In March 2014, Disney Theatrical Group selected Seattle Theatre Group as a Disney Musicals in Schools affiliate. STG received training and seed money to launch this program in Washington.
Seattle Theatre Group’s Disney Musicals in Schools teaching artists partner with educators in selected Title I elementary schools to produce Disney KIDS musicals and create sustainable theatre programs at their schools. Together, teaching artists and educators will collaborate by mounting a 30-minute Disney KIDS show for their school. This 17-week program culminates in a Student Share Celebration at the historic Paramount Theatre.
STG will select up to four Washington State Title I public elementary schools to participate in Disney Musicals in Schools for the 2017-18 school year program.
Selected schools will receive free performances rights (valid for one year) to a Disney KIDS musical of their choosing as well as a complimentary ShowKit. The ShowKit includes materials and resources to aid teachers in producing, directing, and choreographing the show.
Selected schools will commit a team of at least 3-5 teachers and staff members to the program. At least one of these individuals must be an arts specialist (of any discipline). This School Team will receive onsite support and training from a team of two STG Teaching Artists during the rehearsal and production process (during a 90 minute school visit each week). The School Team will also be responsible for an additional 90 minute rehearsal each week, without the presence of the Teaching Artists.
The Teaching Artists will serve as production and creative advisors who will train and empower the School Team to run the program themselves. The Teaching Artists will guide the School Team through both production management (developing a rehearsal schedule, running auditions, and addressing technical and physical production requirements) and the creative execution of the show (direction, choreography, acting, and design). The Teaching Artists will also advise on cross-curricular connections and provide guidance on involving parents, the school community, and the wider community in this project.
Disney KIDS Musicals are designed to be produced on any budget. Teaching Artists will work with selected School Teams to create a production within the budget the school is able to allocate to this project.
- • Host a site visit for the selection team during the interview process.
- • Identify a School Team comprising at least 3-5 teachers and staff members, including one arts specialist (any discipline), who will oversee and manage the program from beginning to end.
- • Commit to 17 weeks of rehearsal /production in an after-school setting (see timeline), rehearsing a minimum of 2 times a week for 17 weeks.
- • Produce a 30-minute Disney KIDS musical involving 3rd-5th graders both on and off stage.
- • Provide space, time, materials, and resources for students and the School Team to rehearse and prepare for the musical production. The space must be open with room for participating students to move, dance, and sing loudly.
- • Provide opportunities for the whole school to be connected to the production.
- • Involve parents and the larger community in the mounting of the production.
- • Hold a minimum of one public performance of the musical.
- • Participate in the culminating Student Share Celebration event on April 2018 at The Paramount Theatre, and provide transportation for participating students.
- • A free performance license to a 30-minute Disney KIDS musical (available shows include: 101 Dalmatians, Aladdin, The Artistocats, Cinderella, The Jungle Book, Winnie the Pooh, The Lion King).
- • Free ShowKit materials, including a director’s guide, student scripts, cross-curricular activities, accompaniment and rehearsal CDs, and a choreography DVD.
- • Free in-school support from STG’s Teaching Artists.
- • Seattle Theatre Group will host a Student Share Celebration at The Paramount Theatre in which each school will perform one musical number from their show.
- • Free tickets to selected Seattle Theatre Group shows.
Here you will find a timeline for applications, orientation, training and shows for this school year (2016-17) and the next (2017-18).
OCTOBER 2016 - MARCH 2017
Weekly after-school rehearsals by STG’s Teaching Artists
FEBRUARY 3, 2017
Disney Musicals in Schools applications open for the 2017-2018 program year
Participating schools and alumni schools perform their selected Disney KIDS musicals at their school.
MARCH 27, 2017
STG will host a free Student Share Celebration at The Paramount Theatre at 12:00pm. If your school is interested in learning more about the program and would like to bring a group, CLICK HERE TO RSVP.
MARCH 31, 2017
Disney Musicals in Schools applications for 2017-18 close.
School Interviews and site visits.
MID MAY 2017
Schools will be notified of acceptance status.
