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The Distancing Diaries: ‘Frozen’ Star Ryann Redmond On New Hobbies, ‘Tiger King,’ and Finding Inspiration

April 16, 2020 by Suzy Evans
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Ryann Redmond in “Frozen” on Broadway. (Photographed by Deen van Meer)

Welcome to The Distancing Diaries, where we chat with members of the theater community about how they’re staying creative and inspired in the time of social separation. While we can’t go to a show (for now), we hope that by sharing stories from the field, you’ll find comfort, solace, and maybe a few new ideas of how to pass the time. 

Ryann Redmond, who plays Olaf in “Frozen” on Broadway, chats with us about finding inspiration in teaching during this time, her favorite Netflix binges, meditation, and a special video she made with her “Frozen” castmate Noah Ricketts.

How has COVID-19 personally affected you?
Unfortunately, like many others in the world, “Frozen” was shut down [due to the virus]. And a lab I was supposed to do in the spring had the same fate. Looking forward to starting both of those again some day soon. So in the meantime, I flew home to Georgia to self-quarantine and be with my family. 

What is keeping you inspired during this time?
I work with an amazing organization called the Broadway Dreams Foundation and we have been creating free online content for our students and anyone else that wants to join. We have everything from dance and singing classes to Broadway Charades and Name that Showtune. It’s amazing getting to do this for our students, a lot of whom are in the same predicament (their school productions cancelled, graduation and senior activities cancelled, etc). Check us out every weekday at @mybroadwaydreams and on Facebook.

How are you staying creative?
I have completed a large paint-by-number and I am going to attempt to learn calligraphy! 

How are you practicing self-care?
Lots of wine drinking! As well as resting and taking neighborhood walks. Oh, and trying to limit watching the news as much as possible. 

What is something (or a few things) great that you’ve watched?
Most recently I have watched the “Tiger King” documentary on Netflix (which is wild!) and The Trial of Gabriel Fernandez documentary. They are exactly the most light-hearted subject matter, but I love a good crime doc. 

What is something that you’ve enjoyed reading?
I just love reading about how all the costume shops around the country are sewing face masks for hospitals in need. We need more of that humanity in this world!

What are you listening to (music, podcasts, audiobook, meditation app)?
I love the Simple Habit app on my phone which has quick little calming and anti-anxiety meditations. 

Have you gotten into cooking or baking?
I made ravioli from scratch with my step-dad. It was quite an intricate process! He is very Italian, so he just knew the recipe by heart. 

How are you staying physically and vocally ready to return to your show?
Trying to walk around the neighborhood as much as possible to maintain the amount of walking I do in NYC everyday. I’m also loving taking some online yoga classes and being sure to sing as much as possible. I made a fun video with my Frozen castmate, Noah Ricketts, where we are singing Des’ree’s “You Gotta Be” Check it out on our instagrams! @ryannreds

How do you think people can support theater and the arts community and engage with it during this time?
Anyone that is in a position to give financially, PLEASE give to BC/EFA and the Actors’ Fund. If you can’t donate, just keep spreading joy and love to everyone involved in the arts. We are taking a huge hit financially and mentally, so funny videos sweet messages are helpful in this dark time!