[UPDATE: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Frozen, Jr. will be postponed to a later date.]
More than 150 cast and crew members from The Davis Academy will recapture the icy world of princess sisters Elsa and Anna and the magical land of Arendelle in the school’s production of Disney’s “Frozen Jr.” March 22-23.
The student version of “Frozen,” based on the 2018 Broadway musical, engages “audience-goers to reflect on themes and values regarding family, identity, isolation and acceptance, tolerance, forgiveness, empathy, courage, community and love,” said Kendrick Phillips, Davis’ director of visual and performing arts.
“The social emotional learning piece found in ‘Frozen Jr.’ is not only timely, but one of the most important pieces of educational learning in a child’s development,” she said.
The production is an adaptation of the movie, “Frozen,” which is “beloved worldwide,” Phillips said. “Everyone, young and old, is familiar with the story, songs and characters.”
It also “aligns perfectly” with Davis’ mission of L.O.V.E. (Live Our Values Every day). The story teaches us to act upon such values as ruach, spirit; chochmah, wisdom; tzedek, righteousness; kehillah, community; and chesed, loving-kindness.
“There is a dearth of musicals featuring multiple strong female roles, and as a female director with a largely female middle school cast, it is important to pick material which empowers our students of all genders to see a female-forward story of two sisters finding their way back to each other and themselves and that true love in this story is about familial love and acceptance. Since the production officially opens right at the end of Women’s History Month and Arts in Schools Month, ‘Frozen Jr.’ could not be a more perfect fit for this year’s annual musical production.”
When Davis produces a Broadway-style musical, “all aspects of the set design, special effects design and costume design are fabricated by leading entertainment industry professionals,” Phillips said. “Middle school students are put through professional auditions and three rounds of callbacks. Davis also continues its tradition of a no-cut policy. Every child may participate on-stage or on the crew.
‘Frozen Jr.’ includes 150 students ages 5 to 14 and 20 Davis alumni student mentors in addition to the production staff and volunteers, which places the total number involved in the production at over 200.”
She added that this is the first Davis-produced musical headlined by two female lead characters. “This is our first foray into an icy color palette with snow special effects and low-lying dense fog. New to this year’s production are extended pre-show activities in our princess hair braiding station. Visit our ‘Frozen’ store and Olaf raffle; walk the ice carpet to our selfie photo, ‘Frozen’ standee area, as well as post-show opportunities for audience members to have their picture taken post-show with their favorite ‘Frozen’ characters and get their Playbills signed.”
“Frozen Jr.” features all of the memorable songs from the animated film, with music and lyrics by husband-wife team Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, plus five new songs written for the Broadway production. A story of true love and acceptance between sisters, “Frozen Jr.” expands upon the emotional relationship and journey between princesses Anna and Elsa. When faced with danger, the two discover their hidden potential and the powerful bond of sisterhood.
The school production will take place at 1 and 7 p.m. March 22 and 6:30 p.m. March 23 at The Davis Academy Lower School, 8105 Roberts Drive. Tickets can be purchased at www.davisacademy.org/musical.