BRIDGEWATER, New Jersey -- A young girl from New Jersey was living her dream on Broadway when the coronavirus pandemic hit, forcing the musical "Frozen" to close. And in May, Suri Marrero learned that it would not be reopening even when the Great White Way is no longer dark.
But the 10-year-old from Bridgewater has not been idle, because she's shifted her focus to charitable efforts.
Her dream job was playing Young Elsa, but then she suddenly found herself unemployed.
"It was really sad, and I really wanted to spend more time with my 'Frozen' family," she said. "But I know as an actress, roles end and new opportunities begin."
Her new opportunity came from a charity she already knew.
"Broadway Cares Equity Fights AIDS created a COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund to help the entertainment industry," she said.
She's been urging folks to give money to the non-profit group since making her Broadway debut in "The Lion King" at the age of 8, and she was part of the twice-yearly appeals cast members make after each show in the spring and fall.
Last year, Marrero raised money at a bake sale for the group and participated in a run for the charity. After the pandemic hit, her efforts moved online to her Instagram account, which is where she urges her young pals from other shows to donate.
"We're family and we stick together, all of the Broadway kids," she said. "To be optimistic every day and keep my head up high, but sometimes these COVID-19, this stuff, I'm like, 'Oh no, what do I do?' So it's sometimes hard, but I try to keep my head up high."
For now, she is video conferencing with other kids and auditioning virtually for other roles. She is determined to keep acting, because that is where she says she "needs to be."
10-year-old star of 'Frozen' on Broadway focuses on charity during pandemic