McKenzie Kurtz, a recent graduate of the University of Michigan, is making her Broadway Debut in Disney’s Frozen, as Princess Anna, and absolutely shining in the role.
She was most recently seen at The Muny, playing Ariel in Christian Borle’s production of Footloose. The Knockturnal got the chance to speak to Kurtz briefly about her experience being on Broadway for the first time and what she loves most about playing Anna.
The Knockturnal: You just graduated from college, right? Congratulations!
McKenzie Kurtz: Thank you! I did, yes. I graduated from the University of Michigan in May.
The Knockturnal: How did you get this role?
McKenzie Kurtz: I moved to the City in September, and then I went on my first Frozen audition in October. I went on a series of call-backs and found out in November that it was happening.
The Knockturnal: Were you excited?
McKenzie Kurtz: Oh my gosh, I was so excited! It felt like a dream.
The Knockturnal: What has your acting experience been like before this?
McKenzie Kurtz: I’ve been doing musical theater since I was about 8 years old. Then I went to college and studied musical theater, and went to different Summer stocks over the years, but this was my first Broadway experience and it’s so surreal. It’s amazing, and for it to happen this way was incredible.
The Knockturnal: You all have such good chemistry, how did you become so close with your cast-mates?
McKenzie Kurtz: Well I mean it’s so easy. They are the most likable people to be around, onstage and off, and it’s just a joy to come in and work every day and create something amazing.
The Knockturnal: How often do you have shows?
McKenzie Kurtz: Eight times a week. We have Mondays off, which is when I get my life together and chill out.
The Knockturnal: How do you protect your voice?
McKenzie Kurtz: Just rest and get a lot of sleep. Sleep is so important for me. As soon as I get home I eat a giant meal, and then I’ll just try to sleep for as long as I can.
The Knockturnal: What’s prep before a show like for you?
McKenzie Kurtz: I sleep in and spend the morning relaxing. Then I love to get a good meal, but not too close to when the show begins. Then I spend time warming up, and taking it easy, and sometimes I take a steamy shower if I’m feeling vocally tired. I like to get to the theater an hour early to have some time for myself before everything begins.
The Knockturnal: What is your favorite thing about playing Anna?
McKenzie Kurtz: There’s so many things. But if I had to pick one, I love this character so much, and I especially love her heart, her spirit, and her belief in love and in the relationship she has with her sister. Also, the journey she goes on every night is incredible to do, both physically and emotionally.