The goals of Disney Musicals in Schools are to:
- Create sustainable musical theater programs in public elementary schools.
- Provide school faculty with the training and tools necessary to support student performance and production, and to empower them to do so.
- Develop a critical awareness and appreciation of the arts within the school.
- Develop a strong community including students, parents, faculty, staff, and neighbors.
- Expose students and school faculty to the wide spectrum of skills that are developed when producing a piece of musical theater, including: critical thinking, problem solving, ensemble building, communication, self-confidence, and interpersonal skills.
Disney Musicals in Schools is available in select cities across the country. Click here to see if Disney Musicals in Schools is available in your community. The local professional arts organization that offers the program will select a limited number of public elementary schools in designated districts through an application process. Each city may have additional eligibility qualifications. Contact your local Disney Musicals in Schools provider to see if your school is eligible for the program.
In cities where Disney Musicals in Schools is offered, eligible schools are invited to apply to the program through a grant application. Disney Musicals in Schools host organization representatives review the applications, select some schools for follow up interviews, and ultimately select a limited number of recipients from the application pool each year.
Disney Musicals in Schools is free to recipient schools and includes: performance rights for one year to the Disney KIDS musical of the school’s choice; a free ShowKit of materials including Director’s Guides, Student Scripts, CDs, and more; and 17 weekly visits from professional Teaching Artists to guide students and teachers through the process of producing a school musical. Additional expenses (including, but not limited to: production budgets, teacher salaries, and student transportation) are the school’s responsibility and are not included in the program.
Participating schools are expected to:
- Produce a 30-minute Disney KIDS musical involving 3rd-5th graders both on and off stage.
- Identify a School Team comprising three to five teachers and staff members who will oversee and manage the production from beginning to end.
- Commit to 17 weeks of after-school rehearsal consisting of a minimum of two 90-minute sessions per week.
- Provide space, time, materials, and resources for students and the School Team to rehearse and prepare for the musical production.
- Involve parents and the larger community in the mounting of the production.
- Hold a minimum of one performance of the musical and participate in a program-wide Student Share event celebrating all of the schools involved in Disney Musicals in Schools.
Disney Musicals in Schools is offered through non-profit professional arts organizations in communities across the country. Contact your local arts organization to inquire about Disney Musicals in Schools in your community, or if you are a representative from a professional arts organization visit the “For Theaters” section of this website.
Disney Musicals in Schools features Disney KIDS musicals—30-minute stage adaptions of classic Disney stories written expressly for elementary school performers. For 17 weeks, professional Teaching Artists visit the school once a week for a 90-minute rehearsal to guide teachers and students through the rehearsal process. Schools are responsible for holding an additional 90-minute rehearsal each week without the presence of the Teaching Artists. Over time, the Teaching Artists will transition more responsibility to the school teachers, until the teachers are self-sufficient in the rehearsal process. At the end of the program, schools perform a fully produced half hour musical and participate in a culminating Student Share showcase at the professional arts organization’s venue.
Disney Musicals in Schools is carefully structured to provide a team of three-to-five school teachers with the professional development necessary to support student theater productions in future years. By providing high-quality, in-depth support, teachers are equipped to continue producing a show year after year. Successful “graduates” of the Disney Musicals in Schools program are invited to participate in two years of continued programming. In the second year, schools are again granted performance rights and a free standard ShowKit to a Disney KIDS musical. Year two school teachers attend a professional development workshop designed to build on their theater skills so they can proceed without the presence of the Teaching Artists. Schools in the third year of the program receive a discount toward a Disney KIDS ShowKit, and another professional development workshop to take their skills to the next level. Schools need not produce a Disney musical, but must continue with another musical theater performance, in order to continue with the professional development opportunities.