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FROM ACTING TO ANIMALS Lillian Yarbrough, a fifth grader at Mark Twain Elementary and an actress in Madagascar, took a behind-the-scenes tour at the zoo to learn about the endangered species of Madagascar.
I love acting. It is fun, and it helps me express myself through my characters. Acting helps make my imagination grow with every character I play. It’s also nice to be around other caring actors that I can make friends with easily. This summer, I had an opportunity to audition for a musical called Madagascar with the A.D. Players Theater Arts Academy. I was one of the youngest to audition, and fortunately I was cast for three roles!
My main role was Lynn the Lemur. What made Lynn unique is that she loves partying and dancing and is a good jumper. I had to memorize lines and perform a musical solo. One of my favorite scenes was when the fossa were hunting for lemurs. I like that scene because I enjoy acting like I’m scared when being chased. I also played a lioness and a New Yorker who played a pivotal part in the subway scene. The rehearsals were fun, but long and hard, and in the end it was all worth it. The cast always encourages one another, and that is one of the things I love the most about being part of a production.
What made this experience so interesting is that the cast had an opportunity to partner with the Houston Zoo. The cast and crew went on a guided tour of the zoo to learn more about the endangered species of Madagascar. We saw lemurs and a fossa, which is one of Madagascar’s most dangerous predators. This field trip helped us with character development and to bring our characters to life on stage.
We also had the ZooMobile come to our final show at the theater and bring some ambassador animals for the theatergoers to enjoy. We learned more about how deforestation affects the animals of Madagascar, and we even got to touch some of the animals, which included a hissing cockroach! The volunteers with the zoo were great, and the entire cast and crew had a wonderful time learning more about how we can help the endangered animals of Madagascar.
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