ELY- Mayor Heidi Omerza declared 2023 the Year of Frozen in Ely on Tuesday, but it wasn’t a commentary on the weather. Instead, Omerza’s proclamation marked a remarkable achievement by …
ELY- Mayor Heidi Omerza declared 2023 the Year of Frozen in Ely on Tuesday, but it wasn’t a commentary on the weather. Instead, Omerza’s proclamation marked a remarkable achievement by local music and theater enthusiasts in bringing the stage adaptation of the Disney musical “Frozen” to Ely.
Through a competitive application process, just one school in each U.S. state was given the rights to perform the production, and Ely’s was Minnesota’s winning application.
Mike Rouse, who teaches music in the Ely schools, and his wife Billie spearheaded the application effort. The couple, who live in Babbitt, were unable to attend the city council meeting for the proclamation. In their stead, they arranged two high school students, Ruby Milton from Northeast Range High School in Babbitt and Alison Poppler from Ely Memorial High School, to read statements about the upcoming musical.
At the city council meeting, Milton read, “Today a proclamation is to be made. But first I will provide a brief background to help frame the content to follow. I encourage you to take the opportunity to reflect on its significance both to our school and to our community.”
“The ‘United States of Frozen’ is a groundbreaking competition sponsored by Educational Theatre Association, Disney Theatrical Group, and Music Theatre International that aims to promote inclusive and diverse high school theatre programs using the theme: “Love Is an Open Door.”
“We are two students that are representing the inclusivity and collaboration between our two schools to bring Disney’s ‘Frozen the Broadway Musical’ to the stage,” continued Poppler, speaking to the council. “We would also encourage any group, organization, club, business, churches, or artists and dreamers, to embrace the theme of ‘Love is an open door.’ We ask that any project completed would have photos and written explanation sent to Mr. Rouse at his school email address: email@example.com.”
“The project information will then be forwarded to the Disney Corporation. We are so excited to have you join us on our journey to Arenedelle!”
After the two students read their statements, the Mayor read the proclamation, part of which read, “Until the final performance is completed, the curtain falls, the last smudges of makeup washed away, and the lights turned off – that this (will) be: The Year of Frozen here in Ely.”