Learn the music and Chants of Circle of Life! We will begin staging March 6th!

MTA's Lion King Jr. Cast List

(All ensemble members will continue to be placed in multiple roles during the process of the next month of rehearsal. We have very specific needs for all of our Jungle and Prideland characters including specific trick ability, dance ability, ability to maneuver specialty costumes, as well as drumming skills.  Be prepared to see your name below and possibly see your name on the Ensemble Specific Roles List, which will continue to be cast over the next month during regular rehearsal times.)
Ensemble should learn the following songs. Ensemble Specific Roles will be posted shortly:
Circle of Life, Grasslands Chant, Girls (possibly Lioness Hunt), I Just Can’t Wait to Be King, Be Prepared, They Live in You, The Stampede, Hakuna Matata, Shadowland, Can You Feel the Love Tonight, He Lives in You, Finale, Bows.
Sophia Kramer, Sophia Terry, Zoey Smilth, Sophia Morrison, Leilani Meade, Lydia Lea, Presley Herthel
Avery Meade, Ava Bangert, Nancy Volner, Lucy Stewart 
GRASSLAND CHANT African Animals (ensemble 1)                   
Justice Heras  (Lead), Catherine Holmes, Geneva Paz,  Brooke Hahne, Charlotte Carmichael, Haley Langdon, Ivy Bangert, Sabrina Edwards
GAZELLES  (Circle of Life)
Ava Bangert (Lead), Nancy Volner (Lead)              
Isabella Thomas, Lucy Stewart, Lydia Lee, Geneva Paz, Ali Hykes
VERVET MONKEYS (I Just Can’t Wait to Be King)
Nancy Volner, Lucy Stewart
RAMS (Circle of Life)
Justice Heras, CJ Smith
Ivy Bangert, Haley Langdon, Brooke Hahne
ZEBRA (Circle of Life)
Presley Herthel, McCall Whitmer, Charlotte Carmichael
Leilani Meade, Avery Meade
Jaden Faerber, Sabrina Edwards
not cast yet
3 FEATURED FACES (I Just Can’t Wait to Be King)
Ashley Kamogari, Zoey Smith, Shira Baron
Flamingo (I Just Can’t Wait to Be King)
Geneva Paz
Gray Crowned Crane (Circle of Life and I Just Can’t Wait to Be King)
Catherine Holmes

RAFIKI: Noelani Pese
MUFASA: Ryan Baron
SARABI: Bailey Curtis
ZAZU: Delaney Miner
SCAR: Daniel Sidoni
YOUNG SIMBA: Grant Herman                            
SIMBA: Aidan Creamer
YOUNG NALA: Mairin Rufenbarger
LIONESSES Group 1: Bella Hoguin, Kate Vercruse, Katelyn Bethard, Natalie Gurney, Olivia Bolt, Ashley Kamogari
LIONESS Group 2: not cast yet
NALA: Megan Sognefest
SARAFINA: Mable Sumner
BANZAI: Oliver Sherwood
SHENZI: Jaden Faerber
ED: CJ Smith
HYENAS (Be Prepared): Shira Baron, Zoey Smith, Sophia Morrison, Ali Hykes, Isabella Thomas, Justice Heras, Leilani Meade, McCall Whitmer, Presley Herthel  
TIMON: Ella Olson
PUMBAA: Jack Schlechter            


 We all have worked very hard over the last two days. I have decided to schedule tomorrow’s Call Back List by time. Although the audition process has been a fantastic journey, I know there are other obligations and rest needed! 

**KEEP IN MIND…you will be reading for the characters listed below, you may be cast as a different part. 

**The following list has been altered according to the auditions so far. As you know, we are beginning to narrow down the call back list. Please take a careful look thru the entire list as we have made adjustments as we get closer to our final cast list.

Tomorrow we will run as close as possible to the schedule below.  Once you are thru with your Call Back, you are free to go. Parents, please be a flexible with release times as we may need some wiggle room. Again, take note that the original Call Back list has been condensed based on Wed’s Audition Day.

4:00-7:30 MUFASA

Ryan Baron

4:00-4:30: YOUNG NALA

Avery M, Bella H, Isabella, Jaden, Lielani, Lydia, Mable, Mairin, McCall, Presley, Shira, Sophia M, Zoey. Ali H.

4:00-5:00: YOUNG SIMBA

Grant, Oliver

4:30-7:30 SCAR

Daniel, Aidan, Jack, Justice

4:30-5:00: NALA

Bailey, Bella H, Megan, Natalie, Noelani

4:45-7:30: SIMBA

Aidan, Jack, Justice, Daniel, CJ, Oliver

5:00-7:30 RAFIKI 

Sophia M, Olivia B, Noelani, Nancy, Megan, Bailey, Ashley K

5:00-7:30 TIMON

Bailey, Ella, Jack, Jaden, Justice, Kate V, Nancy, Mairin, Oliver, CJ

5:00-7:30 Pumba

Delaney, Kate V, Justice, Ella, Jack, Aidan, Ashley K, Mairin, Jaden, Oliver, CJ


Hi Cast of Lion King Jr!

