DMIS 10th Anniversary Will Be Celebrated At Overture Center

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DMIS 10th Anniversary Will Be Celebrated At Overture Center

Disney Musicals in Schools (DMIS), an outreach initiative developed by Disney Theatrical Productions to create sustainable theater programs in under-resourced elementary schools, is entering its tenth landmark year.

In celebration of this milestone anniversary, Disney will collaborate with Overture Center to provide schools in their first year of the program memorabilia for participants to document their experience, the opportunity for students and teachers to attend a special pre-show dinner and performance of Cirque Mechanics: 42 FT - A Menagerie of Mechanical Marvels on March 14 at Overture, and contributions for their theater programs in amounts up to $1,000 each.

In addition, Overture will be providing students in the program with opportunities to talk to the cast of THE KING AND I and learn about career possibilities on and offstage in the performing arts field. Then, the student cast from each school will perform for their friends and family on The Capital Theater stage and the student crew will receive special backstage experiences and workshops with local and touring tech staff.

Disney also donated $500,000 to Donors Choose to match and fund all eligible DMIS projects to help schools secure items for sets, costumes, props and supplies in support of their new theater programs. Donors Choose is a school-specific crowd funding organization that allows teachers to fundraise for materials related to a specific project.

Launched in New York City in 2010, the program was developed in response to the Disney Theatrical Production's concerns that under-resourced public elementary schools were not afforded equitable access to the arts. After its successful launch in New York City schools, Disney Theatrical Productions began partnering with performing arts organizations across the country, expanding the program nationwide.

To date, the program has impacted more than 300 schools, nearly 1,000 teachers and over 40,000 students worldwide. DMIS is now in 21 cities, including its first international program in London.

Through the program, schools receive free performance rights and materials to a 30-minute version of a Disney musical adapted for elementary school performers. Over the course of a semester, professional Teaching Artists guide school teachers through the process of mounting a musical with student performers with the goal of providing the training necessary for teachers to continue a tradition of theater education for years to come.

"Disney Musicals in Schools benefits on two levels," explained Thomas Schumacher, President & Producer, Disney Theatrical Productions. "For teachers, our program provides hands-on skills to build self-sustaining theatre programs in their schools. For students, participating in musical theatre builds confidence, team-building and problem-solving skills to last a lifetime, regardless of one's eventual career path. All of us at Disney Theatrical continue to be inspired by the teachers and students across America who have built deeper community connections through the DMIS program and its unique approach to arts engagement."

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.

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