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Bainbridge students participate in play coming to Cairo High School, Grady Co.

With the start of summer comes the search for entertainment opportunities. Never has this been truer than after a year of lock down and restrictions. Right on time our region has an amazing opportunity that is perfect for all generations, that of an original adaptation of the story of The Lion King. Held on June 18th and June 19th at Cairo High School. This 80 minute production is “jam packed entertainment from the start to the finish”. This testimony from performing arts studio owner Dana Prince Willis is just the starting flicker of a bonfire of enthusiasm from the students and professional performers involved in bringing such an outstanding production to South Georgia.

When asked what makes King of Africa an event that people do not want to miss, graduating senior Julianna Watson boldly stated that King of Africa is the most energetic production she has been a part of in her long tenure of performance arts. Setting her sights on New York for a Broadway career, Miss Watson exploded with energy sharing that this family event has live singing, live acting and live dancing. “There is nothing like it!” Kaitlyn Donalson, upcoming Auburn University freshman, says that this year’s performance is powerful and exciting with the special effects, lighting, and backgrounds, all part of the instructors’ vision of a full production. Agreeing with Julianna, Isabelle Pomeroy, another graduating senior, shared that this is her favorite production of all time. She stated that the animalistic costumes and movements are both fun to perform and to watch. All agree that the show is amazing.

It is not just the performers that recommend this night of local showbiz. Grady County Probate Judge Denise Maddox declares that this is her “all-time favorite show”. She continues, “It is “Pure Entertainment for everybody everywhere”. Popes Museum owner, Michelle Dean cuts to the bottom line stating, “It’s just so much FUN!”

Dana Prince Willis, the creative innovator behind this amazing production, has received numerous national awards and recognitions. She also has made a successful artform in attracting incredibly talented students, as well as surrounding herself with nationally recognized choreographers and instructors. Specifically, John Hollingsworth from Jacksonville, FL not only performs as Big Simba; he is also one of the instructors. Hannah Harrison Russell, once a OBCDA performer herself, has been recognized repeatedly as a top choreographer on the national platform. Combined with students from 15 schools, 7 towns, including Bainbridge, 5 counties and 2 states, the quality and energy of this production is one that is on par with those at the civic centers and universities. On June 4th, highlights of the production were featured in Thomasville’s First Friday events and were rewarded with passionate applause and praise. The studio’s performances have created a reputation of excellence with repeat invitations to open at concerts and FSU halftime shows.

As we wind down from a year of unknowns and uncertainties, it is time to breathe and enjoy life again. Looking circumspectly, our community has pulled together and supported each other through Hurricane Michael, the March 2019 tornado and 2020’s pandemic. We deserve a night of pure amusement and joy. King of Africa is sure to deliver just that.

Showtimes are Friday, June 18th at 10:00 (for groups of 10 or more) and 7:00. Saturday, June 19th shows are at 2:00 and 7:00 p.m. Tickets are available June 14-18th and are $15 when purchased before the date of show and $20 at the door (if available). www.obcdancearts.com