Written by: Danae Edwards
Disney Musicals in Schools is an incredible opportunity for parents, students, teachers, and the whole community to come together with a common interest–musical theatre. We had the opportunity this week to interview Sidney Valdez, the director of this winter’s musical Beauty and the Beast Jr. and an active member of the Disney in Schools program.
For those of you wondering, Disney Musicals in Schools is a totally separate program from Disney Jr, which Sidney has had the opportunity to direct many shows for. “Disney Musicals in Schools is a collaboration between theater artists and school staff to bring sustainable theater practices to rural towns. Disney Jr. Productions are up for licensing shows that any theater can license.”
We asked how Beale Street got involved, and apparently it wasn’t that difficult, “The Education coordinator from The Smith Center found Beale Street Theater, reached out to collaborate with Disney Musicals in Schools and here we are now.” Easy as one, two, three! It certainly helped that Beale Street Theater had already been on the radar.
Sidney’s answer to why she got involved was pretty simple. “I had just gotten done with my production of Dorothy In Wonderland, which was a show I pushed to have more children involvement. I had felt so passionately about the arts and what it can do for our youth that the Disney Musicals In Schools mission made it so easy for me to back up.”
“The education department at The Smith Center was looking to expand the program when they found Beale Street Theater and all that we strive for is what they were looking for in a partner to collaborate with.”
Any elementary school who wants to be a part of this movement, can. Although, they do have to meet certain requirements such as producing a 30-minute Disney KIDS musical involving 3rd-5th graders both on and off stage, identify a school team comprising three to five teachers and staff members who will oversee and manage the production from beginning to end, commit to 17 weeks of after-school rehearsal consisting of a minimum of two 90-minute sessions per week and a few other requirements which can be found on their website.
It takes about seven months for the children, teachers, and everyone involved to prepare an unforgettable experience for the audience. Beale Street Theater is happy to showcase the hard work from all fronts with an event in 2020. Be sure to look out for any news on this showcase in the spring!
The goal for Disney Musicals in Schools is to create sustainable theatre for all elementary schools in Kingman. Disney Musicals in Schools is another great opportunity for you to come support, as it supports the development of our community, our art education, and our community’s children.
Want another way to support Beale Street Theater? On Tuesday, November 19th 6pm at Mohave County Library, Belle from Beale Street Theater & Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Jr. will be reading her favorite stories to children of all ages! The event is free, so don’t miss out!
Excited to see Belle in action? Make sure you buy tickets to Beauty and the Beast Jr. here or at the ArtHub on 402 E. Beale St. or at the door to the show! Showdates are December 6th, 7th, 13th, and 14th at 7pm with Matinees the 7th & 14th at 1pm. We encourage dress up at both our matinees as well! Show tickets for adults are $12 for kids 4-11. We hope you will be our guest!