interested students at this age, so this is the largest middle school production to date.

Lead roles are Amelia Cunningham – Rafiki; Sam Rundell – Mufasa; Rachael Taylor – Sarabi; Owen McGrillen – Zazu; Ian Bopp – Scar; Kweku Askese – young Simba; Anastasia Giffone – young Nala; Molly O’Shea – Sarafina; Abigayle Simpson – Shenzi; Declan Kennedy – Banzai; Alex Rodriguez – Ed; Tyler Poshkus – Timon; Matthew Cook – Pumbaa; Hayden Plumb – Simba; and Addelyn Esposito – Nala.

Performances are at 7:00pm on both Friday and Saturday, and tickets can be purchased online at ticketstage.com