Two versions to choose from: The Original Version and the TYA Version!
Be spirited away by this new musical adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s fantastical coming-of-age adventure that inspired the hit Disney movie Frozen. Join Gerda on a dangerous and whimsical quest to save her best friend Kai before he is trapped forever in the Snow Queen’s palace. Dare to enter a world where flowers sing, animals talk, and riddles yearn to be solved. With an original pop-rock score, alluring ballads, urban steampunk flair, and the enigmatic Snow Queen, you'll soon see this is not your average bedtime story.
Winner of the 2014 Stage Rights/NYMF Publishing Award, a program of The New York Musical Theatre Festival.
Click here for the TYA Version.
The full company comes forward to sing “Just Like You,” which is an invitation to the audience to imagine themselves in the story.
Kai and Gerda are best friends who share adventures and delight in stories, when they aren’t tending to a Rose that grows between their windows (“Up Here”). One day Gerda is tall enough to reach a dusty book on her Grandmother’s shelf (“Once Upon a Time”). The book tells the story of the Snow Queen and her two mirrors— one that reflects all that is good and beautiful, and another its opposite. Gerda’s Grandmother catches them reading the book and reveals more of the story. She tells them how a Troll stole the Queen’s dark mirror and raised it above the world, but it shattered— sending shards into the eyes and hearts of unsuspecting people, giving them negative feelings and a cynical outlook. Grandmother says the Snow Queen takes children to her ice palace and breathes the cold into their lungs with a kiss in order to create a Snow Flake army. Kai and Gerda ask if the story is true, but the Grandmother is vague.
That night, the Snow Queen comes by their windows (“So Far Away”). Kai sees her and is entranced. When she leaves, the wind kicks up pieces of the shattered mirror, infecting Kai in his heart and eye. The Troll appears and explains the “Real Reality” of Kai’s situation before disappearing to cause mischief elsewhere.
Gerda finds Kai the next morning, but he is changed. He sees the world as cold and dark and cruelly tells Gerda he doesn’t want to play with her anymore. Gerda is upset and wonders what happened to her friend (“That’s Not My Best Friend”).
Kai begins to see the world differently, intoxicated with the beauty and logic of numbers and geometric patterns. The Snow Queen appears, drawn to the mirror fragments in his eye and heart (“You are Mine”). She breathes her icy breath into his lungs with a kiss and offers to take him to her ice palace, where everything is clean and beautiful. Kai eagerly agrees to go but wants her to “Kiss Me Again.” The Snow Queen declines, telling Kai that three kisses will kill him. The ice from the first kiss has already begun to freeze all the aspects of his humanity.
Gerda watches as Kai leaves with the Snow Queen. Determined to go after him, she disobeys her Grandmother and starts her journey (“Gone”). When she reaches the river, the Troll pushes her in. In order to not drown, she must get rid of all her belongings and trust the flow of the River (“The Witch and the River"). A Witch notices Gerda in the water and helps her get out. The Witch is a gardener and, once she learns Gerda loves flowers, weaves a magic spell causing Gerda to forget who she is and accept the Witch as her mother (“Through You”).
Kai, meanwhile, begs the Snow Queen for another kiss (“Kiss Me Again–Reprise”). She says no and shows Kai her remaining Mirror, the Mirror of Reason. She believes he has the power to solve the Riddle of Eternity locked within it. Because he has the mirror pieces lodged in his eye and heart, she gives him another kiss to open his eyes to the wonders of the ice (“Kiss You to Death”) and his mind to the complexity of the riddle.
The spell on Gerda is broken when she sees a rose and confronts the Witch. Armed with petals from the flowers, she continues her journey, realizing for the first time she is alone. Kai, in the ice palace, realizes the same thing and thinks about Gerda (“Alone Together”). Gerda is about to give up when she meets a Crow who tells her that a boy matching Kai’s description just married the Princess. He summons his bird squadron, and they teach her to fly (“Flying”).
The Lady Crow brings Gerda into the bedroom of the Prince and Princess. Gerda discovers that the Prince is not Kai. Dejected, she tells her story to the always up-beat and highly caffeinated royal couple. When Gerda says she should just give up, the Princess tells her she just lacks conviction (“Never Give Up”) and promises to help Gerda find her friend.
