Several Marion Community Schools students recently had a chance to learn from the storytelling masters at Walt Disney Imagineering.
As part of a special behind-the-scenes educational experience at Walt Disney World in Florida, 16 MCS students who are part of the CSA Theatre Company took part in two special workshops: Disney Broadway Magic and Immersive Storytelling.
The workshops, part of Disney’s Imagination Campus program, gave the 6th- through 12th-grade students a hands-on look at how Disney magic gets made.
“Through imagination powered learning, we believe that new perspectives, creative thinking, fearless exploration and unfettered wonder can lead to amazing things,” Disney says of its Imagination Campus programming. “Our vision is to inspire the next generation of creative thinkers and doers. … We’re committed to helping students learn how to apply their imaginations to solve a lifetime of challenges – in wildly creative ways.”
In their Disney Broadway Magic workshop, the CSA Theatre Company students put on a scene from Disney’s stage musical version of Tangled — a performance opportunity available to students only through the Imagination Campus. (The full version of Tangled: The Musical is performed exclusively aboard the Disney cruise ship Disney Magic.) With the guidance of Disney Teaching Artists, all of whom are theatre professionals currently working in the industry, CSA Theatre Company built the “I’ve Got A Dream” scene, going from auditions, to choreography and blocking, to rehearsal, to performance in just a matter of a few hours. The students also had the opportunity to gain insights into careers in live theatre through a Q&A session with their Teaching Artists.
In their Immersive Storytelling workshop, students explored how Disney Imagineers engage all five senses to create immersive environments that support the living stories of the Disney theme parks. Hands-on design experiences modeled on Disney Imagineers’ early design processes guided students to identify and explore the different creative and technical roles that come together to create an immersive experience. This workshop also gave the group a new lens through which to view the theme parks during their trip, examining the varying levels of detail that bring stories to life, often in unexpected and unlikely ways.
Marion Community Schools is proud of these students and grateful for our partnership with Marion Community School of the Arts. Most of the students who participated in this special experience are enrolled in the CSA Arts Academy program, MCS’s exclusive partnership with CSA to provide pre-professional arts training along with the benefits of a traditional public school. Alumni of the CSA Arts Academy, which was established in 2016, have continued their arts training at various well-known post-secondary schools, including The Julliard School, AMDA, Belmont University, Millikin University, and more. For more information about the CSA Arts Academy program, click here.
The MCS students who took part with the CSA Theatre Company in the Imagination Campus program are:
- Seniors Morgan Butler, Elise Henry, Stella Inskeep, Jordan Rinker, and Caroline Russell
- Juniors Grace Chandler, Isaiah Stevens, and Xavier Wood
- Sophomores Elijah Inskeep, Ava Perkins, Kaylah Spaulding, and Lillian Weaver
- Eighth-grader Dani Terry
- Seventh-grader Pidge Gipson
- Sixth-graders Tallulah Gibson and Cecilia Hancock
Top: CSA Theatre Company members strike a triumphant pose to end their their performance of the “I’ve Got a Dream” scene from Disney’s Tangled: The Musical, part of the Disney Broadway Magic workshop on Jan. 14, 2024, at the Disney Imagination Campus at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. (Photo provided by Marion Community School of the Arts)
Second: CSA Theatre Company members gather for a photo during the Immersive Storytelling workshop on Jan. 12, 2024, in a classroom at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Florida, part of the Disney Imagination Campus program. (Photo provided by Marion Community School of the Arts)
Third: CSA Theatre Company members work on their project during the Immersive Storytelling workshop on Jan. 12, 2024, in a classroom at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Florida, part of the Disney Imagination Campus program. (Photo provided by Marion Community School of the Arts)
Bottom: CSA Theatre Company members listen as Disney Teaching Artists lead them through the Immersive Storytelling workshop on Jan. 12, 2024, at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Florida, part of the Disney Imagination Campus program. (Photo provided by Marion Community School of the Arts)