Ely school district picked for “Frozen”

The Ely school district has been chosen as the only school in Minnesota to earn the rights to produce Frozen.
“I am so surprised and excited!” said Mike Rouse of the Ely school district. “We entered this contest because Musical Theater is such a big part of our lives…and after all, Ely is literally “Frozen” about half of every year!”
Winners of the United States of Frozen contest, which will see 51 U.S. high schools—one from each state and a single school in Germany for children of military families—earn the exclusive rights to produce the Disney musical were revealed.
The contest is a collaboration between the Educational Theatre Association, Disney Theatrical Group, and Music Theatre International.
The “Love is an Open Door” competition was open to any high school in the U.S., including U.S. territories, with applicants asked to explain how they would use their production to strengthen their school community, provide outreach to underserved groups, and support inclusive and diverse theatre programs.
Winning schools, selected by EdTA, will receive rights for up to three performances of Frozen; free access to the work’s digital script, score, and orchestrations; a video license, and more.
Performance dates for the winning production will be announced in the coming weeks.
Based on the animated film, Frozen features a book by Jennifer Lee and a score by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, the latter including both the songs from the film and several songs newly written for the stage adaptation.
The musical premiered on Broadway in 2018, closing when the pandemic shut down live theatre worldwide.
Along with a North American national tour, the work is also currently running in London’s West End.
Frozen JR., an hour-long version of the show adapted for middle school-aged performers, debuted in 2019.
The winning productions from this contest will serve as the debut school productions for the full-length version.
“In the heat of July, collaborating with Crystal Poppler, Billie Rouse, Linda (a friend and theatrical costumer from Indianapolis) and Rachel Rouse and I pieced together the entry for this contest,” wrote Mike Rouse.
“I really thought it was a long shot competing against all the large schools with huge musical theater programs. But here in Ely, while our musical theater program may not be as large as many schools, we do have large and generous hearts!
“The theme for this contest was “Love is an open door” … and musical theater has opened the doors to so many in this community! The other thing that Ely has is, we truly are “Frozen” about half the year! I am so excited and grateful for this opportunity for our school and community!”