Education & Community Programs > Disney Musicals In Schools
Photo by Christopher Nelson
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.
To learn more about the program, please fill out our interest form.
STG selects up to four Title I elementary schools to participate in Disney Musicals in Schools.
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 90 minutes, 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 in April 2020 at The Paramount Theatre, and provide transportation for participating students (cost of transportation will be reimbursed).
- 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.
Orientation for 2019-209 Schools
Alumni school team training
OCTOBER 2019 - MARCH 2020
Weekly after-school rehearsals in Year 1 schools by STG’s Teaching Artists
April 2020: STUDENT FINAL SHARE!
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:
Star Lake Elementary
View Ridge Elementary
2017-18 Alumni Schools
Mark Twain Elementary
Frank Wagner Elementary
2016-17 Alumni Schools
Madrona K-8 School
Madrona Elementary School
Robert Frost Elementary School
2015-16 Alumni Schools
Dunlap Elementary School
South Shore K-8
Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School
McMicken Heights Elementary School
2014-15 Alumni Schools
White Center Heights Elementary School
Mount View Elementary School
Emerson Elementary School
Van Asselt Elementary School
West Seattle Elementary School
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 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 program.
BRAD WALKER is an actor, director, event entertainer, and teaching artist. Seattle born and raised, he is an alumnus of the University of Washington, where he studied Theatre and Communications. Brad has directed shows with Second Story Rep, SIS Productions, Burien Actors Theater, and school plays at Bryant Elementary, McDonald International, and John Stanford International. While Brad loves to direct, he works predominantly in theatre as an actor. He has performed with Book-It Rep, Taproot Theatre Company, Seattle Children’s Theatre, Harlequin Productions, StoryBook Theater, and he can be seen in many commercials and industrial videos too. A life-long fan of Disney, he couldn’t be more excited to help bring these shows to life with these wonderful students and teachers!
DANIELA ARMENDARIZ was born in Mission, TX, but raised in the beautiful Mexican State of Chihuahua and moved to the Pacific Northwest in 2001. She started dancing at a very young age in her father’s dance company and attended Univesidad Autónoma de Chihuahua- Instituto de Bellas Artes (Chihuahua State University). Daniela obtained her BA in Art (Dance Education) when she was only 17 years old and was in many dance companies in Mexico and the USA. In 2009 she joined Bailadores De Bronce as a dancer and later on as a choreographer. In 2013 Daniela was invited to be a guest dance instructor in Herencias Mexicanas and now currently works as their Artistic Director and President. Daniela enjoys Mexican Folk Dance, sports, reading, listening to music, and spending time dancing with her 2 kids. She loves to share the history of all dances and show others how rich the Mexican culture is.
MICHAELIN ANDREA THOMAS is an actress, teaching artist, and media specialist from Connecticut. Ever since her first involvement with the stage, she’s believed that theatre has the power to transform lives. Before she officially moved to Seattle she graduated from Eastern Nazarene College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre Arts and Writing. During her years at ENC she immersed herself in the theater arts program. She has been a children’s teaching artist for the CRJ: Center of Responsibility and Justice stationed in Bronxville, NY. Her recent productions include For Colored Girls, Honk!, Medea, Bye Bye Birdie, and A Raisin in the Sun. Last year she was invited to act in the New York Fringe Festival as the role of “5” in The Bible Woman’s Project. Michaelin has spent the past year working with STG on Disney Musicals in Schools productions of The Lion King KIDS and Aladdin KIDS. She is currently the administrator for STG AileyCamp Seattle. She wants to continue working with kids to help them find comfort in the arts and their own creativity. She is very excited to continue her journey working with STG.
DANIELA GALLARDO is originally from Mexico. Her love for music and dancing started at a young age leading her to be one of the principal dancers at the music festivals in her school. She then got invited to create her first choreography at the age of 15 where she discovered her passion for teaching. Daniela’s salsa background started in 2009 giving her the opportunity to dance in Canada and Mexico. Soon after, she got invited to join a team back in Mexico where she was able to discover new skills, which in turn led her to grow as a dancer. As soon as she moved to Seattle, WA, Daniela got invited to join “La Clave Cubana” team and right away she started performing and traveling around the US. La Clave Cubana developed her skills as an instructor, which has given her the opportunity to share her knowledge and love for dancing to everyone from kids to adults. Daniela is now the Co-Director of “La Clave Cubana” and teaches alongside Reinier Valdes at their dance academy and at Congresses all over the US sharing her passion and talent everywhere she goes.
MARA ELISSA PALMA is a performer, producer, and teaching artist. She graduated from Wellesley College with degrees in Theatre Studies and Political Science. She began working with young people as a performer with Sweet Pea Cottage of the Arts through a touring production of JUAN AND MARIA, a Filipino folk tale similar to HANSEL AND GRETEL. Mara then assisted Maile Wong in Seattle Public Theater's Education program (grades 5-8) in spring 2018 for MACBETH. As a performer, she has worked with Cafe Nordo, West of Lenin/SIS Productions, REBATEnsemble and Pork-Filled Productions. She is a producer with Pork-Filled Productions, the longest-running Asian American theatre company in the Pacific Northwest. Mara's personal artistic mission statement is to bring big, bold stories about women and people of color to life. She hopes to become an international teaching artist and lead musical theater workshops in her native Philippines.
FAITH HOWES is a Canadian teaching artist who has performed and taught internationally in the United States, Japan, Canada, India and the U.K. She has worked with companies such as Disney Theatricals, The Edinburgh Festival Fringe, The Brit School, Eastside Educational Trust, Seattle Children’s Theatre, and Play for Progress. She is passionate about arts education and outreach. faithmargarethowes.com
ADRIANA HERNANDEZ was born in Southern California and grew up in Tijuana, Mexico. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Cornish College of the Arts with a BFA in Dance in 2013. She has worked with Maya Soto/ Nico Tower, Iyun Ashani Harrison, Mary Sheldon Scott, Anna Conner, Lauren Linder, Alyza DelPan-Monley, Alicia Mullikin, and other artists in Seattle, San Diego, and Mexico.Her choreographic work has been presented through On the Boards NorthWest New Works 2015, Velocity Dance Center's Bridge Project 2015, Cornish College of the Arts and Southwestern Community College where she also received the Outstanding Dancer/Choreographer Scholarship as well as around Seattle. Adriana works as a Teaching Artist for Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Community Education Programs and Seattle Theater Group's Disney Musicals in Schools where she teaches creative movement and choreography in public schools.
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. Keni 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.
AISHE KEITA is a first generation Malian Jamaican artist specializing in storytelling and teaching artist work. Aishe was last seen on stage at Guthrie Theater and Seattle Repertory Theater as Nyasha in Danai Gurira play, Familiar. She proudly received her B.F.A from Cornish College of the Arts and had an internship with Caroline Brown(A graduate of M.F.A Brown Applied theater program) as a teaching artist. Through her three month internship Aishe worked with Shag low income elderly housing, creating murals and building communication between different cultures living next door to each other by using theater performance as a platform. After graduating she began teaching at Correctional Penitentiaries in Washington State and is now on her 4th year. Recently Aishe was presented as a speaker at Heath Generation Equity Conference in 2017.
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.
Special thanks to Country Music Association Foundation for their support of this program.