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Happiest place on earth

Disney’s dreams come alive at local performance

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RONAN — The Magic of Disney filled the air Friday and Saturday as hundreds of children and their parents celebrated the life and works of visionary Walt Disney. Ronan Middle School students brought Disney’s classics to life in a musical performance written by Ronan Middle School drama teacher Rita Tingey several years ago for a class she taught in Cheney, Wash.

Disney’s struggles as a young man were portrayed in the early minutes of the performance, showing his determination to not give up on his dreams. The story showed how Disney used adversity to inspire him in the fulfillment of his dreams. The show gave the audience an inside look of how Disney created characters and songs that are now known around the world.

Tingey said her seventh and eighth-grade students worked on the performance for two and a half months before summer vacation and retuned for another couple of months this fall before presenting the show Nov. 4 and 5.

“It’s a tribute to Walt Disney,” Tingey said. “Walt had a very difficult life growing up, and used that to go on working on his dreams of being an artist.”

Students took the audience to the beginning, when Disney sat at a desk drawing his famed Mickey and Minnie Mouse cartoons, which catapulted Disney into a newfound world of animation entertainment.

It’s beautiful and enchanting,” Tingey said. “We are all still children deep down.”

Brightly clothed children danced around the stage to scenes from the first-ever Mickey cartoon and to more memorable classics such as “Fantasia,” “Alice in Wonderland” and “Mary Poppins,” before taking an intermission and returning with more recent stories such as “Pirates of the Caribbean.” 

“The kids are doing so well with their character parts; I’m just so proud of them,” Tingey said. “They are having such a great time with this.” Tingey added that she is extremely thankful for Cammy Maughan, who assisted her throughout the production with the lights and sound.


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