By Dustin Steiger, Arts and Entertainment Editor
Roughly six months ago, the student performers of French Creek Community Theatre (FCCT) began training for “Team Disney 2018,” a special opportunity to perform as a show choir on Saturday, November 24 at Disney Springs. The young actors and actresses involved with FCCT were more than excited to show Orlando what they had. As Thanksgiving Break began, the students, including Saegertown students Blake Hamilton, Rachel White, and myself, made their way to Florida.
As a proud FCCT performer myself, I can personally say that the experience was absolutely exhilarating. The group arrived and checked into Disney’s All-Star Music Resort a couple days before the performance, which gave us a couple days to get familiar with the parks and to explore. On Friday, November 23, the group attended two “Workshop” sessions, which gave us the opportunity to discover the process that Disney performers and voice actors go through first-hand.
For the first workshop, we learned and performed a dance routine for the Disney song “I Have a Dream,” and for the second workshop, we recorded voice-overs using footage from the Disney movie “Frozen.” While exploring the parks and attending the workshops were certainly amazing, the real highlight of the trip came from the Team Disney 2018 performance on Saturday.
With the hot sun beating down on us, we arrived at the Marketplace Stage in Disney Springs and crowded backstage, where we waited anxiously. After the group said a quick prayer, we were introduced by the announcer and walked on stage to find the seats filled, with a large number of people standing behind the seats in order to watch. With every song we performed came rounds of applause and smiles from the audience. The show lasted about a half an hour, with the group performing fourteen total songs, including popular Disney tunes such as “The Circle of Life,” “I Just Can’t Wait to be King,” and “Colors of the Wind,” as well as a few Broadway hits, such as “One Short Day” from the musical Wicked and “Seasons of Love” from the musical Rent.
“I one-hundred percent won’t (forget this),” said Jonathan Merritt, FCCT performer and a former Saegertown Panther. “(These are the) best years of my life.”
“This theatre is my family,” said Rachel White, “and I can always count on them. I will always remember the adventures.”