Nashville has been chosen as the first city outside of New York to participate in Disney Theatrical Group's "Disney Musicals in Schools" program, and here's how it happened. As a presenter of Broadway tours, TPAC works with The Broadway League and this year, at the Broadway League's Spring Road Conference, Disney announced that they were looking to take this program, after 2 years in NYC, "on the road" to other cities across the country.
TPAC Executive Vice President for Education and Outreach, Roberta Ciuffo-West, threw TPAC's hat in to the ring. For those of you who do not know her, Roberta is a native of Long Island, an NYU grad (twice) and a former Director of Education and Outreach for Juilliard, among other amazing accomplishments.
It turned out that Nashville was the ideal proving ground for the program.
For one thing, two of Disney's key players on the project now call Nashville home: Bryan Louiselle, who has adapted, arranged and orchestrated the music for the 30-minute KIDS versions of the Disney musicals used in the program, and Lori Casteel, who is the vocal coach for the accompaniment and guide vocal cds which are included among the support materials for each title. In addition to that, the TPAC ArtSmart program, which is around 30 years old, was developed from a program started at Lincoln Center and again, Nashville was the first city to take that concept beyond NYC.
So this spring, 5 Nashville elementary schools will participate in "Disney Musicals in Schools. The schools are:
Glengary Elementary School Hattie Cotton STEM Magnet Elementary Hull-Jackson Montressori Magnet School Kirkpatrick Elementary Enhanced Option Percy Priest Elementary School.
This will involve 5 teams of 2 teaching artists from TPAC working with teams of teachers at each school. They will train the teachers in the elements of production, the teachers will then produce the shows with input from the teaching artists teams with casts of 3rd & 4th graders, and, on May 17, 2012, the city of Nashville will have the awesome experience of a free performance by this first crop of young Nashville actors in TAPC's Jackson Hall. www.tpac.org
Come to Nashville and Go to the Theatre!