SEPTEMBER 18, 2017
Orientation for 2017-18 Schools
SEPTEMBER 21, 2017
Alumni school team training
OCTOBER 2017 - MARCH 2018
Weekly after-school rehearsals by STG’s Teaching Artists
Here is what teachers and artists are saying about Disney Musicals in Schools:
Thank you so much for supporting our school and providing us with this opportunity. We will continue to integrate theater arts into our curriculum as well as many other of the arts and enrichments for our students. It has been a wonderful experience for our entire school community. - Participating Principal
After they finished running through “One by One” so successfully they all started jumping up and down yelling “we did it!” which was so heart warming and exciting. - STG Teaching Artist
They [students] have developed leadership skills and it shows when they are helping each other to remember choreography or running lines. Students have shown that they have the skills needed to pull off an amazing performance. The collaboration has been wonderful to see not only on stage but behind the scenes too with the building of set pieces, costumes, and props. Disney Musicals in Schools has allowed our students to express themselves creatively through the arts. They have developed self-confidence. - Participating Teacher
Here is a list of schools that have successfully completed Disney Musicals in Schools, along with current schools participating in the program:
2016-17 Current Participants
Madrona K-8 School
Madrona Elementary School
Robert Frost Elementary School
Dunlap Elementary School
South Shore K-8
Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School
McMicken Heights Elementary School
White Center Heights Elementary School
Mount View Elementary School
Emerson Elementary School
Van Asselt Elementary School
West Seattle Elementary School
SARAH RUSSELL is an actor, singer, teaching artist, and Washington native who's been working and performing in Seattle for over 6 years. She's worked at numerous theaters as an actor and teaching artist for corresponding workshops and classes including Seattle Children's Theatre (The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe), The 5th Avenue (Grease, Hairspray In Concert!, RENT), Village Theatre (My Heart Is the Drum), Taproot Theatre (Big fish, A Charlie Brown Christmas), StoryBook Theatre (Little Red Riding Hood, The Little Mermaid), and many others. She is very excited to be working with STG's Disney Musicals in Schools, and loves working with the volunteers, students, and staff.
SHAKIAH DANIELSON is a self-taught hip hop instructor/choreographer and is currently the Artistic Director of “The Groovement,” a hip hop program based at Northwest Tap Connection. She began choreographing/teaching a little over 13 years ago for theater productions by Restoration of the Arts (ROTA), a non-profit artistic organization based out of South Seattle with a focus on utilizing the arts to reach at-risk youth. Shakiah takes a bold, passionate approach to hip-hop coupled with an eclectic blend of music to deliver fun, energetic, thought-provoking pieces. You never know what you’re going to get!
MAYA SOTO is a choreographer, performer and award winning arts educator. She is a member of Catapult Dance Company and a successful independent artist. She is a recipient of the Velocity Dance Champion Award (2014) for significant contribution to Seattle dance. Her choreography has been featured in every major dance festival in the Northwest including OTB/Northwest New Works Festival (SEA), BOOST Dance Festival (SEA), Pacific Dance Makers (PDX), Seattle International Dance Festival (SEA) and Conduit's Dance+ Festival (PDX). Over the years, she has worked with many notable artists/companies including Amy O’Neal, KT Neihoff, Sandstrommovement, and LeGendre Performance Group. From 2003-2012, she co-directed collaborative dance company, Northwest Dance Syndrome. Passionate about arts education, Maya teaches weekly modern technique classes at Velocity Dance Center and is on faculty at the Northwest School and Exit Space School of Dance. She has taught at Cornish College of the Arts, Bellevue College, The International Ballet School and Seattle International Dance Festival’s intensive program – The Threshold Institute. She is currently a teaching artist for Seattle Theatre Group, Disney Musicals in Schools and the EMP Museum. Maya is a graduate of Cornish College of the Arts. More at mayasotodance.com.
KENI COHEN has over 35 years of experience in the theatre world as a director, actor, mime, clown, and educator. He has combined his love for the theatre with his curiosity of the world’s many cultures by creating his own ensembles in France, Portugal, Brazil, and New Mexico. For seven years Keni was the artistic director of the highly acclaimed teen ensemble “Theatre of Urgency." While artist in residence in New Mexico, he taught over 70 residencies for all grade levels and worked for the “Santa Fe Children’s Museum” where he created twelve original family shows. He has worked as an actor in classical, contemporary, and experimental plays. Keni has worked for Seattle Children’s Theater as a teaching artist for the last 16 years and 7 years as a summer season play director.
