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College, Middle School Students Share the Stage

Musical based on fairy tale blends Northwestern, Haven School actors

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January 17, 2013 | by Judy Moore

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Fluttery white flakes and icy conditions are in the air this weekend when ”The Snow Queen,” a musical based on Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale about friendship, loyalty and courage is performed at Northwestern University in collaboration with Evanston’s Haven Middle School.

Adapted for the stage by Adrian Mitchell, the Struble Project production of “The Snow Queen” is presented by the Theatre and Interpretation Center (TIC) at Northwestern University.

“The Snow Queen” will be staged at 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18, and 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, at the Mussetter-Struble Theater, 1949 Campus Drive, on the Evanston campus. Admission is free and open to the public.

The musical is recommended for audiences aged 7 and older and their family members. Children who attend will have the opportunity to meet the cast after the show. Estimated running time is approximately two hours, including one 15-minute intermission. General seating in the 115-seat Struble Theater is on a first-come, first-seated basis.

“The Snow Queen” chronicles the brave journey of a young girl to rescue her best friend from the clutches of the Snow Queen. She must find the Ice Palace to break the spell under which the Snow Queen has placed her friend before he freezes solid. To successfully reach her destination, the girl must overcome a host of obstacles the Snow Queen places in her path. Luckily, the girl runs into helpful guides along the way, including a crow and his dancing flock and an old reindeer.

Directed by Northwestern School of Communication senior Sophie Rich, with music direction by Bienen School of Music and Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences senior Carrie Seavoy, the 27-member cast is comprised of 13 Northwestern undergraduates and 14 Haven Middle School students. The Haven students have attended evening rehearsals at Northwestern since last November in preparation of this weekend’s event.

Through this creative drama-based collaboration, Northwestern University director Sophie Rich hoped to form a community of actors who feel free together to be creative, take risks and, above all, have fun. “The student actors from both schools have risen to the challenge beautifully, creating the magic of the world of the show with their bodies and their imagination,” said Rich.

The Struble Project is a three-year series of seven to 10 annual productions created and produced by Northwestern University students in TIC’s Struble Theatre, according to Diane Claussen, managing director of TIC. This project was made possible through the generous support of an anonymous donor.

“The opportunities created by the collaboration of Northwestern and Evanston/Skokie School District 65 students from Haven Middle School furthers Northwestern’s commitment to reach into our community and engage its citizens and helps create the audiences and actors of tomorrow,” said Jim Davis, TIC’s lab theater coordinator.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Press questions about the production may be directed to sophierich2013@u.northwestern.edu