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11 theater students learn about the performing arts from Disney master teachers

Theater students and alumni work together to pull the sword from the stone inside Fantasyland at the Disneyland Resort.


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Theater students and alumni work together to pull the sword from the stone inside Fantasyland at the Disneyland Resort.

Three days of behind the scenes performing arts magic and team building at the Disneyland Resort and Don Lugo’s theater students couldn’t get enough. With workshops in Acting 101, Musical Theater, Technical Theater, and Parades, Performing Arts Master Teachers had so many more lessons for students than just acting, dancing and singing.

Day 1 began with an acting class where Master Teacher, Kevin Gregg played improv games and provided feedback to actors scene work. Beginning Theater student, Gabriella Hernandez, explained that she wasn’t sure if she wanted to return to the theater but after this experience, she knows she wants to return to the class. “I really liked that the workshop taught us how to listen and trust each other.” Master Teacher, Kevin reminded the Don Lugo actors that they are storytellers who are part of the human experience. “I love that Kevin reminded them that they have to find a way to fit into the story,” said Theater Director, Annette Deming. “Sometimes they get so wrapped up in their own process, that they forget their decisions affect a whole cast.”

Day 2 began with Master Teachers, Sjaan Trowbridge and Cynthia McGarity who provided vocal training and dance choreography to Lilo and Stitch’s Roller Coaster Ride. Students were excited to see the choreography they learned while enjoying VIP seats to the Mickey and the Magical Map show. Students got an opportunity to meet the cast and ask questions about auditioning, working at Disneyland, and what it takes to be a part of musical theater at the Disneyland Resort. Students all agreed that Sjaan had their favorite lesson of the day…”celebrate your mistakes!”

When students weren’t taking workshops backstage they were dining, watching shows, and team building. “My favorite team building moment was when we went on the canoe’s together. It was so hot! None of us wanted to go but Mrs. Deming insisted, so we did. It was so much fun! We got tired together, yelled at each other, splashed each other, and still paddled together. It was a good reminder of how we treat each other when we’re in production. It was a good lesson,” explained senior and theater officer, Dahlia Huezo.

Day 3 was a unique behind the scenes experience for freshman Aiden Deming who was the only one signed up for technical theater. “I liked talking to the lighting and sound engineers,” said Aiden, “What they do backstage to bring Disney shows to life is amazing! The work they do back there makes them my kind of people.” Disney Art Director, Joe Holbrook instructed both Deming’s in collaboration and what it takes to create a Disney show. The other 10 theater students waited anxiously for their parade workshop in the evening which took them backstage of Disney’s Calfornia Adventure park with veteran choreographer and Master Teacher Linda Love-Simmons. Students learned the choreography to the CARS unit in the Paint the Night Parade and then enjoyed VIP seats for the parade later that evening. Most of the theater students said the parade workshop was their favorite. Even Jonathan Alaniz, a recent Don Lugo graduate, confirmed the parade workshop was the hardest and the best. “Linda had the best message of the three days, perfection is boring! I had no idea what I was doing. I’m not a dancer, I struggled, but I had a grin on my face from ear to ear. She forced us to get out of our comfort zone which is something you need to learn how to do as an actor.”

Theater students agreed their Disney experience was amazing! Theater Director, Mrs. Deming said she can’t wait to get her students back to school. “One of my biggest takeaways from this experience for my students was the lesson in collaboration. I can’t wait to get these kids in a room and ask them to brainstorm next years productions. Disney creates shows by throwing out all kinds of ideas; no matter how crazy they are, and I love, that because when you start squashing ideas, you start squashing imagination and you can’t build programs without imagination.”

 

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One Response to “11 theater students learn about the performing arts from Disney master teachers”

  1. Kaitlyn Valenzuela on August 5th, 2018 4:37 pm

    Aaahhhh!! Sounds like everyone had so much fun!! I’m very excited to see how this transforms the upcoming productions!

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11 theater students learn about the performing arts from Disney master teachers