This week on The Ensemblist, we meet Frozen’s newest ensemblist, Ben Bogen, and learn about his journey making his Broadway debut.
1. What is your name and hometown?
Ben Bogen and originally from Walnut Creek, CA.
2. What is your role/track in your Broadway debut?
I am in the ensemble of Frozen and understudying Duke Weselton and Olaf.
3. How did you find out you had booked the part?
I had just finished training for two different survival jobs and decided to go cook something at my apartment when my agent called me. My final callback was just me and one other person, so waiting for that call was the longest weekend of my life haha.
4. What's been the most surprising thing about preparing to perform the show?
The crazy thing about being a replacement is you don’t really get to perform with the cast until your opening night. You’re sort of stepping onto an already moving train. You get about three weeks of rehearsal in a studio with just the dance captains/swings and one “put-in” rehearsal where you’re the only one in costume and everyone else is in street clothes while you figure out spacing onstage. It is the most bizarre feeling ever, but luckily my cast is incredibly supportive. My opening was the first time I was seeing the principals onstage with all the elements. Then the cast surprised me during our first Broadway Cares speech by having me take a final bow in honor of my debut. The best surprise EVER and I couldn’t feel my limbs.
5. What are you looking forward to most about your experience on Broadway?
I’m looking forward to building up the stamina of doing the show in the same track eight times a week. It gets very hot and sweaty onstage in those winter coats, so my first few shows I thought I was gonna pass out! (Haha) Also to have family and friends come is very very special.