By Alexandra Hicks, Parents of Performing Students (POPS) volunteer
The musical extravaganza about sisterly love, sacrifice and supernatural powers is being brought to the stage this month by the students of Wellesley Middle School (WMS). Based on the tale of “The Snow Queen” by Hans Christian Andersen, and with music and lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, the story of Frozen JR. centers on the relationship between two princess sisters, Elsa and Anna. When Elsa accidentally uses her icy magical powers to trap the kingdom of Arendelle in an eternal winter, she flees. Fearless Anna joins forces with mountaineer Kristoff, his reindeer sidekick, Sven, and the cheerful naive snowman, Olaf, on a dangerous and mysterious journey to seek out Elsa and save the day.
The show is one of the biggest WMS productions to date, with 115 students and two casts (“Zen” and “Fro”), which required the addition of a new position of Assistant Director & Dance Captain, filled by Brooke Hardwick. Hardwick joins Leah Fine (Director), Katie Speed (Producer), Brian Boruta (Set and Lighting Designer), Christine Carpenter (Costume Designer) and Sam Myers (Technical Director) to bring the magic of the 2013 Disney film to the stage, with the signature sing-along ballads brought to life by Musical Director, Dan Rodriguez, and Choreographer, Julia Deter.
Fine selected Frozen JR. for the WMS winter production this year based on her own memories and impact of musical movies on her childhood. “Frozen is our students’ generation’s version of The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, or Aladdin, of which I grew up doing one woman shows in my bedroom,” Fine reflected. “We develop a special love for stories we grow up watching,” she added.
The story of Frozen JR. spins the darkness at its heart, with the death of parents and the tensions of sisterhood, into uplifting and meaningful messages of true love, friendship, resilience, and self-acceptance. “I think the main message of Frozen is that there will always be someone there for you no matter what,” said Mac Bohlin who plays Kristoff in the “Fro” cast. He made the connection to his own life – “Like how Anna was there and wanted to help Elsa; they have an unbreakable bond that will never be changed. I take away from the story that I will always have someone to lean on like all of my friends and family.”
Each of the cast members have their personal favorites of the hilarious characters and energetic sing-along songs! Luca Bernhardt who plays Kristoff in the “Zen” cast commented, “My favorite character is the Duke of Weselton – he has a lot of funny lines!” Anay Ayala who plays Anna in the “Zen” cast shared that “The First Time in Forever” is her favorite song. “I love it because of the contrast in the way Anna and Elsa view what is happening” she said. “In the song Anna is excited and full of hope to find love but Elsa wants to be left alone because she doesn’t want to ruin everything for her sister and Arendelle. They both just want what’s best for everyone but in different ways.”
Come and join the WMS cast and crew for Frozen JR., get a warm hug from Olaf, and be inspired by the tale of two sisters who prove that love can thaw even the coldest of hearts.
- Thursday, March 17th at 4:30PM (“Zen” cast)
- Friday, March 18th at 7:00PM (“Fro” cast)
- Saturday, March 19th at 2:00PM (“Fro” cast) and 7:00PM (“Zen” cast)
At the Wellesley Middle School Auditorium, 50 Kingsbury Street
Purchase tickets, available now, at wellesleyps.org/performingarts
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