ZOE WILSON is a teaching artist and director passionate about creating spaces of transformation and conversation through theatre. For the last six years Zoe has been working with youth creating original plays, coaching monologues, and directing productions at Seattle Repertory Theatre, Village Theatre, Youth Theatre Northwest, Foundry10, and Silver Kite Community Arts. Zoe holds a BA in Theatre Arts with a minor in Youth Studies.
GAYNELL T. WALKER is a former elementary teacher and retired elementary principal. She taught Kindergarten, 4th and 6th grade and was Principal of a Title I K-6 school all in the Kent School District. She holds a Bachelor of Arts and Teacher Certification from the University of Washington. She holds a Masters of Education and Principal Certification from Seattle University. Gaynell also has a passion for dance, which began as a teen. Her dance training was under the supervision of the late Dr. Darrlyn Smith, owner and artistic director of TTAAPP Central Studio. She has participated in trainings with the late Cholly Atkins and Diane Walker at the New York Dance Festival. Currently Gaynell works with former owner and artistic director of Ewajo Centre, Edna Daigre, focusing on health and wellness through dance. She has performed at events sponsored by the Central Area Senior Center, MLKFame Community Center, DANCE This 2015 and with the Women's Steel Pan Band at Folklife Festival 2016. Gaynell also taught low impact dance classes for healthy aging participants and was a guest dance instructor for an STG’s student workshop teaching dances of the Motown era. She is excited to have the best of both worlds by participating in the Disney Musicals in Schools.
HATTIE CLAIRE ANDRES is a Seattle-based director, choreographer, producer, actor, and educator. Locally, Hattie has worked with Seattle Repertory Theatre, The 5th Avenue Theatre, Seattle Children's Theatre, Seattle Theatre Group/Disney Musicals in Schools, Youth Theatre Northwest, One Coast Collaboration, Washington Ensemble Theatre, Live Girls! Theatre, 14/48: The World's Quickest Theatre Project, ArtsWest Playhouse, and Playing in Progress, as well as Minneapolis-based companies The Playwrights' Center, The Jungle Theatre, and Stages Theatre Company. Hattie holds a B.A. in Theatre and Management Studies from St. Olaf College and is a proud co-founder of Seattle's Young Americans' Theatre Company.
ALEXIS RAMIREZ is a hip-hop dance teacher and community organizer from Oakland, California. She is an avid believer in using art as a transformative tool to create change in the world. Her hip-hop dance program, Majestic Movers, teaches middle school girls about leadership, empowerment and social justice so that they will have the tools and confidence to be community leaders. Alexis also works as an instructor at the Salsa N Seattle dance studio and is the leader of Drop Squad, a hip-hop dance crew open to anyone who has a passion for dancing. When not dancing, you can find her eating ice cream, lots and lots of ice cream!
AMBERLEE WILLIAMS is a Teaching Artist, arts administrator, and actor originally from Oklahoma. She is the Program Coordinator for Seattle Theatre Group’s Disney Musicals In Schools, a musical theatre program for underserved elementary schools. She teaches classes, workshops, and camps for many wonderful companies and programs including Seattle Children’s Theatre, Village Theatre’s KIDSTAGE, Seattle Theatre Group, Studio East, and Youth Theatre Northwest, among others. She received her B.A. from Oklahoma State University and is a graduate of Washington’s Teaching Artist Training Lab. Recent favorite roles include George in Curious George and Wilbur in Charlotte’s Web (Second Story Repertory), Rosie in Sweet Charity (Seattle Musical Theatre), and Zoey in Don Juan in Chicago (Arouet).
Marisol Best, Education Programs Manager
Amberlee Williams, Disney Musicals in Schools Coordinator
If you'd like to learn more about Disney Musicals in Schools in other cities, check out disneymusicalsinschools.com.
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For more information about donating to support this program and others offered by STG, click here.