Organizing 52 kids for a theater production may seem chaotic — but the directors of Triumvirate Theatre North’s production of “Frozen. Jr.” are making it work.
“Kids are honestly easier to manage than adults,” Nikiski High theater teacher Joe Rizzo said. “You tell a kid, ‘You need to be over there’, you’re not going to get them saying, ‘Well, I don’t think the character would do that’. Adults like to make their own acting decisions.
“When you have 52 kids in a play, it’s like stage left, stage right, stand there,” said Rizzo, who is handling the musical end of the “Frozen” production. His wife, Pauline, is directing.
The 2013 Disney film has become a favorite among kids, and Rizzo said Triumvirate decided to do the play as soon as the script became available to purchase for theater companies.
“These shows are perfect for bringing kids up on,” he said.
Rizzo said kids’ familiarity with the work, as well as with the ubiquitous hit “Let It Go” have made his job a bit easier.
“Every kid has seen the show,” he said.
The play follows the script of the original film, but with minimal speaking roles that make for a full musical.
“The only thing about putting on the big production like this, is as an adaptation, a great deal of it is music. The majority of the play is them singing songs.”
Beyond the music, one of the play’s big draws, he said, is the story line, which breaks away from the classic narrative of true love between two characters, and focuses more on a different love that often is overlooked in the modern day.
“It breaks away from the Prince Charming saving the day at the end,” he said. “It’s about the sisters. It’s about that kind of love conquering all — not about romantic love, but rather love within a family. I think that resonates with people.
“Anna doesn’t need some man to come along and save her. She ends up being the hero.”
Rizzo said musicals like “Frozen Jr.” are designed for a massive cast of youth actors, who are divided to lend their talents to particular segments of the play.
Six different names star in the leading roles of Anna and Elsa, sisters who are separated from a young age before eventually reuniting for a spell-breaking conclusion. Young Anna and Elsa are played by Morgan Hooper and Emily Porter, respectively, while mid-age Anna and Elsa are portrayed by Ryenne Douglas and Oceanna Broussard, respectively. The older Anna and Elsa are brought to life by Alisha Wilburn and Ellsi Miller, respectively.
The latter duo take over for much of the production.
The characters of Hans, the prince, and Kristoff, the iceman, are played by Brogan Storms and Jackson Hooper, respectively.
Categorized as a junior musical, the play is designated by Music Theatre International as a show for actors and audience members 18 and younger.