Center Theatre Group is pleased to announce the five elementary schools that have been selected to participate in the inaugural 2017-2018 Disney Musicals in Schools (DMIS) program. The program is an initiative developed by Disney Theatrical Productions to create sustainable theatre programs in under-resourced elementary schools.
The five schools are in Los Angeles County and include the following: Harrison Elementary (LAUSD), Hope Street Elementary (LAUSD), Humphreys Avenue Elementary (LAUSD), La Ballona Elementary (Culver City Unified School District) and Ritter Elementary (LAUSD).
The selected schools will begin a 17-week musical theatre residency in January of 2018. Each school will receive performance rights, education support materials and guidance from two teaching artists. The program features a professional development focus, through which participating school teachers partner with Center Theatre Group teaching artists to learn how to produce, direct, choreograph and music direct, culminating in their first 30- to 45-minute Disney KIDS musical at their school. As a capstone to the experience, Center Theatre Group will host a Student Share Celebration in which each school performs one number from their show for an audience of students, teachers, family and community members. The Student Share Celebration will now take place at the Ahmanson Theatre on May 21, 2018. Please note that a previous announcement stated that it would take place at the Mark Taper Forum.
Harrison Elementary Principal Carlos Madrigal said, “Being accepted into the DMIS Program means so many things. It means joy, self-expression, creativity, community and collaboration – not only for our students, but for our team teachers as well.” On being selected, Hope Street Elementary Principal Pamella LeMuiex said, “We are thrilled to be partnering with Center Theatre Group and DMIS to give Hope Street Elementary School students the valuable experience of participating in a live musical theatre performance. We are so excited to watch them shine!” Alejandro Almaguer, the principal of Humphreys Avenue Elementary, said that the program will “not only give our students the unique opportunity to participate in a top-notch musical program, but it will also expose them to a career in theatre arts and dance… [it] will be a transcendental experience…” La Ballona Principal Jennifer Slabbinck said that “DMIS gives us an opportunity to train our teachers to take the lead and to more regularly bring arts instruction into their own classrooms.” “This is a wonderful opportunity for our students to engage in the theatre arts and learn to express themselves in a variety of ways,” said Ritter Elementary Principal Dr. Michelle Rappino. “This opportunity will also increase our students’ level of confidence and help them build self-awareness as they learn the art of stage performance.”