Three New MMSD Schools Selected for 'Disney Musicals in Schools'

Three New MMSD Schools Selected for 'Disney Musicals in Schools'

Overture Center for the Arts announced that three new schools have been selected to participate in the 2017/18 Disney Musicals in Schools program. The program is an initiative developed by Disney Theatrical Productions to create sustainable musical theater programs in under-resourced elementary schools. The three schools are a part of Madison Metropolitan School District and include: Frank Allis Elementary School, Leopold Elementary School and Nuestro Mundo Community School.

The selected schools will begin a 17-week musical theater residency this month. Each school will receive performance rights, education support materials and guidance from two teaching artists. The program features a professional development focus, through which participating school teachers partner with Overture's teaching artists to learn how to produce, direct, choreograph and music direct, culminating in a 30-minute Disney KIDS musical at their school. As a capstone to the experience, Overture will host a Student Share Celebration in which each school performs one number from their show on stage in the Capitol Theater for an audience of students, teachers, family, and community members.

Last year, four Madison public schools successfully participated in their first year of the program, with 164 students and 25 school teachers working together to create a culture of musical theater at their schools. All four of these schools are continuing to produce musicals at their schools. They include: Falk Elementary School, Glendale Elementary School, Hawthorne Elementary School and Mendota Elementary School.

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

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 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.

Overture Center for the Arts in Madison, Wis., features seven state-of-the-art performance spaces and five galleries where national and international touring artists, ten resident companies and hundreds of local artists engage people in nearly 700,000 educational and artistic experiences each year. Overture.org

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. Under the Disney Theatrical Productions banner, the group 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, will 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 Glöckner 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.

Disney Theatrical Productions also delivers live shows globally through its license to Feld Entertainment, producer of Disney on Ice and Disney Live! For over 30 years, Disney on Ice andDisney Live! have brought beloved Disney stories and characters annually to over 12 million guests in nearly 50 countries worldwide, through productions such as Marvel Universe Live!and Frozen, the most well attended and highest grossing Disney on Ice production to date. In addition, DTP licenses musical titles for local, school and community theatre productions through Music Theatre International, including The Lion King Experience, a unique holistic arts education program wherein accredited elementary and middle schools produce condensed, age-appropriate JR. and KIDS adaptations of The Lion King.

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 Junior™ 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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