Center Theatre Group has been awarded a $100,000 grant from Disney to bring the Disney Musicals in Schools program to the Los Angeles area. The program is an outreach initiative developed by Disney Theatrical Productions to create sustainable theatre programs in under-resourced elementary schools. The grant funds two years of programming; Center Theatre Group will select five local public elementary schools to participate in 2017-2018, and another five will be selected for 2018-2019.

The selected schools will participate in a 17-week musical theatre residency, led by a team of teaching artists trained by Center Theatre Group and Disney Theatrical Productions, at no cost. Each school will receive performance rights, educational support materials and guidance from the 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-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 on the Mark Taper Forum stage for an audience of students, teachers, family and community members.

Using the unique world of musical theatre, 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 theatre, including critical thinking, problem solving, ensemble building, communication, self-confidence and interpersonal skills.