A cool start to summer; St. John Theatre presents Frozen Kids

Published 4:06 pm Wednesday, June 7, 2023

RESERVE — For more than 20 years, the St. John Theatre Summer Children’s Workshop has been a beloved tradition in the River Parishes. Held during the first two weeks of summer vacation, the workshop was reignited May 29 following an extended hiatus forced by the COVID-19 pandemic and Hurricane Ida.

Elementary students in second through seventh grade are cooling off this summer with a production of Frozen Kids, a 35-minute adaptation of the Broadway Musical inspired by the 2013 Disney film.

The workshop started with auditions and casting last Monday and Tuesday. Veteran director Kristen Brooks said the children are building skills that will carry them far beyond the stage.
“They’ve been learning theatre games that teach them how to roll with live action. Sometimes kids have a hard time with getting a little bit stiff, and this helps them to break into character,” Brooks said. “I feel like it gives kids the opportunity to experience live theatre, work as a team, and also how to do a public presentation. It gets them more comfortable with being able to speak in front of a group.”

This year’s group of young actors includes a mix of familiar and new faces. Ava Deroche, a Gramercy Elementary student who plays Anna in Frozen Kids, was first introduced to St. John Theatre during a children’s workshop production of “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” She has participated in a Frozen play before and felt comfortable taking on this role, even when memorizing all of Anna’s lines seemed daunting. “Fixer Upper” is her favorite song in the upbeat production.

“The people here are really nice,” she said. “I enjoy theatre, and sometimes I feel like I can actually be myself.”
The public is invited to view Frozen Kids at 2:30 and 7 p.m. Saturday, June 10, at 115 W. Fourth St. in Reserve. The box office opens 30 minutes prior to showtime, and tickets are $5 each.

The Summer Children’s Workshop is only one way youth in the community can get involved at St. John Theatre.

After Footloose takes the stage during the last two weeks of July, the nationally acclaimed Missoula Children’s Theatre will return to St. John Theatre to close out the summer. Registration will be available on-site, and more details will be shared online at stjohntheatre.com.