This amazing program provides select Cleveland Metropolitan School District elementary schools with licensing for a Disney KIDS musical, a costume kit, and instruction from professional teaching artists from Playhouse Square.
The 17-week program culminates in the performance of a 30-minute Disney KIDS musical at the school, plus the chance to perform one of the songs on stage at the Ohio Theatre at the Student Share Celebration.
The evening began with all the students in the program performing an original Disney Musicals in Schools number written by Alan Menken, called “It Starts with a Dream.” To see this group of students from 4 different schools come together to perform a collective number was inspiring!
Then, each school in the program performed one number from their chosen musical. Euclid Park School performed “I Just Can’t Wait to be King,” Orchard STEM School performed “Be Prepared,” and Warner Girls Leadership Academy performed “Hakuna Matata,” all from The Lion King KIDS. Wilbur Wright School performed “Prince Ali” from Aladdin KIDS.
The enthusiasm, talent, original takes on familiar stories, and adorable costumes made each performance something truly special to see. Our host for the evening, WEWS anchor Leon Bibb, did a wonderful job of pointing out how these types of experiences create lifelong memories and interest in the arts.
The goal of the Disney Musicals in Schools program is to establish a sustainable musical theater program in each school. The schools who participated in this year’s program will receive licensing and show kits for next year, but the staff of the school will lead the program with less guidance from Playhouse Square, in order to establish an independent program. And next year, new schools will begin the process. Click here for information on how to apply.
The evening was one of the most moving and exciting nights of theater I’ve been to in awhile. To see young children becoming invested in the arts and to know that these programs can continue at their schools for years to come is something truly special. Playhouse Square is not only dedicated to amazing theater experiences for adults, but also to prioritizing access and exposure to the arts for children. As a donor, that makes me feel great about where my donation is going! What an amazing program!
***Disclosure: I am the vice co-chair of Playhouse Square Partners and a member of the Playhouse Square Partners Encore Society. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***