PERRYVILLE, MO (KFVS) - It was center stage for a lot of children in Perryville as they performed for hundreds in live performances this weekend.
Children of all ages and adults performed in Disney's "The Lion King Jr." presented by Between the Scenes Studios at the Perry Park Center on Aug. 10 and 11.
We talked with several cast members who said acting in these performances have been very educational and have helped some already find a career path they want to pursue, even with being at such an early age in life.
For Hannah Summers, 19, and Layton Lipke, 14, they have both performed in shows before the Lion King Jr. and feel these shows benefit them greatly and shape their future careers.
"It sets you apart when you're going to college or just looking to your future," Summers said. "Just getting these experiences while your younger just makes a big difference when you're older."
"I've always wanted to do something in the creative field," Lipke added. "Acting or singing, whether it be for stage or film has captivated me recently in something that I would be doing in the future as a career."
Corie Williams said he has been in theatre for years and is pursuing it as his major in college currently. He feels he can take what he has learned to help other children.
"It's more about shaping these kids' futures," Corie Williams said. "I like to come here and let them know they can do this as a career if they would like to. There's a passion side you have to find. I want to be an example that no matter what age you are, you can still do this and have fun with it."
Kyndal Flores, 11, has done some dance earlier in her years and wants to make it big one day.
Filming would be cool and plays and musicals," Flores stated. "My dream is to be on Broadway. That would be amazing!"
The same goes for 8-year old Theo Osborn and 10-year old Rylee Hart who they've been doing this for years.
"I started dancing and singing since I was 3 and I've just had a lot of fun here," Osborn said.
"It's been so much fun doing all these plays," 10-year-old Rylee Hart said. "I was in Sleeping Beauty and Peter Pan and I just love all of it."
Hana Hiromitsu, 18, is another one in the play. She said she feels fortunate that she has an opportunity to perform here in the area.
"It's amazing!" Hiromitsu said. "It's crazy we get the opportunity that we do here in Southeast Missouri. There's very few performing art studios. There's a couple here and there but it's really amazing we get this opportunity."
Caden Baird, 17, said he moved here recently and found Between the Scenes Studio. He feels this is a great opportunity for any kid and said the best way to learn is to just do it.
"The best way to teach a kid how to perform is to make them perform," Baird said. "It's the quickest way to learn."
Isahh Williams, 15, said he was highly considering playing sports over theatre but glad he went this route because he feels passionate about it.
"It teaches me teamwork. To be around and be flexible," Isahh Williams said. "They're really great here. They help a lot of kids out and give a lot of kids opportunities. So this is a great studio to be at."
Teamwork is something Hevan Leon said is valuable in performing, especially with such a large cast. Leon has been doing dance, music and theatre since she was two years old. She sees a lot of promise and talent with the kids that are performing at this event.
"They're just very talented kids," Leon said. "A lot of these kids have something very special. They take it very seriously and I think I can see a lot of these kids doing it in the future for a career."
Da'zon Harris, 17, already has plans to take his career to the next level.
"I do plan on acting a lot of musical performances," Harris said. "Between the Scenes really helped."
And so does Noah Norr who tried out for the show and got exactly what he wanted. He got Pumba. Norr feels this was perfect as he could help people laugh and feel good.
"It just means the world that I could touch someone and make them laugh through the whole show and make them smile," Noah Norr said. "It just fills me up with so much joy."
Pumba's partner is the show is Timon.
Timon is played by 13-year old Sadie Middleton who said this is a very unique experience but knows this will shape her future at some point. She doesn't know how exactly yet but doesn't think it's her exact calling in life. She still wants to do something with the experience and is just glad she tried it.
"I don't want to pursue it as a career but I would like to do some on the side acting and singing," Middleton said. "I would rather try something and not like it then just wonder what I've missed out on."
Behind the Scenes Studios is located in Jackson, MO and has performed many other shows in years past with children of all ages.