Disney Musicals In Schools
Disney Musicals in Schools builds sustainable theatre programs in under-resourced public elementary schools by providing free performance materials and free professional development to participating teachers.
In April of 2019, Disney Theatrical Group selected the Providence Performing Arts Center as its regional partner for its premiere education initiative Disney Musicals in Schools (DMIS). A two-year $120,000 grant from Disney Citizenship will enable PPAC to offer this program in selected Providence Public Elementary Schools.
Each year, 5 new schools are selected and provided with free performance materials and in-school support from a team of professional PPAC teaching artists to produce a 30-minute Disney KIDS musical at their school. Over 17 weeks, teachers learn how to produce, direct, choreograph and music direct their first school show.
Over the course of a semester, professional PPAC teaching artists guide school teachers through the process of mounting a musical with student performers. The program culminates with a Student Share Event on our Broadway stage in which each school performs one number from their musical for an audience of students, teachers, family, and community.
Check out the Disney Musicals in Schools Tesimonial video below!
Thank you to the following students for their contributions to the making of this video:
Grace Dolan, Alexis Butkiewicz, Hansel Figueroa, Brandon Castillo, Kyle Wood,
Liznett Rivera, Hillary Thilavong, Leah Ward, Makena Warfield,
Cameron Reardon, and Victoria Aldrich.
The Providence Performing Arts Center (PPAC) is pleased to announce the four new schools that have been selected to participate in the 2023 Disney Musicals in Schools program. The program is an initiative developed by Disney Theatrical Group to create sustainable theater programs in under-resourced elementary schools. The four schools are a part of Providence County and include:
- 2022-2023 Schools
- Robert L. Bailey, IV Elementary School in Providence
- Curvin-McCabe Elementary School in Pawtucket
- Henry J. Winters Elementary School in Pawtucket
- Raíces Dual Language Academy in Central Falls
- 2021-2022 Schools
- Alan Shawn Feinstein Elementary School at Broad Street in Providence
- Asa Messer Elementary School in Providence
- Leviton Dual Language School in Providence
- Elizabeth Baldwin Elementary School in Pawtucket
Disney Musicals in Schools 2022-2023 Student Share Celebration
On Monday, June 5, 2023, 155 elementary students fromrom Providence, Pawtucket and Central Falls, RI sang, danced, and acted on the PPAC stage as part of the Disney Musicals in Schools Student Share Celebration! Each school presented a musical number from their Disney KIDS Musical; these productions include The Jungle Book KIDS (Henry J. Winters Elementary School, Curvin-McCabe Elementary School and Robert L. Bailey IV Elementary School) and Aladdin KIDS (Raíces Dual Language Academy). Congratulations to the students, teachers, and PPAC teaching artists!
All photos by CJ Perrone.
Marissa Faith Curley
Marissa Faith Curley is a Rhode Island College graduate who earned a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in Creative Writing. For the past seven years she has worked in the Box Office at the Providence Performing Arts Center; currently working as a supervisor. Marissa has performed in countless theater productions – her favorites being Bring It On and The Mousetrap. She has also written and directed several plays and cabarets and studied with Broadway professionals to continually hone her craft. She is also an adjudicator for the Ocean State Star Awards and a Supporting Player for Next Stop Broadway, where she has been teaching for the past ten years! Additionally, she works as an art evaluator for the AG National Fine Arts Festival. Marissa is an eager theater professional with a passion for making sure all people regardless of age, ability, or accessibility can experience the performing arts. @marissafaithcurley
Kathryn Dudeck is originally from England where she attended the Bird College Conservatory of Dance and Musical Theatre. Upon graduating, she spent many years traveling the world as a production show dancer and Company Manager for Princess Cruises. Kathryn settled in Florida and soon began working with children as a dance and drama teacher at The Right Combination Dance Studio. Her passion for teaching performers also led her to take a position as a Maintenance Choreographer at Walt Disney World, working with the character performers and dancers, teaching the shows and parades. Later, she moved on to be an Entertainment Manager at SeaWorld, leading the installation of the Sesame Street land and parade. Additionally, she has served as Dance Captain for productions of Mary Poppins and Guys and Dolls in Orlando, and has choreographed for Chicago at The Athens Theatre, and Cabaret at Theatre West End. Most recently, she has returned to cruising as an Install Director for Virgin Voyages, teaching and installing the entertainment elements on board. Kathryn and her family recently moved to Rhode Island, and she is thrilled to be working with PPAC and the amazing Disney Musicals in Schools program.