WOW! Our first audition day was stellar! You all brought your A Game and this show is going to be amazing! We are overwhelmed by the talent and preparation our new MTA-ers have shown! Welcome to our MTA family! The amount of growth that last season’s cast showed was equally overwhelming…Congratulations! This show is going to be a story we are going to be so proud of! YOU ALL ROCKED!!! Thank you for loving theater as much as we do!! Every one of you Brite Stars are going to be a part of something amazing because you all turned those butterflies into MAGIC today!! 

Every one of you got a Call Back for tomorrow! Please BE PREPARED to stay from 4:00 until 8:00 and to read for your top 3 character choices. Bring a yummy dinner snack, you will all have time to break. I suggest using this time to continue to study the Auditioning Central selections as well. 

Although all the boys know already, after todays 4 hour audition, we have cast Ryan Baron as Mufasa. Boys, plan accordingly. 

I can’t wait to hear all of you read and possibly sing tomorrow. Thank you for your gift of talent! What a blast it is to watch all of you PERFORM FROM YOUR HEART! 

Do your best and have fun… 

Holly and the Staff of Lion King Jr.


Welcome to MTAOC’s Cast of Lion King Jr!

I am so excited for auditions Tuesday, February 6, 7, and 8, 2018! I want to make sure all of you come ready and prepared to have fun on this journey! Remember, although every show has an audition, the most important thing to remember is, you ALL ARE IN THE SHOW AND WILL PLAY A PIVOTAL PART IN TELLING THE STORY!  This very special show is really the story of all of US! This beautiful tale will be sure to reach out to our community with a message of hope, renewal, second chances, love reunited, responsibilities fulfilled, and above all, loyalty.

Be ready to enjoy meeting new friends who love to sing, act, and dance, JUST LIKE YOU! I will make sure that everyone in the show has a wonderful time and has a chance to shine, sometimes in unexpected ways.  I challenge you to be excited to be in duets, trios, solos, or ensemble songs. Please come to the audition relaxed and ready to have a good time. Those butterflies are about to turn into Magic! Be brave and take chances! MTA is a family who encourages everything theater! This season we will be adding life size puppetry as we all take our place in the circle of life!

Below are a few things you will need for the audition:

  • Comfortable Shoes with toes enclosed. Dance shoes are preferred. Black or tan jazz shoes or sneakers. DO NOT WEAR FLIP FLOPS OR SANDALS!  
  • Wear comfortable clothes that are easy to move in. Dance attire is most appropriate. No skirts or dresses unless you are wearing shorts underneath. We may be rolling on the floor and want to make sure you aren't worried about being uncomfortable. If you are a dancer or a gymnast, be sure to wear appropriate clothes to show us your "tricks" or short dance combinations!! Also, bring a water bottle. Rehearsals are no longer than 4 hours, so come with a full belly and bring a light, healthy snack. We offer snacks for sale for one dollar. We do not encourage more than one or two per rehearsal.
  • On the first day of auditions, everyone should be prepared to sing a song from the show. It must be sung a cappella (with no music) or with my provided track, and be under a minute. If you have a character that you would like to be considered for, sing a song that shows the character traits of the particular role. You all will get a chance to meet and sing for our small auditioning panel personally and privately on the first day. From there, we will begin call backs in front of your fellow cast members. Some of you will be asked to read or sing further for specific roles based on the first round of singing auditions. So, relax and know that we want you all to have fun during the audition. You will all be asked to let us know the top 3 characters you are interested the most.
  • All those interested in a lead role must commit to adding Thursday rehearsals to your schedule beginning April 19th thru Show Week. Some or all leads will be asked to attend some or all of these Thursdays.
  • Follow this link, then click on Audition Central to prepare for the roles you are interested in. There you will find the songs and sides (excerpts from the script) for each character. Planning ahead is always a fun way to build up a bit of confidence! I will be using those specific songs and excerpts thru out the audition days, including the Workshop Classes. We may or may not use all of this info, but it can help you prepare and learn more about the characters.
  • We will also be taking Headshots for the program on Tuesday, Feb. 6th. So you can spruce up a bit, wear a dark shirt, and be ready for a professional photo shoot, which will take place while we are auditioning everyone individually. We will then take a Cast Photo!
  • We will have a table set up where your child can practice writing a bio. A short paragraph about yourself, your theater experience here at MTA, or those who have inspired you is all that is needed. We will also have a table set up with pencils and paper for you to practice writing it all down for the program…after all, you may one day be writing a bio for a Broadway Playbill!
  • Every child should come to the audition with an index card with Costume Size information. Including, the size your child is in "normal" clothes? Height? Weight? Shirt size? Dress size? Pant size? and shoe size? These cards should be handed to our Lead Costumer, Raven Loc. We will also be taking specific measurements for each child as well.
  • This season we will be rehearsing EVERY TUESDAY with a full cast from 4:00 until 6:00 with special scenes called from 6-7:30. NOTE: All cast members should prepare to stay until 7:30. NEW THIS SEASON!! Every week we will announce at rehearsal, as well as post on our website at, who will need to stay the following Tuesday from 6:00-7:30. I will be teaching in sequence of the story. I hope to stay on that schedule, but as we all know, we may have to make adjustments as rehearsals begin. Use your script table of contents to check off scenes as we learn them to stay updated, as well as look for the Brite Star’s BSN’s on the MTA website! Cast members should prepare the weekend before every rehearsal to prepare for each rehearsal. Learn and memorize the song or dialogue we will be staging in advance. This will help with rehearsal confidence and make each Tuesday fun!
  • PLEASE ADD TO YOUR SCHEDULE! THERE WILL BE A MANDATORY FULL DRESS REHEARSAL Saturday, June 9, 2018 at MTA from 1:30 until 5:30. Due to the intense nature of the puppetry our actors will be trained to do, we may be adding a few Thursday rehearsals in April or May at The Rose Center Theater. This may include many members of the ensemble as well as leads.
  • We will not have a rehearsal on Feb 20th due to Winter Break and Spring Break.
  • Script packages will be available for pick up at MTA to all those who are registered on Friday, Feb. 2nd from 5-6, as well as during our Workshop Classes on Feb 5th. Be prepared to sign for it. We do not have extra scripts!
  • For those of you who have enrolled in Miss Holly’s Auditioning Workshop, I will see you on Monday, Feb 5th, during your specific time. Please come prepared to sing your auditioning song, no more than one minute in length, a cappella or with my provided Lion King track for Tuesday. I will assist you with ways to improve your technique and add some confidence to your performance. This class is NOT an audition for the show. We will be reading from the Lion King Jr script and having fun acting out a few scenes. Please give a grace period of 10 minutes per class for release and start. It will be fun to visit Africa together… with no pressure! This class is a great way to meet me and new fellow cast members!

