Lakeridge Middle School presents Disney's 'Frozen JR'
Starting tonight, Lakeridge Middle School Theater Arts will perform Disney's "Frozen JR." The musical is a condensed version of the Broadway production, "Frozen," based on the Disney animated film. It follows princesses Elsa and Anna on a quest to save their kingdom and their relationship.
Director Franklin Dunwoody said, "At every level, I've just been impressed."
"They're here four days a week after school and then a minimum of three hours Saturdays," he said. "Students have a voice throughout the process in every element, but when it comes to the performances, everything is student-run. There are no adults steering any boats."
Choreographer Jamie Minkus said "they're incredibly determined… and so dedicated." She continued, "And they're courageous. They will try almost anything. It's really inspiring."
Tate O'Hollaren, seventh grader, plays Sven the Reindeer. His role is unique because although he's on stage for the majority of the play, he doesn't speak. Oh, and he has to wear and operate a reindeer suit.
"It's just fun to hang out with everyone and be the reindeer, live the reindeer lifestyle," O'Hollaren said.
He's been in every production since the start of sixth grade and said he's enjoyed growing as an actor in his time at Lakeridge so far.
"When I got here in sixth grade I'd been doing acting but I feel like I've gotten a lot better since I came here," O'Hollaren said. "Our goal is to make it better than a normal middle school play. We don't want it to be thought of as a middle school play."
Lizzie Bryan, eighth grader, plays Anna. This is her second musical at Lakeridge High School. She's enjoyed the amount of stage time she gets to have with this role and how much time she gets to spend with the cast.
Dunwoody said the students have spent 7,000 hours in preparation for this performance. Juggling everyday school priorities with the demands of theater has been challenging, Bryan admits. "I think I just have to really choose what is the most important … it's just really choosing the priorities," she said.
She said she hopes it's a rewarding experience. "It's just a really good show," she said.
Adam Wick, sixth grader, plays a townsperson and an Oaken family member. This is his first play.
"I really like the experience just being in a new community and having a new set of friends to be around," he said.
Wick said audience member should look forward to some big dance numbers, while Dunwoody added that audience members can expect to see all their "Frozen" favorites and some theater magic.
Lakeridge Middle School Theatre Arts' performance of Disney's "Frozen Jr." will run for two weeks. Performances are December 12, 13, 14 and 19, 20, 21. The Saturday matinee is a special sing-along performance. Characters will be available for photos after each show. Reserve your tickets at https://www.eticketexpress.com/event/lakeridgejh/frozen_jr
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