Kristen Courtney Kilduff
Kristen Courtney Kilduff knew at the young age of 3 that she loved the stage. Her passion for the performing arts never faded. She graduated from Rhode Island College with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts and is certified in Jazz and Tap with Dance Masters of America. Kristen has been a Dance Teacher at Let’s Dance Inc. for the past 20 years. A mother of two, she loves sharing her passion with her daughters and her students, whose ages range from 2 through adulthood. She has also choreographed award-winning routines for their Competition Team. Kristen works with Theatre by the Sea during the summer as a choreographer for the Kids Theatre Camp, and has worked on shows such as Seussical Jr., Wonka Jr., Aladdin Jr., Frozen Jr., Matilda Jr., and Variety Acts. Kristen works full time as a Teacher’s Assistant with kids who have special needs while going to school for her master’s in teaching special education.
Marisa Rebelo (she/her) is thrilled to be back for another year of Disney Musicals in Schools with the Providence Performing Arts Center. A theatre graduate of Rhode Island College, Marisa is a strong advocate for the arts within our education system and community at large. She has previously been seen as the Wardrobe in Beauty and the Beast and Shelly in Evil Dead: The Musical (Rhode Island College), as well as in the ensembles of My Fair Lady, Mary Poppins, and Singin' in the Rain (New Bedford Festival Theater). Marisa currently serves as the Drama Director for Fairhaven High School where her credits include Radium Girls (Director), Annie (Director/Choreographer), Little Women (Director), Into the Woods (Director/Choreographer), and Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind (Director). During the daytime, Marisa works as an Administrative Assistant for Better Community Living – a human services agency empowering individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. @_marisarebelo
Alexandra Rickoff has been a director, teaching artist, and performer for the past 15 years. She completed her MFA in Theatre Performance at Rhode Island College where she currently teaches in the theatre department. She has directed many musicals for the Ogunquit Playhouse Children’s Theatre in Maine, The Watertown Children’s Theatre in Massachusetts, and many high school venues throughout New England. She is also a teaching artist for Arts Alive in Barrington. Alexandra has played many roles on stage. Her most recent role was playing Ursula in Disney’s The Little Mermaid. But her favorite role to date is mommy to her daughters London and Siena and wife to her supportive husband Randall.
Daniel James Shafer (DJ)
Daniel James Shafer (DJ) is an actor, improviser, music producer, and teaching artist based in Providence, Rhode Island. He has a BFA in acting with a minor in musical theater from Michigan State University and spent three years working and living in Chicago. He is currently performing on a musical improv team at Kismet Improv in Pawtucket. DJ is very excited about the opportunity to be involved in Disney Musicals in Schools and has experienced firsthand the impact that early exposure to the arts has on a child’s development, confidence, and overall sense of self. He looks forward to sharing his love for theater with the students and teachers involved in this program.
Karen White’s first public musical theater performance was a joyous singalong with Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke during the first run of the 1964 movie Mary Poppins. (Critical notices, if there were any, would have been less-than-favorable.) By age 17 she was a dance teacher and would go on to perform in dozens of shows like A Chorus Line and 42nd Street, choreograph a decade-worth of musicals for a public-school drama club, and win choreography and top-score awards at national dance competitions. Today she teaches musical theater dance at two schools: On Stage Academy of Performing Arts in Fall River, MA, where she also directs the annual spring musical, and Spotlight Dance Studio in Taunton, MA, where she also runs the adult ballet and tap program. A former daily newspaper reporter and magazine writer/editor, Karen is now senior editor for two national dance studio-business organizations, More Than Just Great Dancing!® and Youth Protection Association for Dance®, and has co-authored an academic research paper, “Best Practices for the Hiring Process in Youth-Serving Organizations.” She’s grateful for PPAC and Disney Musicals in Schools for the opportunity to share the magic of musical theater with a new generation of children.