Cumberland County Playhouse has been awarded a $25,000 grant from the Tennessee Performing Arts Center to bring the Disney Musicals in Schools program to the Cumberland County area.  

The program is a free initiative developed by Disney Theatrical Group to create sustainable theater programs in under-resourced elementary schools. The grant funds two years of programming; Cumberland County Playhouse will select one area public elementary school to participate in 2019-2020 and another school will be selected for the next year.

The selected schools will participate in a 17-week musical theater residency, led by a team of teaching artists trained by Cumberland County Playhouse and TPAC, at no cost. Each school will receive performance rights, education support materials and guidance from the teaching artists. The program features a professional development focus, through which participating school teachers partner with CCP teaching artists to learn how to produce, direct, choreograph and music direct, culminating in their first 30-minute Disney KIDS musical at their school. As a capstone to the experience, the Student Share Celebration is an event at which the school performs one number from their show for an audience of students, teachers, family and community members.

Using the unique world of musical theater, Disney Musicals in Schools helps to foster positive relationships between students, faculty, staff, parents, and the community.  Students and teachers work in teams, developing the wide spectrum of skills needed when producing a piece of musical theater, including: critical thinking, problem solving, ensemble building, communication, self-confidence, and interpersonal skills.

“We believe the arts can positively affect the entire school culture; especially student motivation, attitudes, and attendance. We are so thankful to TPAC and Disney for helping make this dream a reality,” said Cumberland County Playhouse Education Director Weslie Webster.

Applications are now being accepted for 2019-2020. One of the primary goals of DMIS is to provide program resources to underserved schools. It is required that a minimum of 40% of the applicant school’s population is considered economically disadvantaged. For more information, or to apply go to www.ccplayhouse.com, email Dance@ccplayhouse.com, or call (931) 484-5000.

Disney Musicals in Schools was launched in 2010 in response to Disney Theatrical Group’s concern that under-resourced public elementary schools were not afforded equitable access to the arts. After successfully offering the program in New York City schools, Disney Theatrical Group began partnering with organizations in other communities across the United States.

Disney KIDS musicals, created in partnership with Music Theater International (MTI), are 30-minute musicals designed for elementary school performers and have been adapted from the classic Disney films 101 Dalmatians, Aladdin, The Aristocats, Frozen, The Jungle Book, The Lion King, and Winnie the Pooh.

Since its inaugural performance in 1965, the Cumberland County Playhouse has attracted over 5 million visitors to its two theaters Crossville, TN. The Playhouse has been recognized by the Tennessee Arts Commission as the state’s only rurally based Major Cultural Institution and has been named the top attraction both in Crossville and in Cumberland County by the readers of the Crossville Chronicle and is consistently recognized as one of the finest professional theaters in the state.

Today, the Cumberland County Playhouse is one of the ten largest theaters in rural America and attracts over 100,000 visitors annually. The Playhouse has long been recognized for its commitment to the highest standards of artistic excellence in all elements of its productions, and consistently strives to bring audiences theatrical experiences that touch hearts, opens minds, and changes lives.

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