Crowds Roared Over “The Lion King” at the Overtown Youth Center

Viewers got more than they imagined when they attended the Overtown Youth Center’s (OYC) end-of-summer, Broadway-styled production of “The Lion King” on August 8 at the Miramar Cultural Center. Hundreds of students in OYC’s music, dance and arts department brought the Disney classic to the stage in a way that left audience members astounded.

Latasha Rhodes, from The Miami Foundation, said, “I really enjoyed every bit of the performances. I was very captivated, mesmerized and in awe at the talent these children had. Every child, from elementary to high school, was excellent.”

The audience lauded all of the OYC students for their talent, but Scar, played by Kiona Mack, a student at Miami Arts Charter who danced in the OYC program, proved to be a crowd favorite. “She did so well she made the villain into a hero,” said Melissa Ross, an OYC parent who attended the show.

OYC students and staff prepared for the production over the course of the six-week summer program. In addition to learning scripts and choreography, students helped design the set, inclusive of props and the backdrop. The visionary of the annual production was the lead dance instructor at OYC, Latasha Strawder. She said she implemented the annual end-of-summer production three years ago to take the students to a new level.

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