Scottish Opera and Disney collaborate in schools

Published: 28 October 2021
Reporter: Vera Liber

Eastside - Disney Musicals in Schools 2020 @ Lyceum Credit: Alex Brenner

Scottish Opera and Disney Musicals in Schools will give five primary schools in Scotland the opportunity to learn and produce their own Disney KIDS musical including The Lion King KIDS and Aladdin KIDS performed for two shows at Theatre Royal Glasgow and in their schools.

Disney Musicals in Schools was launched ten years ago to develop theatre programmes in New York Elementary Schools, and then in London in 2016. Disney KIDS musicals are shorter stage adaptions of classic Disney stories written for primary school performers.

Over 17 weeks, Scottish Opera artists and staff will work with pupils to give them experience in singing, stage directing, choreography and stage management. The schools are also provided with a Disney Show Kit including scripts, director’s guide, music score, choreography DVD and rehearsal and accompaniment CDs.

The programme with Disney and Scottish Opera first took place in Scotland in 2019 with primary schools in Irvine, Paisley, Stirling, Galashiels and Johnstone, but was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These schools have since continued the project and will finish in November, presenting their shows in spring 2022.

The schools chosen to take part are Cleeves Primary School in Glasgow, St James Primary School in Renfrewshire, Edinbarnet Primary School in West Dunbartonshire, Hurlford Primary School in East Ayrshire and Wemyss Bay Primary School in Inverclyde.

Jane Davidson, Head of Outreach and Education at Scottish Opera, said, "this unique project 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."