Westchester elementary school students to perform dual-language 'Aladdin' musical

Marcus Solis Image
Friday, February 2, 2024
Elementary school in Westchester is putting on first dual-language musical
Marcus Solis has the story on the school's production of 'Aladdin' in both English and Spanish.

MOUNT KISCO, New York (WABC) -- Students at an elementary school in Westchester will put on their first-ever musical, performing Disney's 'Aladdin,' a production that will be serving its predominantly Latino community in more ways than one.

On Friday, a last-minute run through was held for a bilingual musical production that's been months in the making. For the young cast, the benefits will last a lifetime.

"I'm not that fluent in Spanish, but then I've learned some new words and I can speak a lot better now," student Ron Joseph said.

This weekend, students at Mount Kisco Elementary School are staging 'Aladdin,' the dual-language edition. Meaning, the fourth and fifth graders, most with no prior acting experience, will be performing in English and Spanish.

"Just to work on a Spanish line, it gives me a chance to work on my fluency in Spanish," student Joslyn Barbecho said.

"It was really nervous at the beginning, and then I started and as the show went on, I started to get calmer and it felt like we were just practicing, like we do every time," student Ali Franco said.

Disney Theatrical Group released the bilingual adaption in 2006, but this is the first time it's being performed in an elementary school, and Mount Kisco is an ideal choice: nearly 80% of students are Latino.

Classes are taught fully in English or Spanish on alternating days. As the only dual-language school in Northern Westchester, the immersion program also attracts non-native speakers from the Bedford Central School District.

"Watching students seamlessly act, sing and dance in English and Spanish was really just a reflection of the effectiveness of our school and our program," teacher Ashley Espinal said.

It's a period of growth for students and educators.

"We all learned together and became a family, and I don't think these kids will ever forget that," teacher Carolyn Scimone-Rowan said.

This weekend's performances will be the first to be staged at Mount Kisco Elementary but likely won't be the last, as a new tradition is born.


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