Icy winter is no match for the warmth of love between sisters in The Court Theatre’s production of Disney’s Frozen JR. this July.
Based on the hit Broadway musical adapted especially for young performers, Disney’s Frozen JR. is an inspiring musical that follows the adventures of sisters Elsa and Anna and their friends Olaf, Sven and Kristoff. Their bonds of friendship, family and bravery are tested as they fight against dangers and villains to save the kingdom of Arendelle from eternal winter.
The Court Theatre’s production of Disney’s Frozen JR. brings this group of charming and beloved characters to the live stage, with all of your favourite songs, plus an additional five new songs from the Broadway adaptation as a special treat.
Disney’s Frozen JR. was originally scheduled by The Court Theatre for 2022, but Covid made it too unsafe to bring so many young people together safely. The delayed anticipation from young people in the community who were eager to audition for the show was exceptionally high. The Court Theatre auditioned approximately 380 young people aged seven to seventeen over three weekends for the roles. Seventy of the brightest young talents in and around Ōtautahi were finally chosen to form the two alternating casts – Team Snow and Team Ice. The days each cast are performing are noted on The Court Theatre’s show page so that friends and whānau know when their child is performing.
Rehearsals started in March and each cast rehearses twice each week, developing - and challenging - Director Ben Freeth’s scheduling skills. It has been Freeth’s job to bring the beloved story onto the Ōtautahi stage in a way that feels authentic to Aotearoa New Zealand and the young people he is working with. “There are all the Disney moments that you would expect but the kids have ownership of this interpretation” Freeth says. There will also be differences between how Team Snow and Team Ice present the story as he encourages each young actor to interpret the character for themself. “I don’t want two carbon copies of the same show. The actors bring very different things to the roles, and I give them as much freedom as they want to do that” he says.
One thing that may be familiar to anyone who has seen the Broadway version of Frozen is the use of puppets, which helps to capture the cartoon aspect of the much-loved movie. Freeth took inspiration from that production and enlisted the talents of local puppet creators Tusk Puppets to create Olaf and Sven. Actors voice the characters and have been shown how to puppeteer them on stage. “I thought both the audience and the actors would enjoy that more as puppets bring a special kind of magic to the stage. They're nearly impossible not to love!” says Freeth.
Disney’s Frozen JR. is ideal for tamariki 6 – 13-years-old but is sure to be a treat for the whole family. For your chance to enjoy the magic of Disney in the heart of Ōtautahi, get your tickets before they melt away.
A relaxed performance of Disney's Frozen JR. is scheduled for Saturday 7 July at 11am and special performance times apply for Matariki.