Rehearsals for Frozen are underway as drama students continue to prepare for performances in April

Rowan Grace And The Cast Of FrozenRAPID CITY, S.D.– With Central High School’s music department taking on the music for the upcoming performances of Disney’s “Frozen: The Broadway Musical,” the cast of the show is also hard at work making sure they hit all the right cues. Cast members talk about what it is like to be part of the show and more.

Anna and Elsa, a.k.a Kelsi Kroeger and Rowan Grace

“There will be a lot of stuff that a lot of kids and families will recognize. But then there are, you know, some more surprise elements with new songs that are added,” Rowan Grace said, who is portraying Elsa in the school’s production. Grace will be performing alongside classmate Kelsi Kroeger as they portray two sisters, who did not know each other too well before the cast was announced in February. “We knew each other in choir class, but we had not really talked to each other, which I think is really cool because so far we have already got to know each other super well and I’m excited to continue to get to know Kelsey,” Grace said. “I think we welcomed each other with open arms and were instantly connected and started talking and chatting like we have known each other forever.”

“Frozen” marks Kroeger’s first show with the Central High School drama department, along with her first time working on such a big production. “They did not really have us close to each other during callbacks. So you did not really know how it was going to turn out. But I was very excited to see her as also because I had been wanting to work with her,” she explained. Both Kroeger and Grace are particularly excited to take on the music and live orchestra, but also understand the emotional aspects regarding some of the songs they have together. “Trying to execute like the feelings that like our characters have with each other would be something that would need a lot of work on,” Kroeger said. “Just really like going over your lines and maybe watching how they performed it on Broadway.”

Olaf and Sven, a.k.a Colton Rawstern and Khloe Hanson

Rawstern and Hanson, who are portraying non-human characters, they are preparing to take a trial-and-error approach for the puppets they will be controlling on stage. “We are going to go in blind for the first couple of rehearsals, but I think we will be able to get through just learning it physically,” Rawstern said. And besides the physically-demanding role that the character presents, he also has to find his “voice,” something he has been taking several different approaches to. “It is different. I mean, I have been trying younger voices, I have been trying to go really high, maybe a bit lower than I am,” he explained. “But I think overall, where I am at with my voice– I think it would be pretty good.”

While Hanson’s role as Sven does not require dialogue, she has to rely on and base her reactions off of the actor portraying Kristoff since he is speaking for her character. “I think a lot of the scenes I have with Kristoff where I’m trying to just show I am his friend, we are friends,” she explained. “I have never been an animal before, so I do not really know how that is going to work out, but I am going to definitely try.” And like Kroeger, this also marks her first production with the high school, and a role she almost missed out on. “I was just really nervous because I had never done something like it before. It was my first time doing musicals, so I do not really like singing that much,” she said. However, both are looking forward to seeing everything come together. “Just to see how it is all going to be able to move,” Hanson said. “And how I am going to be able to convey what I am trying to convey to the audience to the other actors.”

Emily McGruther, Vocal Director

“The largest struggle that we are going to face is making sure that they are ready to sustain this show for six shows back-to-back, twice a day,” McGruther said “Making sure they are healthy and vocally strong, and that they have enough stamina, which is something that will practice in rehearsals.” The best way she says to look at it is to picture the voice as a muscle, and that the more that you exercise it the stronger it gets. And that if students are not practicing healthy self-care habits, they will not be able to handle the toll the show takes on their voice.

Emotion is another important part of coaching the students, and remembering to not just read the music. “Making sure that when Elsa is singing “Let It Go”, that vocally is doing the same thing that her face is doing. And the voice can carry so much of that acting in it. However, she is also focused on making sure the students remember to separate the movie from the Broadway show. “Fixer Upper” has some spots in it that don’t exist in the movie, so they will go on autopilot and all of a sudden I remind them, “Oh wait, that is how they did it in the movie, but not the musical,” she explained. “Retraining that aspect of things and then just memorizing a two-and-a-half hour show.”

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