Segerstrom Center for the Arts continues with its second year of participation in Disney Musicals in Schools, having recently selected four Orange County public elementary schools to embark in the 2015 program. Last year, Segerstrom Center was awarded a $100,000 grant from Disney to help bring the Disney Musicals in Schools program to Orange County, and the first year of the program resulted in a total of 250 students and 20 teachers from four elementary schools going on a musical journey that would find them discovering the world of musical theater, all while developing and honing various skills throughout the process. Their journey, from the school grounds to the big stage, culminated in a production of a Disney KIDS musical.
Through an application process, Segerstrom Center has selected four Orange County public elementary schools, new to this program, to participate during the 2015 – 16 school year: Agnes Ware Stanley Elementary (Garden Grove), Ethan B. Allen Elementary School (Fountain Valley), San Juan Elementary School (San Juan Capistrano) and Westmont Elementary School (Westminster).
The four selected schools will participate in a 17-week musical theater residency. Segerstrom Center will train and assign teaching artists to work with each school. At no cost to them, the schools will receive performance rights, educational support materials and guidance from the teaching artists. The role of the teaching artists is to help produce the chosen Disney musical and to create a sustainable theater program in the participating schools. The programs will culminate in 30-minute Disney KIDS musicals at each school site. On March 22, 2016, Segerstrom Center will host a Student Share Celebration, where each school will have the extraordinary opportunity to perform a selection from its show on the Center’s stage for an audience of fellow students, family members and friends.
Disney Musicals in Schools is an outreach program initiative developed by Disney Theatrical Group to create ongoing theater programs in local elementary schools. The after-school programs are completely free to participating schools. Disney Musicals in Schools helps to keep the arts in schools and utilizes the unique world of musical theater to build positive relationships between students, faculty, staff, parents and the community. Students work in teams to develop or restore self-confidence, strengthen communication and collaboration skills all while learning and enjoying the process of creating a Disney musical theater production.
Disney Musicals in Schools was launched in response to Disney Theatrical Group’s concern that lowincome students in urban, public schools were not afforded equitable access to the arts. After successfully offering the program in New York City schools, Disney Theatrical Group began partnering with organizations in other communities around the United States.
Disney KIDS musicals, created in partnership with Music Theatre International (MTI), are about 30 minutes in length and have been adapted from the classic Disney films, 101 Dalmatians, Aladdin, The Aristocats, Cinderella, The Jungle Book, The Lion King, Sleeping Beauty, and Winnie the Pooh.