Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Dr. Phillips Center Receives Disney Musicals In Schools Grant to Fund Theater Education Program

Dr. Phillips Center Florida Hospital School of the Arts has been awarded a $100,000 grant from Disney to bring the Disney Musicals in Schools program to the Orlando area. The program is an outreach initiative developed by Disney Theatrical Group to create sustainable theater programs in under-resourced elementary schools. The grant funds two years of programming; the School of the Arts will select four Orange, Osceola or Seminole County-area public elementary schools to participate in the 2016-2017 school year, and another four will be selected for 2017-2018.

At no cost to them, the selected schools will participate in a 17-week musical theater residency, led by a team of teaching artists trained by the School of the Arts and Disney Theatrical Group. Each school will receive performance rights, education support materials and guidance from the teaching artists. The program features a professional development focus, through which participating school teachers partner with School of the Arts teaching artists to learn how to produce, direct, choreograph, and music direct their first school show. The program will culminate in a 30-minute Disney KIDS musical at each school site. As a capstone to the experience, the School of the Arts will host a Student Share Celebration in which each school performs one number from their show on the Dr. Phillips Center stage for an audience of students, teachers, family and community members.

"Our vision of Arts For Every Life is realized not only in the performances and education programs that take place in the arts center, but in the outreach we do in the community," said Kathy Ramsberger, president and CEO of the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. "This grant from Disney is a fantastic opportunity for Central Florida schools, and we're thrilled to participate."

"We are so excited to have this hands-on opportunity," said Dana Brazil, director of Education. "That we can spend a full 17 weeks with educators and students immersed in all that musical theater can teach, with the incredible resources of Disney Musicals in Schools, hits right at the heart of our educational purpose for students to grow in body, mind and imagination."

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.

Applications are now being accepted for the 2016-17 school year. To qualify, the school must be located in Orange, Osceola or Seminole Counties, where 60% of students must be participating in the Florida free-or-reduced-lunch program. For more information, or to apply, please visit, or call Dana Brazil at 407.839.0119 or

Related Articles View More Orlando Stories   Shows

More Hot Stories For You