Walgrove Musical Theater Workshop (WMTW) is a free after-school program beginning each December open to all Walgrove students who are willing to commit two hours a day, twice a week through the Spring. In WMTW, students play theater games, improvise, and develop skills in both dance and voice, culminating in a final performance of a different musical each May. For five years, this program has served almost or above 25% of our student population.
It has been demonstrated through research that students who engage in the arts at their school have higher attendance rates, demonstrate higher academic performance on tests and in qualitative research studies, and have higher graduation and college attendance rates. Additionally, it has been shown that students experience greater self-esteem, self-efficacy and have a stronger sense of how they can make an impact in their broader communities. We have seen students grow artistically and thrive as independently responsible citizens within a tight-knit ensemble.
In 2018, WMTW presented the musical Annie. Annie’s message of constant optimism inspired our students and audiences alike. Musical theater participants explored the many ways Annie shows bravery, kindness to others, a curiosity in people who are different from herself, and a willingness to be open and honest with her emotions – skills we hope our students will strive to find within themselves.