Disney Musicals in Schools Shines a Spotlight on Rhode Island Students

Providence Performing Arts Center and Disney bring the magic of theater to local elementary schools


On June 3, 159 elementary school students from Central Falls, Cumberland, Warwick, and Pawtucket will shine on stage at the Providence Performing Arts Center (PPAC), thanks to the Disney Musicals in Schools program. This initiative, a global collaboration between Disney Theatrical Group and 26 arts organizations, aims to bring the enchantment of movie-adapted musicals to local communities.

This year, a grant from Disney allowed PPAC to extend the program to three new elementary schools: Ella Risk Elementary School in Central Falls, Blackstone Valley Prep Elementary School 2 in Cumberland, and Norwood Elementary School in Warwick. Additionally, Elizabeth Baldwin Elementary School in Pawtucket returns to the program with a renewed teaching team.

The Disney Musicals in Schools program provides a 17-week musical theater residency led by eight teaching artists trained by PPAC and Disney Theatrical Group. This residency, offered at no cost, includes performance rights, educational support materials, and expert guidance.

Throughout the residency, schoolteachers collaborate with PPAC teaching artists to learn how to produce, direct, choreograph, and music direct their school's inaugural 30-minute Disney KIDS musical. Students from Elizabeth Baldwin Elementary School staged Frozen KIDS, while students from the other three schools in the program performed Finding Nemo KIDS.  

The program culminates in the Student Share Celebration, where each school will present excerpts from their productions. The event kicks off with all participating students performing "It Starts with a Dream," a special piece composed by Disney's Alan Menken.

Established in 2010, Disney Musicals in Schools was created to address the lack of arts access in under-resourced public elementary schools. Following its success in New York City, Disney Theatrical Group expanded the program to other communities nationwide. Disney KIDS musicals, developed in collaboration with Music Theater International, are 30-minute adaptations of beloved Disney films like 101 Dalmatians, Aladdin, Frozen, The Lion King, and Finding Nemo, designed specifically for young performers. For more information, visit


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