Monday, October 27, 2014

A Whole New World

Historic collaboration brings musical theater programs to OC schools. First in a series. 

Segerstrom Center for the Arts and Disney Theatrical Group are off and running on an exciting new project, and four OC schools are bound to soon discover there may be something there that wasn’t there before. The Disney Musicals in the Schools program, the result of a $100,000 grant awarded by Disney to Segerstrom Center for the Arts last spring, recently dispatched eight teaching artists to four OC schools, where they will work with educators to produce a 30-minute Disney musical and lay the groundwork for ongoing musical theater programs.

Photo by Michael Kirsch

Training began with a flourish in our Studio Performance Space a few weeks ago with three days of intense instruction in which teaching artists were run through the paces of building an elementary school musical from the ground up. Directing, blocking and casting were just some of the elements featured in the sessions, the third day of which brought the actual classroom teachers from the four school sites in to the fray. 

Photo by Michael Kirsch

The four schools taking part include Eisenhower and Hill Elementary Schools in Garden Grove, Price Elementary in Anaheim and Rea Elementary in Costa Mesa. Teachers were given little time to stand on ceremony. “They had us jump right in,” Rea Elementary 2nd grade teacher Jessica DeLloyd told The OC Register

The 17-week program is free to participating schools and the goal is to bring substantial and meaningful encounters with the arts for students, building confidence and community, which in turn aims to enrich relationships and bolster motivation in academics.

It’s also going to be fun – and once that genie’s out of the bottle, he’s not going back in.

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