rogue

Sisterhood and sacrifice: The uniquely female experience in Frozen the Musical.

 So many Disney plots tell the stories of women, but none do it quite like Frozen.

The tale of two sisters in Arendelle is a story that champions strong, multifaceted women and the power of their sisterhood.

Anna is clumsy and awkward and passionate and willing to do anything for her family. Elsa is selfless and protective and scared and uh, an ice queen.

What to expect when Frozen the Musical comes to Sydney this July. Post continues below video.


Video via Disney

And in the end, the most important story of love is the love between two sisters (Kristoff and Sven are a close second, though).

So it makes sense that women have played crucial roles right across the board in getting Frozen from screen to stage.

At the top is Anne Quart, SVP and co-producer at Disney Theatrical Productions in New York. Speaking to Mamamia, Anne says that women feel a unique connection to the storyline.

“Everybody sees a piece of theatre through their own prism, right. But I am a sister – I am one of three sisters. I also have two daughters. So I think for me what’s most powerful is this way of, no matter what happens in your life, that bond with your sister is eternal and strong and unbreakable, and also the idea of family sacrifice.

“I think women uniquely understand this role of family sacrifice, which is ‘I’m going to be strong and do what I need to do to take care of my family’. I’m not suggesting men don’t do that, but I think there are unique aspects to it with women.

“These two women, kind of against all odds, find a way to come back to each other and take care of their family. I think that can be very powerful.”

anne quart disney
Disney Theatrical Group SVP Anne Quart. Image: Supplied.
ADVERTISEMENT

Disney’s Frozen the musical arrives in Sydney from December 2020, with everything you love about the story of two sisters plus a whole lot of extra goodness.

The sisterhood storyline is relatable, but it's also a theme that continues backstage and into every part of the production.

"Something that we’ve really tried to build over the years with our Australian team is to really try and diversify through our crew as much as we can, and really give people opportunities in fields where perhaps they hadn’t really existed before," Paula McKinnon, Associate Producer at Disney Theatrical Australia, explains.

Historically, backstage roles in stage shows have been male-dominated, but Paula says with the increase in productions and opportunities, this has started to broaden.

frozen the musical
Image: Supplied.

The backstage and behind-the-scenes team for Frozen in Australia is an obvious personification of this.

"What are seen as some really traditional male, heavy career paths - [For example our] head mechanists on the show, who run all of the scenic elements on stage: In that department we’ve got a deputy head mec who’s a female.

ADVERTISEMENT

"Our flyman - I just call her fly person - she runs the fly floor. Our head of wardrobe is male, our props team are female.

"We’re really thrilled with the diversity and it’s also just a brilliant team, they all work really well together."

frozen the musical
Image: Supplied.

For Caissie Levy, who played Elsa in the Broadway production for more than two years, being part of Frozen has been a pretty unique theatre opportunity.

"This is my sixth Broadway show and it’s the first time I’ve ever done a show that doesn’t revolve around a man," she tells Mamamia.

She's excited there's such a strong female contingent tackling the task down under. Jemma Rix has been announced as Elsa, and Courtney Monsma will play Anna.

It's women telling women's stories in a positive, compassionate and powerful environment. Because women understand, she explains.

"The expectation put on Elsa, the perfectionism that she struggles with, the way women inherently feel pressure to look after everyone around them - in their families and their communities," Caissie says.

"It just allows us to go so much deeper with these stories."

frozen the musical disney
Caissie Levy as Elsa, backstage. Image: Supplied.
ADVERTISEMENT

Sydney is the first international territory to put on Frozen, following its opening on Broadway in 2018.

With that comes more than a year of planning: Booking a theatre, putting a team together, casting, marketing, practice, practice and more practice. It is a lot of work.

But the calibre of the show created makes it all worth it and Paula is looking forward to seeing how Australian audiences resonate with it.

"That story of fighting for your family, fighting for that connection, is beautiful and I think it's important especially in this day and age. There’s always so much going on in the world and I think reminding ourselves of how special that is, is important.

"Obviously there are male leads in the story, but to have the female drive the narrative is amazing. I think Australian audiences are really going to love that."

Frozen begins performances at Sydney's Capitol Theatre from December 1 2020. Tickets are available now from frozenthemusical.com.au, with accessible pricing options.

A flexible COVID-19 exchange policy has been implemented, allowing guests who are unwell to exchange their tickets free of charge to a new performance or offer a refund if a suitable alternative date cannot be found. 

Disney Theatrical Productions will continue to follow all state and federal government advice and should advice or circumstances change, patrons will be contacted as soon as possible. No patron is allowed to attend the theatre if they are symptomatic, have tested positive to COVID-19 or are awaiting test results.

The Capitol Theatre will operate in accordance with its Covid Safe Plan with the goal of ensuring that your experience at the theatre is made as safe as reasonably possible. The Covid Safe Plan applicable at the time of your visit will be made available on the theatre’s website.

Chelsea McLaughlin travelled to New York as a guest of Disney Theatrical Productions Australia.

00:00 / ???