This week, members of Playhouse Square Partners volunteered at the Disney Musicals in Schools Student Share Celebration at the Ohio Theatre. This is our second year attending the Student Share and our first year volunteering with the event.
The Disney Musicals in Schools 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. This year’s participating schools were Buhrer Dual Language Academy, Franklin D. Roosevelt Elementary School, Patrick Henry Elementary School, and Nathan Hale Elementary School.
The evening began with students from all four schools in the program performing an original Disney Musicals in Schools number written by Alan Menken, called “It Starts with a Dream.”
Then, each school in the program performed one number from their chosen musical. Three of the schools chose “Jungle Book KIDS” as their musical and one school chose “Aladdin KIDS.” It was so fun to see each school’s interpretation of well-known Disney numbers through creative dance and costumes.
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, sharing his own start on the stage in sixth grade.
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.
Disney Musicals in Schools drives home the importance of the arts in an educational setting, as well as reminding me how fortunate I am to be able to provide Jeffrey with exposure to the arts at Playhouse Square on a regular basis. I’m proud to be a Playhouse Square donor and volunteer, helping to support programs that expand the reach of the arts and open the doors of those extraordinary theaters to all.
***Disclosure: I am the co-chair of Playhouse Square Partners. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***