Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma Joins DISNEY MUSICALS IN SCHOOLS Collaboration
On May 18, more than 200 elementary students from the Oklahoma City Public School District will have the extraordinary opportunity to sing and dance on the Civic Center Music Hall stage as the result of a grant awarded to Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma by Disney.
The grant from Disney enables Lyric Theatre to offer the Disney Musicals in Schools program to five schools each year in Oklahoma City. The program is designed to create sustainable theater programs in elementary schools. Through the program, participating schools produce a Disney KIDS musical in their school community and join in a culminating performance at the Civic Center Music Hall. The participating schools are Adelaide Lee Elementary, Hawthorne Elementary, John Rex Charter Elementary, Pierce Elementary and Willow Brook Elementary.
"This is a time of much change in the Oklahoma City Public School District, and we are honored to be able to provide a creative arts experience for our participating schools," said Rozz Grigsby, director of Lyric's Disney Musicals in Schools. "As this program continues in coming years, we look forward to continuing to be a bright spot in the school year for hundreds of OKC students. Oklahoma's children deserve the best, well-rounded education available, and that includes creative and performing arts. The Disney Musicals in Schools program provides an infusion of arts and creativity right here where it is needed to serve our students."
The selected schools participated in a 17-week musical theater residency, led by a team of teaching artists trained by Lyric Theatre and Disney Theatrical Group, at no cost. Each school received performance rights, educational support materials and guidance from the teaching artists. The program featured a professional development focus, through which participating school teachers partnered with Lyric teaching artists to learn how to produce, direct, choreograph, and music direct, culminating in their first 30-minute Disney KIDS musical at their school. Lee and Willow Brook performed The Lion King KIDS, John Rex and Pierce chose The Jungle Book KIDS and Hawthorne took on The Aristocats KIDS. The Student Share Celebration on May 18 is the culmination of this year's program and will be hosted by Mecca Rayne and Alex Housden of KOCO 5 News.
In September, Lyric Theatre will begin recruitment for the program's second year, seeking five new Oklahoma City area elementary schools. If you are a teacher or administrator and are interested in this cost-free, after-school opportunity for your students, or would like more information about how the program can benefit your school, please contact Rozz Grigsby at Rozz@LyricTheatreOKC.com.
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 collaborating 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.
About Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma
Founded in 1963, Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma is the state's leading professional theatre company. Lyric produces classic and contemporary musicals, new works, and plays featuring artists from Oklahoma and around the nation. Shows are presented at two Oklahoma City venues - the intimate Plaza Theatre and in the summer at the grand Civic Center Music Hall. Lyric's Thelma Gaylord Academy is the premier professional theatre training ground, offering classes in all aspects of the performing arts. Lyric is a nonprofit member theatre of the National Alliance for Musical Theatre and Allied Arts. For more information, visit www.LyricTheatreOKC.org.