The cast of Dempsey Middle School’s production of “Frozen Jr.” met for the first time Wednesday for a read-through of the performance.
Director Pam Beery said the production has a cast of 80 students, and there will be performances at 7 p.m. Nov. 21-23 with a matinee at 2 p.m. on Nov. 23.
“We spend a lot of time looking for shows,” Beery said in an email after the first read-through Wednesday. “We have to select ones that have large casts, ones that we can get a good audience for, ones that match the voices/actors we know we have. Even though I cast it in my mind before auditions, I am always surprised by the cast. It’s hard, too, because we have to somehow up our game from our last production.”
Beery said 120 students auditioned for the show, and she had to trim the cast with a lot of “heartache.”
She added fans of the film “Frozen” can expect a similar story with a few differences.
“I love live theater, so there’s always that,” Beery said. “We have lots of special effects planned, wonderful dances, and costumes will be amazing. We’re also going to be featuring an Olaf and Sven puppet that will be quite thrilling to see. The story line has to change a bit (we don’t have a snow monster), but we’re getting a lot of inspiration from the movie.”
On Wednesday, the entire cast met for a read-through and the leads of the show said the were excited to start working on their performances.
Julia Waltz, the eighth grader playing Elsa, said she was thrilled when she found out she had made the cast.
“I was internally screaming but pretty chill on the outside,” she said. “I’ve been wanting to play a Disney princess since I was 4 years old.”
Vivian Salvador, who plays Elsa’s extroverted sister, Anna, agreed, adding she was excited to be cast.
“I was externally screaming!” Salvador said.“I’m most excited about working with people who have the same interest as me, and the directors are really good, so I’m excited to make sure our show is the best.”
Jayvier Tatman, who plays Kristoff, said the role is literally a dream come true.
“It’s one of my favorite roles,” Tatman said. “I’ve always wanted to be Kristoff in ‘Frozen,’ so I’m really excited. He’s a lead role, so that’s a lot of fun, and he gets to sing a solo.”
Tatman added that he’s looking forward to working with a puppet of reindeer character Sven.
“It’s going to be a great show!” he said.
Joel Domino, the eighth grader playing the villain of the show, Hans, said he’s excited to be the bad guy.
“I haven’t played an antagonist in a few years, and I think this play is really fun,” Domino said. “I’m also excited to meet all the sixth graders.”
Rehearsals will be held after school, and cast members must check the calendar to know what days they need to rehearse.
“I’m excited for the community that I get to watch through the rehearsal (and) performance process,” Beery said. “The final product is always incredible. I am amazed at the talent we have at Dempsey, and the expectations the kids have of themselves and others really is rewarding to watch.”
More information about the show can be found at https://delawarecityschools.instructure.com/courses/4665.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.