Mason Street Warehouse alumnus Russell Brown, an actor in the North American tour of the musical “The Lion King,” returned here Monday to share his story with Saugatuck Middle School sixth-grade students.
Brown, an actor-dancer-singer who played the role of Horse in MSW’s 2009 production of “The Full Monty,” went straight to Broadway where he has been performing as a bass in the singing ensemble, and serving as an understudy to the actor who plays Mufasa in “The Lion King” for the past 12 years.
“As I travel around North America,” said Brown, “I present my own outreach program ‘Project: Inspire’ to elementary, middle and high school students.
“While I present to schools, it is imperative to me that I reach at least one economically-disadvantaged school or program per city I visit,” he continued.
Brown was in Detroit with “The Lion King” and reached out to the Saugatuck Center for the Arts, which partners with the local Mason Street professional Equity theatre, for assistance connecting with schools.
“We love playing the role of connecter,” said SCA executive director Kristin Armstrong. “Russell is so talented.
“It’s very exciting when a performer of his caliber visits West Michigan. We were thrilled to be able to help him work with several regional schools.”
Brown uses the power of creativity, during Project: Inspire to activate students’ imaginations, inspiring them to achieve excellence in their personal, educational and artistic lives.
Drawing from his experience, Brown talks about what it takes to be a working performer and to be successful on stage, screen and in life.
“Russell’s program connects with any young person interested in making a difference in his or her community,” said SCA education and exhibitions manager Whitney Valentine.
“It’s very exciting to share Russell’s passion for helping young people find their unique voice with our community.”