A Love Letter to Disney’s Frozen on Broadway

The Saturday after Thanksgiving, 2013, as a sophomore in college, my best friend and I saw Frozen after a blessed turn of fate that the movie we wanted to see was sold out. I was amazed at the story of these two brilliant women who found the courage to open up after loss. I grew up an only child, always wishing for a sister,constantly feeling alone and wishing I had someone who understood and loved me, making up and reading stories, and found a best friend who became my sister in college. During the movie, my friend looked at me on the line “I’m awkward, you’re gorgeous” and looked at me and said “you!” I found something in an anxious, cute princess who looked like me. I immediately loved the themes of the film and found in both Elsa and Anna something very beautiful. My nickname among friends literally became “Princess Anna” due to my loving “mom” nature for everyone around me as a teacher and my absolutely unwavering optimism as a coping mechanism.
I have also suffered from clinical depression and anxiety since the age of twelve, and also felt I had to “handle it myself”. Despite being treated for years, I did not tell a single person outside of my parents and Grandma until that night, after Frozen, when I opened up to my best friend and had that moment. also could deeply identify with Elsa, as I thought there were parts of myself- depression and past pain- that I needed to keep hidden and noone, including my parents, understood. Like Elsa, I found that “ our secrecy and silence comes at such a cost”and the dream that someone could love and understand me was dangerous, as she elaborates in the musical. A weight was lifted and I could exhale. I found peace in speaking the thing that scared me to death. The following summer I got an internship that meant I would direct children shows at a local camp over the summer. To my honor one of the shows that I had the opportunity to direct was frozen. I got to deliver a showcase of all of the material of Anna to about thirty young girls and boys. They adored me and looked at me like a princess. A lot of people saw me as Anna but I never saw myself as Anna, truly,despite my hope. Enter Patti Murin. She made this character real and made me feel like I was seeing myself represented for the first time (ever). I know the Elsa to my Anna felt the same way. In every movement Patti made, I saw a little bit of… me! While film Anna gave me permission to be the awkward quirky person I have always been, this broadway show taught me that I can endure heartbreak. While I trust everyone as Anna does, the one difference other than her impulsivity we have (sometimes – I am not the BEST with financial decisions) is that while we are both living in search of love, she taught me not to fear heartbreak in “True Love”. Anna lives her life in the insecurity that she’ll never achieve anything really meaningful- that she’s a spare, and I for the longest time, thought of myself as a side character in my own life. I was only brave for others. Watching this living breathing embodiment of my own life made me feel like I was looking at myself- and not criticize but seeing the beauty of being flawed. I’ve spent the past week remembering every glance and the pain it held before it turned to hope- I had never exhaled the way I did when I was given permission to. The magic made me feel the way I felt when I was eight and I saw beauty and the beast- dreams can come true. I never thought anyone would love me. And now I know I have people who do. And I never thought I could be a princess- and for the first time looking at the stage of the St James theatre, it made me believe that MY dream doesn’t have to die. It can come true. For me, Ally. And for Anna, who saves herself with her own true love. I wouldn’t be the same person I am without this story for women. But I also know it doesn’t end here. Maybe I’ll find a kristoff but I know no matter what I have love and I get to share love every day of my life- and “maybe one day all these feelings I have in my heart could mean something to [more people]. How I’d love to play that part”

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