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A Puppet with Positivity: Olaf to Melt Hearts When Disney’s “Frozen” Hits the Stage in Austin

We talked with actor Jeremy Davis about his portrayal of the beloved snowman coming to Bass Concert Hall this summer as part of the Broadway in Austin season

Broadway in Austin, Jeremy Davis as Olaf in the Frozen North American Tour singing the hit song, "Summer".
Jeremy Davis as Olaf in the Frozen North American Tour singing the hit song, "Summer". (Photo by Matthew Murphy for Disney)

The tremendously popular Disney favorite, Frozen, comes to life on stage when the National Touring Production takes over Bass Concert Hall from June 5 – 16 as part of Texas Performing Arts‘ Broadway in Austin series. Frozen‘s creative team has won a cumulative 16 Tony Awards. We know that audiences of all ages will be in for such a treat to witness this theatre magic.

Ahead of this highly anticipated performance, we chatted with actor Jeremy Davis who portrays the joyful, optimistic snowman, Olaf, to learn more about the magic behind the scenes.

TRIBEZA: Olaf is so endearing. How does it feel to portray a character who is so well loved?

Davis: Well, it feels they are big shoes to fill, but they’re really fun shoes to fill. Because he’s so beloved, it’s a really great feeling to step out on stage and to already have the audience on your side. I walk out there, and they all recognize him, and they already love him. I just have to sort of ride that wave. I mean, those are high expectations to be met, but for the most part, it’s a pretty easy wave to ride. And it’s a really fun one.

TRIBEZA: Does Olaf’s optimism affect your daily life? We know that you’ve been with Frozen for a while now, so does his personality impact you?

Davis: Olaf certainly has. What you’re talking about — his positivity and his outlook on the world — is the thing that I love most about him.

I love how he looks at at everything that happens as an opportunity to have fun and for joy. That has become a huge part of my life. And like any other thing, the more you practice something, the more natural it becomes to you. I have really started to look at the world that way, and my life has been so much more full of joy because of Olaf.

Collin Baja as Sven and Jeremy Davis as Olaf in the Frozen North American Tour (Photo by Matthew Murphy for Disney)
Collin Baja as Sven and Jeremy Davis as Olaf in the Frozen North American Tour (Photo by Matthew Murphy for Disney)

TRIBEZA: Do you have a background in puppeteering? 

Davis: I don’t. It was daunting at first. The first time I was in the puppet, I could not do it. I mean, it felt like I was trying to push around a a pile of rocks, and they just wouldn’t go where I wanted them to go. And I didn’t know how to make him move. I didn’t know how to make him alive.

I took it one step at a time. Basically, I started with his feet, and I thought, okay. How do these move? And then the next time I started with his arms. Then I got to his head, and I was like, alright, “How do I work this?” And just bit by bit, I started to get more comfortable with it.

Then, when I was a week or two into working with him, I got a tip that I could think of him as a ballroom dancing partner, and that really made sense to me. Now that’s really what it feels like when we’re on stage together. It feels we’re waltzing around the stage. And, you know, sometimes I’m leading, but sometimes he leads. It’s really fun, and he’s the best dance partner I could ever ask for.

TRIBEZA: What is your favorite scene or song of the show? 

Davis: There are so many favorite parts. There’s there’s one part in the middle of “Fixer Upper” — a big number in Act II — and right in the middle of the number, everybody comes together in the middle of the stage in this big clump, and I’m in this exact center of it. It feels like this big, warm group hug. I mean, I don’t have a lot of interaction with most of the cast, but that moment is a really lovely time when I get to be surrounded by them, and I get to check-in with all of them. I think that’s my favorite part.

Broadway in Austin, Frozen, North American Tour, Anna and Elsa
Caroline Bowman as Elsa and Lauren Nicole Chapman as Ann and Company in the Frozen North American Tour (Photo by Matthew Murphy for Disney)

TRIBEZA: Is there any kind of inside scoop or tidbit that we don’t want to miss while watching the show?

Davis: When you come see the show, you will see about 25 people on stage. But our touring company travels with about 80 people. That’s the crew, the orchestra, management, and things like that. When we get to each city we also hire a bunch of local crew. So there are over a 100 people backstage. You don’t see all that are making the show happen. That’s basically what theater magic is, you know? So that’s something that is pretty cool to keep in mind — when you see something really magical and special on stage, it’s it due to the work of of a bunch of people that you don’t even notice.

Caroline Bowman (Elsa), and Company in Disney's Frozen North American Tour (photo by Deenvan Meer)
Caroline Bowman (Elsa), and Company in Disney’s Frozen North American Tour (photo by Deen Van Meer)

There is still time to get your tickets to see Frozen at Bass Concert Hall from June 5-16. Visit for more info. We look forward to see Davis and Olaf dancing around stage together!

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