Center Theatre Group Receives $100K Disney Musicals in Schools Grant

Center Theatre Group Receives $100K Disney Musicals in Schools Grant

Center Theatre Group has been awarded a $100,000 grant from Disney to bring the Disney Musicals in Schools program to the Los Angeles area.

The program is an outreach initiative developed by Disney Theatrical Productions to create sustainable theatre programs in under-resourced elementary schools. The grant funds two years of programming; Center Theatre Group will select five local public elementary schools to participate in 2017-2018, and another five will be selected for 2018-2019.

The selected schools will participate in a 17-week musical theatre residency, led by a team of teaching artists trained by Center Theatre Group and Disney Theatrical Productions, at no cost. 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 Center Theatre Group teaching artists to learn how to produce, direct, choreograph and music direct, culminating in their first 30-minute Disney KIDS musical at their school. As a capstone to the experience, Center Theatre Group will host a Student Share Celebration in which each school performs one number from their show on the Mark Taper Forum stage for an audience of students, teachers, family and community members.

Using the unique world of musical theatre, 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 theatre, including critical thinking, problem solving, ensemble building, communication, self-confidence and interpersonal skills.

"Following years of successfully collaborating with Disney to bring shows such as 'Mary Poppins,' 'Aida' and 'Peter and the Starcatcher' to Los Angeles, we are thrilled to become the newest partner in the Disney Musicals in Schools program," said Center Theatre Group Director of Social Strategy, Innovation and Impact Leslie K. Johnson. "The program's focus on building educators' capacity to teach musical theatre aligns well with our commitment to supporting teachers as artists and instructional leaders in their own communities."

Applications are now being accepted for 2017-2018. Public elementary schools in Los Angeles County holding a Title 1 status are eligible to apply. For more information or to apply, visit www.centertheatregroup.org/programs/students-and-educators/school-partnerships or email tkwon@ctgla.org.

Disney Musicals in Schools was launched 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 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."

Center Theatre Group, one of the nation's preeminent arts and cultural organizations, is Los Angeles' leading nonprofit theatre company, programming seasons at the 736-seat Mark Taper Forum and 1600 to 2000-seat Ahmanson Theatre at The Music Center in Downtown Los Angeles, and the 317-seat Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City. In addition to presenting and producing the broadest range of theatrical entertainment in the country, Center Theatre Group is one of the nation's leading producers of ambitious new works through commissions and world premiere productions and a leader in interactive community engagement and education programs that reach across generations, demographics and circumstance to serve Los Angeles.

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. The division 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, is slated to 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 Glo?ckner 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."

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 JuniorTM shows are 30- and 60-minute musicals for performance by elementary and middle school-aged performers, while MTI's School Editions are musicals annotated for performance by high school students.

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