Youth Ballet To Present ‘The Nutcracker’ At Reg Lenna
The Chautauqua Regional Youth Ballet’s annual production of “The Nutcracker” returns to the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts this holiday season on Friday, Dec. 15, at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday, Dec. 16, at 2 p.m.
This exciting performance is a treasured part of the holiday season for many local families. For 30 years, families have created holiday memories with Chautauqua Regional Youth Ballet’s production of this classic tale featuring exquisite dancing, sumptuous costumes and sets, and the magnificent music of Tchaikovsky.
Artistic Director Monika Alch notes that there is something for everyone: “From a magical holiday party, a midnight battle between the Rat King and the Nutcracker, a tree with 1,000 lights and snow falling on the dancers in the snow scene, ‘The Nutcracker’ is the must-see show of the season.”
In addition to the public performances on Dec. 15 and 16, a special educational performance for schools will be held Thursday, Dec. 14, at 10 a.m. Teachers and administrators interested in this specially priced performance should contact the Reg Lenna Box Office directly as soon as possible. There are still seats available.
Students from CRYB’s Pre-Professional Division will be dancing several of the principal solos in the ballet. Megan Stefanik, a senior at Pine Valley, will dance the Dew Drop Fairy and Arabian solos. Maya Swanson, who attends Eisenhower Middle School, will dance the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Soldier Doll. Cate Walter, Maple Grove High School, will perform the role of the Snow Queen and Harlequin Doll.
Cecelia Johnson, a student at Washington Middle School, will perform the Chinese Solo and Spanish. The role of Clara this year will be performed by Lillian Jache. Lillian Ingrao will dance Clara for the Thursday morning school show. Bryce Jache will perform the role of the Nutcracker Prince. Boaz Mecham will play Clara’s brother Fritz. Tiara Skinner portrays the Rat King. Adam Owens returns again as the mysterious and magical Herr Drosselmeyer and as the over-the-top Mother Ginger in Act Two.
Other demi-solos and corps parts will be performed by Advanced level students Emilee Shafer, Averil Dubois, Tiara Skinner and Mackenzie Zuech. CRYB students rounding out the cast in several roles are: Izzy Balcom, Xander Boger, Grace Carr, Madeleine Leenders, Aaron Mecham, Jacob Sears, Issys Smith, Alyzza Zuech, Rhiannon Bogardus, Charlotte Callen, Sarah DiDomenico, Layla Edwards, Nolah Hamilton, Annie Johnson, Peyton Joly, Arelyn Pattison, Ellery Yohe, Zoe Zuech, George Bogardus, Lyla Conley, Elysse Gruber, Rya Guiffre, London Hamilton, Nolah Hamilton, Morgan Harrington, Lyla Stronz, Tamia Leeper, Ryah Leeper, Livinia Marsh, Madison Von Volen, Aubrey Wofford, Addisyn Wofford, Nigil Weinman and Isabella Wilder.
For the party scene CRYB traditionally draws on community members to portray the adult guests in the Act One Christmas party. This year guests are played by Richie Peyton as Mr. Stahlbaum and Galena Duba-Weaver as the hostess Mrs. Stahlbaum.
Party moms include Sukanya Burman, Sarah Edwards, Jamie Smeragliuolo and Jennifer Sears. Party dads are Andy Sears, Jacob Sears and Ray Taft. JoAnne Taft plays the serving maid.
One of the most popular characters of the party scene is always Grandmother’s dog. This year, