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Scots primary pupils to produce their own performances with Disney Musicals and Scottish Opera collaboration

Pupils participate in the Disney in Schools programme.
Pupils participate in the Disney in Schools programme.

Scottish Opera is collaborating with Disney Musicals in Schools to allow Scottish pupils the chance to produce their own performances.

The Lion King KIDS, Aladdin KIDS and The Jungle Book KIDS will be created by five primary schools which will be performed at their schools and at Theatre Royal Glasgow.

Following a selection process by Scottish Opera, the schools initially chosen to take part in the three-year Disney Musicals in Schools programme are Lawthorn Primary School in Irvine, Todholm Primary School in Paisley, East Plean Primary School in Stirling, Langlee Primary School in Galashiels and St Anthony’s Primary School in Johnstone.

The first time the programme has taken place in Scotland, five new schools will be chosen to take part in 2020, and another five the year after.

P7 pupils from the five selected schools start working with two music and drama artists from Scottish Opera’s Outreach and Education Department this month.

They will run step-by-step workshops covering every aspect of casting, rehearsing, staging and performing a 30-minute long version of one of Disney’s musicals.

Disney Musicals in Schools features Disney KIDS musicals, which are shorter stage adaptions of classic Disney stories written expressly for primary school performers.

The programme aims to build skills and confidence in both pupils and teachers, encourage participation and collaboration.

It also aims to leave a sustainable arts legacy, especially in schools that are actively seeking greater engagement with the arts.

Disney Musicals in Schools was first launched ten years ago as an outreach initiative designed to develop theatre programmes in New York Elementary Schools, and then in London in 2016.

Jane Davidson, Head of Outreach and Education at Scottish Opera said: “SOE is delighted to be Disney Musicals in Schools’ very first Scottish partner in the delivery of Year 1 of a three year in-depth, skill building programme for schools.

This unique programme is designed not only to introduce teachers to the key elements involved in preparing their pupils to stage one of Disney’s classical musicals but also, through interaction with parents and families, to help establish the role of the arts as a valuable tool in consolidating the school at the heart of the community it serves.”

Nancy Shakerley, Education and Outreach Manager, Disney Theatrical Productions added: “We are delighted to join forces with Scottish Opera to bring Disney Musicals in Schools to Scotland. Creativity is at the heart of everything we do, and we are committed to helping young people, their teachers and their schools access the arts.

“Schools play a vital role in igniting the spark of creativity in their young people and it is our aim that initiatives like Disney Musicals in Schools inspire not only the next generation of theatregoers but theatre makers on and off stage.”