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There are always plenty of incredible musical productions to see in Sydney, but maybe none as feel good as our first-ever inclusive musical!

The one-act edition of Disney’s CAMP ROCK is coming to Chatswood’s Zenith Theatre from 25-29th March, 2025.

The Umbrella School of Music is proud to put on this innovative production, designed to foster a sense of community, celebrate differences, and bring joy to audiences of all ages.

This groundbreaking initiative will feature a unique “buddy model,” where participants with and without disabilities will share character roles, performing together on stage.

Melbourne’s Stars and Moon Theatre Group.

The Umbrella School of Music has a long history of providing inclusive performing arts opportunities. Ingrid Bass, the school’s principal facilitator, first introduced programs in 2017  when she owned Applause Musical Theatre Academy witnessing firsthand the transformative power of music and theatre for students with disability.

“It would mean the world to me to create such a production mixing people with and without disability, helping them learn, grow and connect while singing, dancing and acting  together,” says Ingrid. “Witnessing the heartwarming interactions, support, and friendships that blossomed between students with and without disabilities at my old school solidified my desire to foster a similar inclusive community. That’s why I founded Umbrella School of Music, specialising in helping people of all abilities and disabilites discover the joy of music.”

Image: Umbrella School of Music

Inspired by Melbourne’s Stars and the Moon theatre group, the Sydney musical will follow a similar format, with performers buddying up to play the same character. This will create a dynamic stage experience that celebrates diversity and unity.

“The audience no doubt will be blown away by our buddy model, like I was when I witnessed the Stars and the Moon Production, and will experience something truly magical as they see how people of all ages, abilities and disabilities can together create outstanding theatre,” says Ingrid. “Friendships will bloom and I believe the social impacts of putting a diverse cast of individuals together will ripple out to the community and help break down barriers, stigmas and beliefs that still exist around disability.”

The production is currently seeking to raise $15,000 to ensure a high-quality show. To support this initiative, donations can be made through the Umbrella School of Music website, or their GoFundMe page.

The group have already received incredibly generous donations from community members, but need to secure more to avoid delaying the project again. Ingrid revealed that thanks to three of her team deciding to work voluntarily on the project, and not drawing a salary or any renumeration herself, they have been able to reduce the amount they need to raise by half.

Those interested in getting involved can participate in a pilot workshop on June 23rd. This workshop backed by funding from Willoughby City Council will offer a behind-the-scenes look at the production and provide opportunities to participate in singing, dancing, and acting activities based on the one-act edition of Disney’s CAMP ROCK. The theatre group received permission from Disney to produce the musical in Chatswood in March 2025.

The Umbrella School of Music’s mission is to ensure that everyone has a voice and a place to belong. Through this inclusive musical, they hope to break down barriers, foster compassion, and create a lasting sense of connection within the community.

How you can get involved: 

To donate:  visit this link to contribute (if you need a tax receipt) or donate to their GoFundMe. Significant donations will be eligible for a customised partnership package, or acknowledgement in newsletters, website, social media platforms, and the show program.

In you are interested in taking part in the musical or buddy program (this can include kids and adults without disability) fill in the survey here:  https://www.cognitoforms.com/UmbrellaSchoolOfMusic/InclusiveMusicalParticipantSurvey

Attend the CAMP ROCK Pilot Workshop

Date: 23 June

Time: 3:30-5:30pm

Location: Willoughby Park Centre (Chowne Hall)

To book: https://www.trybooking.com/CRCTH