When Halifax County Little Theatre’s “Disney’s Frozen Jr.” opens Nov. 22 at The Prizery, there will be a lot of interesting characters on stage in the town of Arendelle, and then there will be the Hidden Folk off in the forest, who will be full of fun and fancy, trying to help some of the main characters solve their problems.
Two of the Hidden Folk, Pabbie and Bulda, are the mystical leaders of the Hidden Folk, who have a soft spot for “strays.” Ever-benevolent, these parental figures want what’s best, even if they are a bit misguided in their efforts. These fun figures are played by experienced actresses Meredith Duffer and McKayla Moxcey.
Duffer was in “Seussical” last year as one of the Bird Girls, but she has an active resume through the Governor’s School Drama Camp for the past three years. She has picked up the musical skills from her talented father, David Duffer, is in her ninth year of dance classes at Five Pointes Dance Academy in Farmville, and now she is adding the acting portion to make her the “triple threat” to the theatre world.
A member of Providence Presbyterian Church, Duffer is active there with services and music. Her comfort level of being in front of people helps her onstage to be relaxed in her characters, enabling the audiences to enjoy watching her. She really likes meeting new friends and spending time with them to perfect the performances.
Another familiar figure to the stage is Moxcey, who has been in a plethora of shows for years with both HCLT and The Prizery, most recently in “Seussical” and “Momma Mia.” Moxcey takes piano and voice lessons from Chris Jones, and it has been fun to watch her grow in her confidence and abilities onstage over the past few years.
Onstage with Pabbie and Bulda are the other little Hidden Folk trolls: Yasmine Ahmed, Maggie Mae Burton, Avery Hayes, Ma’Kiea Taylor and Madelyn Young. These girls range in age from 8 to 12, and all have been involved in previous shows with HCLT or The Prizery. It seems once the “theatre bug” bites, it holds on to the talent.
As 12-year-old Ahmed said, “Acting is all I want to do. I’ve tried so many other activities – cheerleading, soccer, softball – but acting is the thing I love to do.” She has been in several shows over the past few years, “Miracle on 34th Street,” “Lion King Jr.” and “Seussical” included, and she had the lead role in the Governor’s School’s production of “Junie B. Jones” last summer.
The younger girls are enjoying the experience as well. Hayes, whose mother, Jessica, is directing the show, stays busy with soccer, cheerleading, softball, and church choir, but said at theatre rehearsals, she can “have fun, make friends, and act sassy.” She also added that “Frozen Jr.” tells little children that “they can be whatever they want.”
Burton also has been in several shows over the past few years and got involved because her older brother did theatre, and her mother has been active with HCLT for years. Burton says the hardest part of doing theatre is being quiet backstage. But she also admits to being a kind, intelligent, honor-roll student.
Taylor and Young round out the Hidden Folk, both enjoying the magic and fun of the characters. Taylor enjoys being dramatic onstage and is excited about having a new baby sister at home and taking dance lessons. Young enjoys the costumes they wear and having fun on stage, saying, “I love being in shows!”
Enjoy these Hidden Folk in “Frozen Jr.” if one can find them, when the show opens Friday, Nov. 22, for two weekends. Friday and Saturday shows start at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday matinees at 3 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students. Tickets can be purchased at prizery.com or by calling the box office at 434-572-8339.
Season tickets to all the season’s shows also are available. Brochures can be found at The Prizery, or one can be mailed to you by calling 434-470-0980 and requesting one or by messaging HCLT on Facebook.