The Piketon Musical Department will present “Frozen JR.” at the Old Piketon High School auditorium on Friday, Nov. 8 at 7 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 9 at 2 p.m. and again at 7 p.m., and on Sunday, Nov. 10 at 2 p.m.
More than 90 students from Jasper and Piketon auditioned for roles and a cast of 51 K-6 students was chosen for the musical presentation.
Bringing the show to the stage had its own set of challenges.
“The show has several opportunities for special effects, and since it’s a well-known movie, we had to make sure our show lives up to that high standard,” said the musical’s managing director, Jessie Hablitzel.
Despite the challenges, bringing the show to the stage is a rewarding experience, according to Hablitzel.
“Doing a musical with these younger kids is always rewarding, mostly because of the life lessons learned by producing a high quality show that allows them to gain skills in theatre, but also skills like teamwork, finishing a task to completion, and, most of all, encouraging students to break out of their shells,” said Hablitzel.
As managing director of the musical, Hablitzel’s duties have included “organizing the business part of everything that goes into producing a musical, as well as leading the charge for designing costumes, hair and makeup decisions, scheduling, public relations and running rehearsals.”
Hablitzel’s husband, Chad, is the technical and acting director of the musical, and his duties include “building and creating sets, lighting specs and running all the sound.”
Hablitzel’s brother-in-law, Mike Moorman, assisted with vocal rehearsals and Shayna Detillion, a former graduate of the PHS musical program, assisted with blocking, acting and choreography “at almost every rehearsal.”
Several parents assisted with the musical as well, performing tasks such as making costumes, decorating window displays, feeding students at lengthy rehearsals, selling tickets, cleaning, conducting bake sales, and other errands.
“We have the best parent support around,” Hablitzel said.
“Frozen JR.” will be the final musical performed at the Old Piketon High School auditorium.
Hablitzel describes her emotional response to the final performance as “a happy and sad feeling.”
“My husband and I have raised our kids in this space, and we met on this stage in high school,” she said. “We actually had our first kiss on this stage and our youngest, who is now 14, was potty trained the year we directed our first show. It will be sad to lose this building, but it is time. We have been allowed the opportunity to sit in on construction meetings for the new auditorium, and are very excited about this new, updated, larger and safer space for our Piketon musical students to create wonderful shows!”
The Hablitzels have already made plans for the first opening night at the new auditorium.
“We hope to host a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the community to attend and thank them for their support of our program over the past 50-plus years,” Jessie said. “Without the community and taxpayers’ support of the arts over the years, this new auditorium wouldn’t be possible. We hope it is a space used for the betterment of not only our kids, but our wonderful Village of Piketon and surrounding community.”
The official opening of the new auditorium is not known at this time, but is tentatively scheduled for Spring 2020.
“No name has been selected yet, but with the school board’s assistance, we hope to have a naming contest to have an official, appropriate name for a new theater that reflects the excellence of Piketon,” said Hablitzel.
Tickets are $7 and can be reserved by calling 740-289-4117.
“We have reserved over 800 tickets already, so call soon,” Hablitzel said.
Following is the “Frozen JR.” cast list:
Anna: Ava Ricer
Young Anna: Chelsea Byrd
Middle Anna: Atleigh Penwell
Elsa: Karlee Clemmons
Young Elsa: Nina Rose
Middle Elsa: Kenley Maynard
(Young and Middle Elsa and Young and Middle Anna will double as Hidden Folk and Summer Chorus)
Hans: Noah Cooper
Duke of Weselton: Konnor Clemmons
King Agnorr: Tristen Boedicker
Kristoff: Luke Jordan
Sven: Harrison Alexander
Queen Iduna: Shaelynn Tolliver
(King and Queen will double as Townspeople and Summer Chorus)
Olaf: Asher Davis
Castle Staff/Townspeople: Sophie Metzger, Ryanne Moore, Aubree Elliott, Abby Kingrey, Kaylee Pettit, Klaria Napier, Kiera Lansing
Oaken: Carter Smith
Oaken’s Wife: Jayla Rigsby
Oaken’s Family: Kaelyn Smith, Emily Acord, Abigail Acord, Lilly Morgensen, Madison Kingrey, Cameron Tackett
(Oaken and Family will double as Townspeople)
Snow Chorus: Hannah Webster, Alex Vulgamore, Larkin Vulgamore, Ella Woolridge, Briar Penwell, Brenlee Harris, Ruby Davis, Marley Bentley, Delaney Schuler
Junior Snow Chorus: Kinley Brust, Lilly Penn, Karley Brust
Bulda: Aubrey Heath
Pabbie: Tucker Veloski
(Bulda and Pabbie will also double as Summer Chorus)
Hidden Folk/Summer Chorus: Mahli Barlow, Emma Bragg, Cora Conley, Joselyn Howard
Hidden Folk Junior: RJ MacGregor, Ella McCaleb, Presley Bentley, Audrina Penwell