America's Oldest · Founded 1808

Walnut Street Theatre hosts Disney Musicals In Schools Performance Starring Local Students

May 20, 2019


Philadelphia Area Public Elementary Schools Set to Perform

Disney Musical Numbers on the Walnut Mainstage

PHILADELPHIA, PA: The Walnut Street Theatre brings the Student Share Celebration Disney Musicals in Schools event to its mainstage on Friday, May 24th at 12 p.m. Five local elementary schools will perform a selection from their Disney KIDS musical for friends and family, made possible through this special partnership between Disney Theatrical Group and Walnut Street Theatre.

Disney Musicals in Schools (DMIS) is a free initiative developed by Disney Theatrical Group to create sustainable theatre programs in under-resourced elementary schools. This past September the Walnut Street Theatre was awarded a grant from Disney to bring two years of Disney Musicals in Schools programming to the Philadelphia area for the 2018-19 and 2019-20 school years, all at no cost to the schools.

This year’s five schools are New Foundations Charter School, Henry C. Lea Elementary, Russell Byers Charter School, MAST Community Charter School II, and H.B. Hackett Elementary. Each school began a 17-week musical theatre residency this past January. They received performance rights, education support materials, and guidance from Walnut Street Theatre teaching artists. The program features a professional development focus, through which participating school teachers partner with teaching artists to learn how to produce, direct, choreograph, and music direct, culminating in their first Disney KIDS musical at their school.

Disney KIDS musicals, created in partnership with Music Theater International (MTI), are 30-minute musicals designed for elementary school performers and have been adapted from the classic Disney films 101 Dalmatians, Aladdin, The Aristocats, Cinderella, The Jungle Book, The Lion King, and Winnie the Pooh.

As a capstone to the experience, Walnut Street Theatre is presenting its first Student Share Celebration in which each school performs a number from their Disney KIDS musical on the

Walnut’s mainstage for an audience of students, teachers, family, and community members. The schools will perform songs from The Jungle Book KIDS, Aladdin KIDS, and The Lion King KIDS. The event will be hosted by Philadelphia-born actor Hasani Allan, who began his career at the age of 10 as a member of the Walnut Street Theatre’s outreach program and has since been cast in regional productions, including Peter Pan and Finian’s Rainbow at the Walnut.

Launched in New York City in 2009, the Disney Musicals in Schools program was developed in response to the Disney Theatrical Group’s concerns that under-resourced public elementary schools were not afforded equitable access to the arts. After its successful launch in New York City schools, Disney Theatrical Group began partnering with performing arts organizations across the country, expanding the program nationwide.

To date, the program has impacted more than 300 schools, nearly 1,000 teachers and over 40,000 students worldwide. With the 2019 launch of Philadelphia's Walnut Street Theatre, DMIS is now in 21 cities, including its first international program in London.

For more information visit


WALNUT STREET THEATRE is America’s Oldest Theatre and the most popular theatre company in Philadelphia. As a producer of live theatre, many of the artists on the stage, in the orchestra and behind the scenes are from the Philadelphia area. As a non-profit institution, the Walnut is recognized nationally for bringing affordable theatre to more subscribers than any other theatre company in the world. In addition to its five Mainstage productions, popular Walnut Street Theatre for Kids Series and Independence Studio on 3 Series, the Walnut’s education and outreach programs bring live theatre to over 150,000 students, teachers, parents, and kids every year.

DISNEY THEATRICAL GROUP (DTG) operates under the direction of Thomas Schumacher and is among the world’s most successful commercial theatre producers, bringing live entertainment events to a global audience of more than 20 million people a year in more than 50 countries. Under the Disney Theatrical Group banner, the group produces and licenses Broadway productions around the world, including Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Elton John & Tim Rice’s Aida, TARZAN®, Mary Poppins, a co-production with Cameron Mackintosh, The Little Mermaid, Peter and the Starcatcher, Newsies, Aladdin, and Frozen. Other successful stage musical ventures have included the Olivier-nominated London hit Shakespeare in Love, stage productions of Disney’s High School Musical, Der Glöckner Von Notre Dame in Berlin, and King David in concert. DTG has collaborated with the country’s leading regional theatres to develop new stage titles including The Jungle Book, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Freaky Friday.

Disney Theatrical Group also delivers live shows globally through its license to Feld Entertainment, producer of Disney on Ice and Marvel Universe Live!, bringing beloved Disney stories and characters annually to over 12 million guests in nearly 50 countries worldwide. In addition, DTG licenses musical titles for local, school and community theatre productions through Music Theatre International, including The Lion King Experience, a unique holistic arts education program wherein accredited elementary and middle schools produce condensed, age-appropriate JR. and KIDS adaptations of The Lion King.

Music Theatre International (MTI) is one of the world’s leading theatrical licensing agencies, granting theatres from around the world the rights to perform the greatest selection of musicals from Broadway and beyond. Founded in 1952 by composer Frank Loesser and orchestrator Don Walker, MTI is a driving force in advancing musical theatre as a vibrant and engaging art form.

MTI works directly with the composers, lyricists, and book writers of these musicals to provide official scripts, musical materials, and dynamic theatrical resources to over 70,000 professional, community and school theatres in the US and in over 60 countries worldwide.

MTI is particularly dedicated to educational theatre, and has created special collections to meet the needs of various types of performers and audiences. MTI’s Broadway Junior™ shows are 30- and 60-minute musicals for performance by elementary and middle school-aged performers, while MTI’s School Editions are musicals annotated for performance by high school students.