Learning while performing: Lake Park summer camp theater to present 'Frozen Jr.'

Lake Park High School's summer theater camp will present Disney's "Frozen Jr." at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 20, at Lake Park High School West Campus auditorium, 500 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., Roselle.

The 60-minute performance is based on the 2013 Disney film and the 2018 Broadway adaptation. The cast includes 50 fifth- to 12th-graders led by Sara Keith, Emily Martyka, Mikayla Testolin, and Ethan Goldspiel. The public is invited. Admission is $5 per person.

The directors answered some questions about the production.

Q. Why did you choose Frozen Jr. for Lake Park High School's summer camp musical?

A. The production team chose Frozen Jr. for Lake Park High School's summer musical since it is based on the 2013 Disney film and is currently the most popular one-hour musical in the country, and we wanted to choose a show that both the student actors and our community would enjoy.

Q. Please describe the plot.

A. In the kingdom of Arendelle, Young Anna (freshman Kaylee Karthol) and Young Elsa (eighth grader, Emily Sabin) are sisters and best friends. When Elsa's powers put Anna's safety at risk, Elsa is isolated in her room. As Anna and Elsa grow up, Middle Anna (seventh grader Isabella Newsted) tries to understand why Middle Elsa (freshman Katie Capua) won't play. On her coronation Queen Elsa (junior Frankie Molfese) accidentally sets off an eternal winter in the town of Arendelle, her younger sister Anna (senior Mia Manella), along with her friends Kristoff (junior Chris Raymond), Olaf (seventh grader Emmett Richey), and Sven (senior Josie Pankau) goes off on a thrilling adventure to find her sister and save the kingdom. Facing an unsuspected villain Hans (junior Luke Thomas), unpredictable ice powers, and something new waiting round every corner, Anna must fight alongside her friends to bring back summer. "Frozen" reveals how true love can come in many forms, and that the bond between sisters is something truly special.

Q. What will audiences enjoy about this show?

A. This musical includes favorite "Frozen" songs such as "Love Is an Open Door," "Do You Want to Build a Snowman?," and "Let It Go," as well as wonderful new songs from the Broadway production.

Q. What did you find most rewarding?

A. Every year I'm blown away by the dedication and talent of our young performers. On our first day of camp, students are learning choreography, lyrics, and practicing lines preparing for their audition. We have some students in fifth or sixth grade and this is their first musical, and juniors and seniors who have done Lake Park's summer theater camp since they were in grade school. This year, there are a couple juniors and seniors who are in "Frozen Jr." and were also in our first summer musical "Seussical." You know you've provided a welcoming environment for students when they keep returning.

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