TPAC & Disney bring magic to elementary theater

Disney magic and music are on a lot of young minds this week. More than 250 Metro elementary students from six schools took part in TPAC’s Disney Musicals in Schools program. Norman Binkley, Park Avenue, Eakin, Julia Green, Napier and Drexel all received hands on experience from trained teaching artists and the school’s music specialists, who applied the magic of Disney to theater activities that address imagination, creativity, problem-solving, teamwork, communication skills, and so many more goals of classroom learning in after-school settings.

The students performed on the same stage as the Broadway musical "The Lion King," which is currently showing at TPAC. Each selected what play and song to perform, including "Aladdin," "101 Dalmatians" and "The Jungle Book." Even better, the special guest hosts were performers from "The Lion King!"

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The long-term goal, for both Disney Theatrical Group and TPAC Education, is that sustainable musical theatre will continue in participating schools.

At no cost to them, the six elementary schools will receive a performance license to the Disney KIDS musical of their choice, comprehensive resource materials, and in-school support from two TPAC teaching artists for 15 weeks. Rehearsals will begin in January, with up to 60 children from each school taking part in the production, both on and off the stage. Following performances at their schools in the spring, each will present one musical number at a “Student Share” event at TPAC in May, 2013.

Four of the five schools which participated in the pilot last year will again produce musicals in their schools, receiving rights and Disney “show kit” at no charge. They are Glengarry Elementary School; Hattie Cotton STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) Magnet Elementary School; Hull-Jackson Montessori Magnet School; and Kirkpatrick Elementary Enhanced Option School.

Disney KIDS musicals, created in partnership with Musical Theatre International (MTI), are about 30 minutes in length, and have been adapted from classic Disney films including 101 Dalmatians, Aladdin, The Aristocats, Cinderella, The Jungle Book, Sleeping Beauty, and Winnie the Pooh. The Nashville project was seeded by an after-school creativity grant from Disney and is now self-sustained through new funders.

Learn more.