The application process for the 2023-24 School Year is now closed.
Disney Musicals in Schools Overview
Add a little magic to your school with Disney Musicals in Schools – a Disney Theatrical Group initiative that ignites a passion for storytelling by building sustainable theater programs in under-resourced public elementary schools.
By providing free performance materials and free professional development to participating schools, Disney Musicals in Schools has helped schools across the US and UK launch new theater programs, inspiring the next generation of diverse storytellers, artists, and audiences.
Each year, up to 5 schools will be selected to participate in the Disney Musicals in Schools: Residency program and up to 5 schools will be selected to participate in the Disney Musicals in Schools: Mini-Residency program free of charge. Any New York City public elementary school is eligible to apply. Schools with at least 70% Economic Need Index are particularly encouraged to apply.
The goals of Disney Musicals in Schools are to:
Create sustainable musical theatre 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 theatre, including critical thinking, problem solving, ensemble building, communication, self-confidence, and interpersonal skills.
The Mini-Residency program is ideal for schools with some theater-making experience.
The Residency program is ideal for schools completely new to the theater making process.
The primary difference between the two programs is the way in which the professional development is delivered. Details can be found in the section below.
Selected schools will receive:
Free performance license to a 30-minute Disney KIDS musical (see available shows here)
Free ShowKit materials, including a director’s guide, student scripts, cross-curricular activities, accompaniment and rehearsal tracks, and choreography videos
Three 90-minute in-school visits from a Disney Teaching Artist, customized to support your school
Weekly 90-minute in-school visits from a pair of Disney Teaching Artists for 17 weeks to train and guide your team throughout the process
Free day-long professional development/orientation workshop in midtown that explores the rehearsal process and the foundational roles of director, music director, choreographer, stage manager, and producer
Free 3-hour professional development/orientation workshop in midtown to introduce school teams to the program pedagogy and assigned teaching artists
Participation in a culminating Disney Musicals in Schools Student Share Celebration where each school will share a selection from its production at a Broadway theatre
Selected schools will be required to:
Produce a 30-minute Disney KIDS musical involving 3rd-5th graders both on and off stage.
Identify a School Team comprising at least three teachers and staff members, including one arts specialist (any discipline), who will partner with the Disney Teaching Artists and oversee and manage the program from beginning to end.
Residency Applicants: The School Team will receive on-site support from a team of two Disney Teaching Artists who will visit the school each week, for 17 weeks. The School Team will also run a 90 minute rehearsal on their own once each week.
Mini-Residency Applicants: The School Team will rehearse for 90 minutes, twice a week, for 17 weeks. A Disney Teaching Artist will provide on-site support over three visits. Participating Mini-Residency School Team members must attend the required professional development workshop.
Commit to a full semester of rehearsal /production in either a classroom or an after-school setting, but not both (see timeline).
Host a site visit for the selection team during the application process.
Provide space, time, materials, and resources for students and the School Team to rehearse and prepare for the musical production.
Provide opportunities for the whole school, parents, and larger community to be connected to the production.
Hold a minimum of one public performance of the musical.
Participate in the culminating Student Share event on Broadway, and provide transportation for participating students.
2023-2024 Key Dates:
OCT 16 – NOV 8
Finalist school interviews
All applicants notified of status
Selected Residency school orientation
Selected Mini-Residency school professional development
JAN – MAY
Rehearsals and onsite support from Teaching Artists
MAY – JUNE
Disney Musicals in Schools Student Share Celebration
Disney will provide performance rights, ShowKit materials, Professional Development, and onsite Teaching Artist support at no charge to selected schools. Selected schools will be responsible for a production budget. Disney KIDS Musicals are designed to be produced inexpensively and have been successfully mounted within a budget of $300-$1500.
Disney Teaching Artists will work to maximize the school’s production budget by advising on the use of reclaimed and existing materials, such as cardboard boxes and t-shirts brought from home. Any additional costs, such as after-school payments for school staff, will be the school’s responsibility.