Halifax County Little Theatre is in the midst of the rehearsal process for “Disney Frozen Jr.,” with rehearsals running three times a week as director Jessica Rose Hayes trains the young actors and actresses in the blocking and line delivery of the modern yet already iconic show for millions of children.
Assisting Hayes is musical director Jessica Camp Snead, choreographer Jamie Beatty and stage manager Lori Ashwell. The four of them run the rehearsals, teach the music and the dancing, block the scenes and impart all types of useful information.
There are a lot of different groups of characters in the show, but one group that the movie lovers know is the household staff and visitors of the castle in the Kingdom of Arendelle. Someone must take care of Elsa and Anna, and who better than the many people who live in the castle.
These roles are played by Nolen Bowen (butler), Caraline Spell (housekeeper), Christopher Mosher (cook), AJ Snead and Jacob Snead (guards), Adison Owen (handmaiden) and Evan Younger as the visiting bishop. The performers range in age from 7 to 11 and vary in the amount of acting experience they have.
Several of the performers were in last year’s “Seussical the Musical” or the previous year’s “Miracle on 34th Street.” A few have not been in productions before and are experiencing the rehearsal process for the first time.
Nolan Bowen, a sixth grader at Bluestone Middle School, has experience with Clarksville Children’s Theatre Workshops for a few years, playing George Banks this past summer in “Mary Poppins, Jr.”
All the young performers mention how much they enjoy making new friends and spending time with old and new friends.
Adison Owen said, “In addition to making new friends, I love dressing up in all the beautiful costumes and becoming the character I’m playing and watching it all come together in the end.”
Chris Mosher added, “The best part of the theatre experience is getting to see my theatre friends that I don’t get to see very often. I got involved with the show, because I like to act and sing and hangout with my friends.”
There can be some harder aspects of the show, including, as AJ Snead said, “learning the step ball change in the dances.”
Caraline Spell also cites “remembering all the dance moves” as a harder element in the show, which is echoed by Evan Younger who also said, “I’ve learned practicing all the dances is important, but I love meeting new people. I love what I do, and it’s not really hard.”
Some of the young performers are involved in sports, as Jacob and AJ Snead both play basketball and soccer, Caraline Spell also plays soccer, Adison Owen plays softball, and Evan Younger plays basketball. Nolan Bowen takes trumpet lessons and is in the band at Bluestone Middle School.
The theme of the show is “Love will thaw the coldest heart,” and the young performers have learned that lesson through the movie and their experience now with the stage version. They are eager to perform and share the music and theme of the show with the audiences.
“Frozen Jr.” is the first of HCLT’s new season, followed by “Ruby: The Story of Ruby Bridges” in February and “Second Samuel,” a comedy with surprises, running in April.
Season brochures can be picked up at The Prizery, or persons can have one mailed by calling 434-470-0980 or messaging HCLT on Facebook.
“Frozen Jr.” opens Friday, Nov. 22, and runs for six performances over two weekends, with Friday and Saturday shows at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday matinees at 3. The show concludes on Sunday afternoon, Dec. 1.
Tickets can be purchased at The Prizery by calling 434-572-8339 or by going online to prizery.com.