Students perform during the Unified Musical Theater performance at Judson Middle School on Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

Fifteen middle schoolers took to the stage Tuesday for a theater showcase following a two week summer camp aimed at bringing together students with and without disabilities.

It's the first time the Salem-Keizer School District has run the program, called Unified Musical Theater. A similar effort earlier in the summer brought together high school students with and without disabilities for a unified summer camp that included sports activities.

In the musical theater program, students focused on dance, singing and acting.

"It was designed as a simple means of recovery for students that have really missed the opportunity to be social with their peers over the last year and a half," said lead teacher Eileen O'Connor and student services director Melissa Glover in a statement. "This was also an opportunity for all students to come to express themselves, create and discover the power of the arts."

-Rachel Alexander

Aleenah Flores, an incoming eighth grader at Jenson, performs during a Unified Musical Theater performance at Judson Middle School on Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

Attendees look on during a Unified Musical Theater performance at Judson Middle School on Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

Quinten Witherspoon, center, gets a high five from a staff member prior to a Unified Musical Theater performance at Judson Middle School on Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

Terra Cordova, center, and Samaria Brown, right, wait for their cue during a Unified Musical Theater performance at Judson Middle School on Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

Kirstie Williams performs a song during a Unified Musical Theater performance at Judson Middle School on Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

Terra Cordova, right, and Samaria Brown perform during the Unified Musical Theater performance at Judson Middle School on Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

Kellyn Parker, left, greets Salem-Keizer superintendent Christy Perry as she arrives for a Unified Musical Theater performance at Judson Middle School on Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

Students sing a song during the Unified Musical Theater performance at Judson Middle School on Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

Eileen O'Connor, an instructional assistant in special education makes introductions during a Unified Musical Theater performance at Judson Middle School on Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

Arryngton Lewis, left, and Taylor Biggs sing a song during the Unified Musical Theater performance at Judson Middle School on Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

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