Homes-schooled students stage 'Snow Queen'

Photo by Ethan Goetz/Journal-ExpressThe cast of the upcoming play “Snow Queen” by local home-schooled students pose for a photo.

KNOXVILLE — Home-schooled students take the stage to perform the classic “Snow Queen” by Will Ledema.

Natalie Ogbourne is one of the directors. Ogbourne said, “Snow Queen is a Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale and it is the same story ‘Frozen’ is based.”

The Snow Queen is about a little boy, Kai, who has a strong friendship with Gerda, the two are inseparable until Kai gets a piece of glass in his heart, Ogbourne said. This changes Kai’s demeanor from a caring person, to a person who lacks compassion for others, including Gerda and her family.

Ogbourne said the actors range in age from seven-graders to seniors and most are from the Knoxville area. A few live up to an hour away that are part of our homeschool group.

Riley Conrad, a freshman plays Kai.

“At first Kai is a nice boy, then he gets captured by the Snow Queen and gets taken to her palace,” Conrad said.

Conrad said he enjoys playing Kai and likes the challenge of playing an evil person.

Conrad says he can relate to his character Kai when the is his “nicer self” in the beginning of the production. Conrad said he likes playing Kai because he is a challenge.

“Normally, I am not an evil person,” Conrad said. “That is not how I am.”

The production is narrated by Laura Barr, a senior. Barr helps move the story along for the audience.

“The storyteller keeps the story moving along,” Barr said, “and introduces the subplots and hidden parts might not be so obvious.”

Barr said she really likes being the storyteller. “I love the long monologues,” she said.

“I enjoy the words and putting life into them,” Barr said.

The sinister Snow Queen is played by Maggie Priest, a senior. The Snow Queen is the villain, and in the first scene, she kidnaps Kai.

In playing the Snow Queen, Priest said, “I have no feelings at all, I want people to be as cold as I am.”

Priest said the Snow Queen is not super villainous because she has very little motivation.

“It’s fun to play the villain, because it is different from other characters [I normally play.]”

The play centers around a group of friends who go out to find Kai, Ogbourne said.

The Snow Queen production will be at 2p.m. and 6 p.m. March 25 at Living Word Fellowship on Robinson Street.

There is a small fee for admission.

“There are fun pieces to [Snow Queen] and a serious element to it,” Ogbourne said. “It’s fun.”

Ethan Goetz can be reached at or by calling the newsroom at 641-842-2155. Follow him on Twitter @Ethan_Goetz.

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