For the first time in forever… New Stage Theatre presents Frozen Jr.
Ever since Disney’s Frozen premiere in 2013 we haven’t stopped singing “Do You Want to Make a Snowman?”, “Love is an Open Door” and “Let It Go”. We just can’t… let it go. And we probably never will.
These favorite tunes are getting us all especially excited all over again: Frozen 2 is coming to theatres in November! As we’re dreaming of the upcoming treat, Jackson is in for another Frozen-infused surprise this month!
Produced by New Stage’s Broadway Junior Summer Camp Intensive, Frozen Jr. is based on the 2018 Broadway musical, and brings Elsa, Anna, and the magical land of Arendelle to life, onstage.
Who are the actors of this lively production and how long did it take to put it together? I talked to Sharon Miles, the education director at New Stage Theatre, to find out.
Frozen Jr. production is the result of New Stage Theatre Summer Camp Intensive. The cast consists exclusively of kids rising 6th grade through rising 12th grade who registered for camp. They worked hard 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday for a whole MONTH!
I asked Sharon if she thought the kids missed being outside, going to the beach and enjoying summer the way most kids do. Sharon answered with a big proud smile: “Not these kids. They work hard without any complaining because they absolutely love it.”
Families plan their vacation around camp. And some end up going to the beach, leaving their kids with friends or neighbors – just so they don’t miss any rehearsals. The show must go on.
“They did get one day off on the 4th of July,” – Sharon gives me a reassuring nod. “These kids choose to skip the beach. Because they love being here that much.”
Theatre is everything for Sharon. It was life-changing for her and she believes theatre will make a difference in these kids’ lives as well. From the way Sharon and the staff talk about this program you can really tell these guys are serious about their craft and passionate about sharing everything they’ve got with these kids. It takes a lot of work.
Mornings start with intensive instruction on the craft of theatre: music classes, dance, and acting. Then a short lunch break. The afternoon is mostly focused on the show. As much as Sharon and her team want this show to be a success, the skills and the training that they build are the primary focus of this program.
At camp kids get a taste of what real theatre is all about. They do not leave empty-handed either. In the end, every child will have a complete portfolio, a song and a monologue he or she is ready to perform for an audition. Campers get to work with qualified professionals who help them prepare for auditions elsewhere if theatre is what they choose to pursue in the future.
“We always have a double cast. So that means we have two Annas, two Elsas, two Olafs, and so on. But with the talent on this particular show we could have casted an entirely separate production, with a separate cast, a third one – equally amazing. That’s how crazy-talented these guys are.” New Stage theatre does see some of these kids during the year since they are part of youth acting troupes and they do have other acting opportunities. But a lot of raw exceptional talent comes from new kids who have never done theatre before. Sharon said: “There’s no shortage of talent in the Jackson Metro area. It feels like the talent is growing, the competition is growing, and the interest is growing. And it’s only going to get better.”
The staff all agree the choice of the show was spot on. Frozen is a perfect combination of a beautiful story, humor, and phenomenal music. It’s a fairytale this generation of kids grew up with, and it is moving to see these campers become one with the magical world of Arendelle and transform into our favorite characters. Sharon remembers, the kids were so excited to jump right in when they first came. There were older kids, including lots of boys. They already knew ALL of the songs and could sing them without the books. They got into characters and went straight to acting and just having a blast.
Sharon is particularly happy about the impact they are making in our community. “Just think of the service we are doing for the Jackson area. I cannot wait to see the faces of the people coming in: families with kids, little girls, dreaming of princesses and castles. Seeing your favorite characters live is amazing! And this will be a really cool new experience for the young actors, too.”
To get your tickets, go here.
Know & Go
What: Frozen Jr
Music & Lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez & Robert Lopez
Book by Jennifer Lee
Based on the Disney film written by Jennifer Lee and directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee
Directed by Sharon Miles
Music Directed by Mandy Kate Myers
Choreography by Drew Stark
When: July 11-14, 2019 at 7 p.m.
July 13-14, 2019 at 2 p.m.
Where: New Stage Theatre
1100 Carlisle Street
Cost: $15, $10 children 12 and under
Get your tickets HERE.