The Royals give Gerda new clothes and a carriage, and the Crow escorts her to the Fierce Forest of Extremity where they must part. Gerda bravely goes into the forest alone only to be jumped by a Robber Gang. The daughter of the gang leader, the Robber Girl, terrifies everyone with one of her tantrums and demands everything for herself (“I Want That”). She proclaims that Gerda is now her new puppy.
Kai, becoming more and more like the ice around him, is busy creating equations (“Equations”) in the snow to impress the Queen. The Snow Queen is pleased with his abilities but must leave him to cool the planet down (“Balance”). She vows to return soon.
Tied up and tired, Gerda finds herself, along with two Pigeons and a Reindeer, the Robber Girl’s captive. Something awakens in Gerda, and she finds a new strength to break free (“Suddenly a Stranger”). She takes the Robber Girl’s knife and demands she and the others be released. The Robber Girl concedes.
The Reindeer and Gerda set off to the north, and he shows her the beauty and mysticism of the Aurora Borealis (“Aurora”). Cold, exhausted, and running out of hope, the pair arrives at the home of the Wise Woman of the North. The Wise Woman looks deep into her book of runes and discovers that Kai has been infected by the malicious dark mirror. Gerda is more determined than ever to save her friend. The Wise Woman reminds Gerda that she has strength and all she has to do is “Breathe” to defeat the Queen.
The Reindeer takes Gerda to the ice palace. Gerda fights with the Snowflake Army. She remembers to calm down and breathe, and her breath melts them (“Snow Flake Battle”). She enters the palace to find Kai frozen and completely assimilated. She begs the Snow Queen to release him. The Snow Queen says that he can leave whenever he wants. Kai doesn’t want to go, for he is now part of the ice and has lost his humanity. He tells Gerda to leave, but she insists that he needs her help (“Here I Am”).
Gerda remembers the rose and forces Kai to remember home. She removes two rose petals from her pocket— placing one on his eye and one on his heart. The mirror shards fall out and Kai begins to thaw. He sees Gerda and is happy, but he convulses and falls to the floor. The Snow Queen says that the mirror shards must have been keeping him alive. But, if Gerda can solve the Riddle of Eternity, maybe she can save him. Gerda looks into the Mirror. She sees herself and Kai. She sees the answer. And it is “Love” (“Gerda Saves Kai”). She kisses Kai and he wakes up. The Snow Queen is left to ponder how a simple word can have so much power.
The company comes forward and sings “The End (Eternity),” summing up the show and detailing how this journey had an end, but ends are just beginnings.
A fairy-tale that rocks!
–The New York Times
Gerda – A bright, precocious, adventurous girl. Her chronological age is less important than her emotional age, which will evolve from pre- to post-adolescence over the course of her journey. Clear soprano with a strong belt and rock feel.
Kai – A bright, inquisitive boy. Sweet and innocent to start, he grows dark, self-possessed, and obsessive as he goes deeper into the world of the Snow Queen. Like Gerda, he evolves from pre- to post-adolescence. Sweet-voiced early, a rock tenor by the end.
Grandmother – Kind and caring, she tries to protect the children by keeping them ignorant of the dangers in the world. Mezzo.
The Snow Queen – A force of nature to be reckoned with. Powerful, mercurial, demanding, and alluring. She is beautiful, cold, and hard, just like her ice and snow. Soprano with a rock feel.
The Rose – The superstar of the floral world. She loves to be admired.
The Troll – Mischievous, playful, amoral. He is not so much malevolent as he is unfeeling. Bari/tenor.
The River – An elemental force— swirling, powerful and unyielding. He has much to teach. Baritone.
Garden Witch – Needy, cunning, and a little dotty. She is powerful yet very scattered. Mezzo.
Flowers – Vain, beautiful, simple-minded, and competitive. They love the sun and crave attention. Each has their own unique qualities and they like to talk about them.
The Old Crow – Noble, forgetful, and aged. He believes he’s much younger than he really is. Speaks like a World War I British flying ace. He wants one more grand adventure. He has the IQ of a bird. Bari/tenor.
Lady Crow – His devoted, besotted lady-friend. She also has the IQ of a bird. Mezzo.
A Princess – An untraditional princess. Geeky and adventurous, she’s always eager to know and learn more. No matter what time of day or night, she seems to be on way too much caffeine. Explosive energy, she is hopelessly in love with the Prince. Mezzo.
A Prince – See Princess. They are a perfect match.
