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Omaha Performing Arts will add five additional public elementary schools in Omaha, Council Bluffs and the surrounding area to the 2018-2019 Disney Musicals in Schools program. Omaha Performing Arts will provide schools with resources and support to produce their very own 30-minute Disney KIDS musicals in 2019 at no cost.
Selected schools will receive free performance rights, materials and in-school support from a team of Omaha Performing Arts teaching artists who will guide teachers throughout the rehearsal process. Over the course of 17 weeks, participating teachers will have the opportunity to learn how to produce, direct, choreograph, and music direct their first school show in an afterschool setting. The program will culminate in a 30-minute Disney KIDS musical at each school site. As a capstone to the experience, Omaha Performing Arts will host a Student Share Celebration in which each school performs one number from their show on Omaha Performing Arts’ Holland stage.
In 2016 Disney awarded Omaha Performing Arts a grant to help bring the Disney Musicals in Schools program to several school districts in Omaha and surrounding communities. The grant funded two years of programming for five public elementary schools the first year, and five additional schools this second year. Over the past two years the program has served hundreds of students at Harrison Elementary, Wilson Focus School, Kennedy Elementary, Crestridge Magnet School, Liberty Elementary, Douglas County West Elementary, Loveland Elementary, Plattsmouth Elementary and Wake Robin Elementary.
The program was developed by Disney Theatrical Productions to create sustainable theater programs in under-resourced elementary schools. Using the unique world of musical theater, Disney Musicals in Schools helps foster positive relationships among participating students, faculty, staff, parents, and the community. Students and teachers work in teams to develop 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.
Omaha Performing Arts President Joan Squires said: "We’re happy our long and successful history with our friends at Disney Theatrical Productions and The Walt Disney Company created an opportunity for Omaha Performing Arts to implement this wonderful program. Through Disney’s generosity and their vision, we can bring live performances to the community and enrich students as well as their families. The magic of this program will resonate for years to come."
“This program has been instrumental in helping expand Omaha Performing Arts’ education and community engagement programs. We are proud to continue this important partnership with Disney,” said Laura Kendall, Vice President for Programming and Education.
Public elementary schools in Omaha, Council Bluffs and surrounding communities are invited to apply. The deadline for applications is May 9, 2018. To request an application or request more information contact DMIS@OmahaPerformingArts.org. Schools can also contact Kathleen Lawler Hustead, Omaha Performing Arts Education Manager, at 402.661.8446 or firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
Disney Musicals in Schools was launched in New York City in 2010 in response to Disney Theatrical Production’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 Productions began partnering with organizations in other communities across the United States.
Disney KIDS musicals, created in partnership with Music Theater 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.