The small town of Arendelle in Halifax County Little Theatre’s “Disney Frozen Jr.” is, in reality, based on an actual town, the Norwegian town of Arendal, to the southwest of the Norwegian capital, Oslo. And like most towns, the fictional Arendelle is composed of mostly good people, with the occasional bad.
There is a smattering of royalty, the typical uppercrust of dukes and bishops, the castle staff and then the typical townspeople, the ones who work their jobs and have families and contribute to the life of the community. They typically love the royal family and would do anything to help them. And then, there is a bad citizen thrown in for danger and excitement.
That’s pretty much the way it is in “Frozen, Jr, which opens Nov. 22 for two weekends at The Prizery in South Boston. Director Jessica Rose Hayes and musical director Jessica Camp Snead are working hard with all these characters to prepare for their big opening.
Portraying some of these townspeople are Taylor Bensen, Virginia Burton, Sophia Son, Carleigh Spell and Zia Williams, ranging in age from 7 to 11. They dance and sing around the city and have an occasional line or two. They help bring the town to life, as most everyone can relate to being a typical townsperson.
One new person to The Prizery stage is Virginia Burton, a sixth grader at Chatham Middle School, who has been involved with theatre in her community and is enjoying meeting people and getting involved with a new theatre group.
As Burton says, “I am extremely excited to work with everyone. I have been a Broadway fanatic forever.”
Burton has enjoyed making new friends and says they are working hard to learn all the dance moves and songs. She also is involved with tennis, takes voice lessons and is a part of her church’s youth group.
Four other local newcomers are Sophia Son, Taylor Bensen, Maggie Snead and Carleigh Spell, who are enjoying making new friends and being a part of the theatre experience. Son also enjoys tennis and piano and is quite vocally advanced for only being 7. Spell and Bensen’s sisters have been involved with HCLT for a few years, so they thought they would get involved too.
Although performer Zia Williams is only 8, she was involved with “Lion King JR” a few years ago and enjoyed performing, so she wanted to be in another well-known show. She loves performing and dancing.
Maggie Snead’s mother, Jessica Camp Snead, is the musical director for the show, so she decided that it would be fun to be involved too, along with her two brothers, making it a fun family activity. In her free time, she enjoys cheerleading and soccer. In addition, you will find her at the Holiday Living Show, as she will have her own booth selling Christmas items.
One of the uppercrust of the town of Arendelle is the Duke of Weselton, played by Aaron Hendricks, 14, who has been involved with HCLT for many years. Hendricks describes the Duke as “an overdramatic, in-your-face kind of guy, who is actually quite funny.”
Hendricks is a ninth grader at Galileo Magnet High School, where he is involved with ACE.
He said, “The greatest part of this show is the people. The people I already know have strengthened their relationships with me, and vice versa, and I also love meeting the new people. I have always loved theatre, and always loved Disney. That speaks for itself.”
Finally, the show must have someone not quite so good as all the typical folk there, so the character Hans was created. Like many famous stories, the audience thinks the character is good and kind until the evil side comes out. HCHS senior and theatre aficionada Minjune Kim portrays Hans.
Kim said, “Hans is the power-craving prince who leads Anna to believe that he loves her, but he betrays her love and trust. The best part about this show is being able to be a part of something I always dreamed of as a child. The hardest part is balancing time for rehearsals while preparing for college and being involved in other activities.”
Kim is on the varsity golf team, is the ACE team manager, a DECA and FBLA member, and he is in the National Honor Society, as well as being involved with Young Life.
Kim said, “This is the first time I have ever played an evil character, so I’m learning to adjust the way I act and the facial expressions I use.”
Director Hayes said, “As the show begins, Minjune’s Hans is our hero, the one we think will be Anna’s Prince Charming. While in real life Minjune is a true gentleman, onstage he gets to show off his acting abilities as he transforms into a loathsome villain.”
She continued, “Minjune also showed off his dancing abilities in ‘Smokey Joe’s Café,’ so he’s one of those true triple threats as his acting and singing skills are highlighted in this show. Audiences will really enjoy his talents with this character.”
The show opens at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 22, and continues Saturday evening and then Sunday afternoon at 3 and repeats again Thanksgiving weekend.
Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students and children. People can buy from The Prizery at 434-572-8339 or go online at prizery.com. The Visitor Center also can sell tickets to Prizery events.
Brochures for HCLT’s entire season are available at The Prizery front desk or have one mailed by calling 434-470-0980 and requesting one.