*Sleepless Theme #19 by destroyer.tumblr.com for sleeplessthemes.tumblr.com. Please don't remove credit! Please don't remove credit! Please don't remove credit! Please don't remove credit! Please don't remove credit! Please don't remove credit! */>
Shannon Skye Tavarez (January 20, 1999 – November 1, 2010) was an American child actress. She appeared in the Broadway theatre production of The Lion King by Walt Disney Theatrical, where she played the role of the young lion cub Nala.
Tavarez was a resident of Bellerose, Queens, New York City, and attended P.S. 176. She was chosen to play the role of Nala after a cattle call audition in 2008 at the Apollo Theater. She became one of two girls who split the role, with each girl performing four shows weekly. Several months after debuting in the show in September 2009, she was forced to leave the production after being diagnosed with an aggressive form of leukemia. The daughter of anAfrican American mother and a Dominican father, Tavarez faced much greater difficulty in attempts to find a match for a bone marrow transplant as minorities are significantly underrepresented in donor registries, despite efforts by such performers as Alicia Keys, Rihanna and 50 Cent to recruit prospective donors from among their fans. Unsuccessful in finding a bone marrow donor, Tavarez underwent an umbilical cord blood transplant in August 2010.
On November 1, 2010, Tavarez died at the age of 11 at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park, New York, due to acute myeloid leukemia. The lights at the Minskoff Theatre, whereThe Lion King was playing, were dimmed the night she died. In a statement released following her daughter’s death, Odiney Brown said that “Shannon’s dream was to perform on stage, and that she did.”