PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The Providence Performing Arts Center (PPAC) recently received a $120,000 grant from the Walt Disney Company to provide a program aimed at teaching theater skills to city elementary students.
PPAC made the announcement at Providence City Hall on Tuesday morning.
The grant will fund a Providence branch of the Disney Musicals in Schools (DMIS) program for two years. Five city schools will be selected by PPAC for the 2019-2020 academic year and another five next year.
Selected schools and their students will take part in a 17-week musical theater residency, with teaching artists leading students through producing and directing a musical at each school.
The musicals – each 30-minutes long – will include widely known Disney stories and productions that are adapted for elementary schools to perform.
At the end of each year, PPAC will host a “Student Share Celebration,” which will include a “greatest hits” show featuring a number from each school’s musical.
Part of the mission of the program is to stimulate students’ excitement about performing and creating at an early age, said PPAC’s president and CEO, J.L. “Lynn” Singleton.
“Many people on Broadway and in National Broadway Tours become passionate about musical theatre when they were young,” Singleton said. “It is our hope that the students who participate in Disney Musicals in Schools will also become passionate about theatre, and will continue to be involved in the theatre world as they grow up.”