August 24, 2017 – Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts announces the four local area elementary schools that have been selected to participate in the Disney Musicals in Schools program, now in its second year locally. New participants for in the 2017 – 2018 school year are Kaley Lake Como Elementary (Orange County), OCPS Academic Center for Excellence (Orange County), Pleasant Hill Elementary (Osceola County) and Wicklow Elementary (Seminole County). Returning from last academic year for their second year in the three-year program are Bonneville Elementary (Orange County), Winegard Elementary (Orange County), Lake Orienta Elementary (Seminole County) and Kissimmee Elementary (Osceola County). At an orientation event in December 2017, these schools will select a Disney musical of their choice from the “KIDS” licensing collection. The rehearsals will officially start in January 2018, culminating with performances the following May.
At no cost to them, these selected schools will participate in a 17-week musical theater residency, led by a team of teaching artists trained by the Dr. Phillips Center Florida Hospital School of the Arts and Disney Theatrical Productions. Each school will receive performance rights, educational support materials and guidance from the teaching artists. The program features a professional development focus, through which participating school teachers partner with Dr. Phillips Center Florida Hospital School of the Arts teaching artists to learn how to produce, direct, choreograph, and music direct their first school show. The program will culminate in a 30-minute Disney KIDS musical at each school site. As a capstone to the experience, the School of the Arts will host a Student Share Celebration in which each school performs one number from their show on the Walt Disney Theater stage for an audience of students, teachers, family and community members.
A seed grant from Disney was awarded to the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in May 2016. The grant affords the outreach initiative developed by Disney Theatrical Productions to create sustainable theater programs in under-resourced elementary schools. The initial gift funds two years of programming.
Using the unique world of musical theater, Disney Musicals in Schools helps to foster positive relationships between students, faculty, staff, parents and the community. Students and teachers work in teams, developing the wide spectrum of skills needed when producing a piece of musical theater, including: critical thinking, problem solving, ensemble building, communication, self-confidence and interpersonal skills.
For more information, as well as an application for teaching artist positions, please visit drphillipscenter.org/education.
About the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization operating the state-of-the-art performing arts center in downtown Orlando, Florida. With its opening in November 2014, the performing arts center launched its vision of Arts for Every Life by being a gathering place for creativity and discovery; a vibrant urban destination where artists, audiences and students come to experience, explore and learn. The two-block community destination features the 2,700-seat Walt Disney Theater, 300-seat Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater, Seneff Arts Plaza, Dr. Phillips Center Florida Hospital School of the Arts, the DeVos Family Room, and other event rental spaces. Future expansion includes Steinmetz Hall, a 1,700-seat acoustical theater, along with rehearsal, classroom, office space and commercial development spaces. Dr. Phillips Center is a private non-profit collaborating with the City of Orlando, Orange County, the City of Winter Park, the State of Florida and generous donors.
Disney Musicals in Schools was launched in 2010 in response to Disney Theatrical’s concern that under-resourced public elementary schools were not afforded equitable access to the arts. After successfully offering the program in New York City schools, Disney Theatrical began partnering with organizations in other communities across the United States.
Disney KIDS musicals, created in partnership with Music Theatre International (MTI), are 30-minute musicals designed for elementary school performers and have been adapted from the classic Disney films 101 Dalmatians, Aladdin, The Aristocats, Cinderella, The Jungle Book, The Lion King, and Winnie the Pooh.
DISNEY THEATRICAL PRODUCTIONS (DTP) operates under the direction of Thomas Schumacher and is among the world’s most successful commercial theatre enterprises, bringing live entertainment events to a global annual audience of more than 19 million people in more than 50 countries. Under the Disney Theatrical Productions banner, the group produces and licenses Broadway productions around the world, including Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Elton John & Tim Rice’s Aida, TARZAN®, Mary Poppins, a co-production with Cameron Mackintosh, The Little Mermaid, Peter and the Starcatcher, Newsies, and Aladdin. Frozen, based on the Academy Award®-winning film, will open on Broadway in 2018. Other successful stage musical ventures have included the Olivier-nominated London hit Shakespeare in Love, stage productions of Disney’s High School Musical, Der Glöckner Von Notre Dame in Berlin, and King David in concert. DTP has collaborated with the country’s leading regional theatres to develop new stage titles including The Jungle Book, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Freaky Friday.
Disney Theatrical Productions also delivers live shows globally through its license to Feld Entertainment, producer of Disney on Ice and Disney Live! For over 30 years, Disney on Ice and Disney Live! have brought beloved Disney stories and characters annually to over 12 million guests in nearly 50 countries worldwide, through productions such as Marvel Universe Live! and Frozen, the most well attended and highest grossing Disney on Ice production to date. In addition, DTP licenses musical titles for local, school and community theatre productions through Music Theatre International, including The Lion King Experience, a unique holistic arts education program wherein accredited elementary and middle schools produce condensed, age-appropriate JR. and KIDS adaptations of The Lion King.
About Music Theatre International Music Theatre International (MTI) is one of the world's leading theatrical licensing agencies, granting theatres from around the world the rights to perform the greatest selection of musicals from Broadway and beyond. Founded in 1952 by composer, Frank Loesser, and orchestrator, Don Walker, MTI is a driving force in advancing musical theatre as a vibrant and engaging art form. MTI works directly with the composers, lyricists and book writers of these musicals to provide official scripts, musical materials and dynamic theatrical resources to over 70,000 professional, community and school theatres in the US and in over 60 countries worldwide. MTI is particularly dedicated to educational theatre, and has created special collections to meet the needs of various types of performers and audiences. MTI’s Broadway Junior shows are 30- and 60-minute musicals for elementary and middle school-aged performers, while MTI’s School Editions are musicals annotated for performance by high school students. www.mtishows.com