Alex Timbers has exited as director of Frozen, the in-the-works musical based on the wildly successful Disney animated movie. The move comes after an Actors Equity casting notice posted yesterday for a fall development lab for the project in New York that listed Timbers as director. It also listed Christopher Gattelli as choreographer, confirming another switch that had been rumored meaning original Billy Elliot choreographer Peter Darling is also out.
No new director has been named.
Frozen has long planned a spring 2018 Broadway bow, with a pre-Main Stem run at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts beginning in summer 2017.
“Making the tough calls when creating a new Broadway musical is never easy, but this was especially painful,” said Thomas Schumacher, President of Disney Theatrical Productions, in a statement released to the press today. “Alex Timbers is one of the most exciting and innovative theatre directors I know, and we’ve proudly worked with him from my support of the early development of Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson through our work together on Peter And The Starcatcher. Though we have chosen to go in another direction with this role, we are committed to seeing Frozen’s tremendous theatrical potential brought to life onstage.”
Timbers and Disney Theatricals previously teamed on Peter And The Starcatcher, which earned him a Tony nomination in 2012. His most recent credit is the musical Rocky.
Variety reported the news of Timbers’ exit first this morning.