We will begin our First Audition Day with a meet and greet at 3:30. We encourage all children returning to seek out any new faces and welcome them to the MTA Family. We will have stations for you to visit regarding Registration Packets, Volunteer Needs, Costume Information Needs, Script Needs, Bio writing t, as well as a Conflict Info Station. This is also a great time to pick up scripts and meet our staff members. Feel free to check out the studio during this first 20 minutes and say HI to old and new friends. Once everyone is in and comfy, I will formally introduce you to our incredible Brite Stars Team! I will speak briefly during our Parent’s Meeting about MTA and how you can help with the success of our productions…we could not do it without the commitment and dedication of each family.  Then around 4:30, I, along with a small auditioning panel, will take our actors one at a time to begin the individual singing audition.  This gives me a chance to hear and meet each child personally. Also, for those returning to MTA, I can see how much they have grown since last season!  Children will wait to audition one at a time.  Parents are free to stay and support their child or go and come back promptly for pick up. One Tuesday, girls are released at approximately 7:00 and boys will be released at 8:00. We will hear every child sing, teach a dance combination, as well as prepare each child with the specific details to study at home for the next audition day. 

CHECK OUR WEBSITE FOR CALL BACK DETAILS NIGHTLY DURING AUDITION WEEK. After our first auditioning day, I will post a call back schedule with those who need to attend the following day. The call backs will be posted at the link below Tuesday night, Wednesday night and Thursday night of audition week with a list of who will need to attend. There will be 2 release times both Wed and Thursday. I will send an email at 5:30 both Wed and Thurs with the names of those who will be released at 6:00. I hope to have a Final Cast List by Wednesday, Feb. 14th, which will also be posted at:

Ok all...that about covers it! I am excited to meet every single one of you and get to know you. This season will be a journey to be remembered. Best advice for the audition, don't get your heart set on one character, the most exciting role may yet to be seen! Stay open to new challenges, be brave, be kind, and be prepared.  More than anything else, I want you to have fun and not focus on the size of the role you receive. In my book; there are no small roles, only small actors!! Our show is only as strong as our ensemble!

One last recap: Print out auditioning attachments, rehearse at home, be prepared to secure Registration Info, sign up for to parent mandatory volunteer position, fill out conflict list, provide index Card with Child’s sizes. Be prepared practicing writing a bio and bring a smile for your headshot! Do your best, support your fellow cast members, and have fun making your Butterflies turn into Magic as we begin to build our Pride Land together!

Perform from your heart!

Miss Holly

Director at Musical Theater Academy of Orange County