Forty children who are residents of JCCA’s Pleasantville Cottage Campus gave a terrific, heartfelt performance in their production of “The Lion King” on Wednesday evening, November 15. The cast sang and danced their hearts out to an audience of approximately 300 people that included members of the community, volunteers, staff, family members, and other young residents.

The cast had been in rehearsal for the past three weeks, and their dedication and commitment were visible in their performance. The beautiful costumes, spectacular projections, and inventive set design organized by JCCA staff all contributed to a wonderful production that was enriched by audience members joining in the singing of the familiar and beloved songs. When the curtain came down and several of the children ran into the arms of their waiting parents and siblings, the pride of all was palpable.

JCCA’s Pleasantville Cottage Campus serves children at severe risk in four residential programs that give them intensive support by a highly qualified staff in a safe, supervised, and nurturing setting. Therapeutic arts are an important component in helping these children to heal from the trauma they have experienced in their young lives.

JCCA Trustees Bryce Markus, who attended with his 5, 8 and 11 year old daughters and Stephanie Spiegel, who has been a volunteer on the campus for almost 15 years, marveled at the talent on stage.  “Making it possible for the young people in our care to experience the same types of cultural and artistic events that our own children take for granted is a really important part of our work here on the campus,” said Mr. Markus.