Robber Girl’s Mother – Scary and demanding and the leader of the toughest, roughest gang in the woods. She always gets her way— except when her daughter is around.
Robber Gang – Not bright, not well-kept, and awfully loud.
Robber Girl – She is the scariest tween you’ve ever met. Demanding, hormonal, volatile, half-princess and half-ogre. She confuses fear and love and seems to know things way beyond her years about what happens in the night. Punk rocker. Strong rock belt.
The Reindeer – The most noble, honorable beast on the ice. From a royal reindeer family, he is the strong, loyal friend you want beside you on any difficult journey. Tenor.
Two Pigeons – They are birds from the San Fernando Valley. Not very bright and very self-absorbed.
Woman of the North – Wise, powerful, spiritual— she is both of this world and not of this world. She can see beyond the things of the real world. Mezzo.
Snowflake Soldiers – They are powerful fighters. After Gerda defeats them, we see the children trapped inside that she has released.
We suggest the above roles be played in the following tracks, with Gerda, Kai, and the Snow Queen not doubling. The authors prefer a diverse cast.
Actor 1 – The Troll, a Flower, the Prince, the Reindeer.
Actor 2 – Grandmother, Garden Witch, Lady Crow, Robber Girl’s Mother, Woman of the North.
Actor 3 – Flower, Robber Gang, Pigeon, Ensemble.
Actor 4 – The Rose, A Princess, Robber Girl, Ensemble.
Actor 5 – Flower, Pigeon, Ensemble.
Actor 6 – The River, the Old Crow, a Flower, Ensemble.
Setting: A small town, the woods, the Snow Queen’s castle.
Performance Royalties are based on theater particulars. Please fill out an application for a personalized quote.
Billing responsibilities, pertinent copyright information, and playwrights' biographies are available in the show rider that comes with your license agreement. To download the show rider for The Snow Queen, click here.
“A fairy-tale that rocks.” –Anita Gates, Theatre Critic, The New York Times
“When the parents of the hordes of children who have watched the animated movie Frozen 400 times can’t stand it anymore, they can suggest this show, based on the very same Hans Christian Andersen story. Idina Menzel doesn’t show up to sing “Let It Go,” but there are kooky characters, scary plotting and potent rock numbers.” –Anita Gates, Theatre Critic, The New York Times
“The Snow Queen is an amazingly entertaining show that has fun bending the conventions of how fairy tales are traditionally told in musical theater.” –Jose Solis, Theatre Critic, Stage Buddy New York
“The book is a happy splash of girl empowerment, where quick wit and faithful devotion overcome trolls, witches and other baddies. It’s a tale of the power of love and friendship dressed in a steampunk vibe and an eclectic rock and roll score.” –Robert Sokol, Edge on the Net
“An exciting and fun show that left a thrilled audience of adults and children in its wake.” –John Orr, Arts Critic, Regarding Arts.com
“This steampunk fantasy taps into the darkness and mysticism that make this 1845 tale so endlessly alluring. A bewitching fairy tale that also inspired the Disney movie Frozen, The Snow Queen captures the pangs of loss that go hand in hand with coming of age.” –Karen D’Souza, Theatre Critic, San Jose Mercury News
“Haddon Kime's pleasing score flies from punk rock riffs to tender ballads with grace… The music suggests the exuberance and pluck of Wicked and Spring Awakening. The sassy anti-princess anthem "Never Give Up" is a hoot.” –Karen D’Souza, Theatre Critic, San Jose Mercury News
“Raw sound and layered themes make it a musical to discuss and digest well after the ensemble bows.” –Harmony Wheeler, Theatre Critic, Broadway World
“The production's multitalented cast, raw sound and layered themes make it a musical to discuss and digest well after the ensemble bows… Of course, the down side with new musicals like The Snow Queen is that they never have a soundtrack listeners can immediately go out and buy.” –Harmony Wheeler, Theatre Critic, Broadway World
“Haddon Kime's music spans the gamut of contemporary musical style, with shades of Rent, Spring Awakening, Avenue Q, and Cirque du Soleil, but somehow it all works; the duos and trios are especially lovely. Excellent numbers include "Through You," "Flying," "Never Give Up," "I Want That," and "Here I Am." –Jeanie K. Smith, Theatre Critic, Talkin’ Broadway
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The Authorized Materials/Rehearsal Package for The Snow Queen includes:
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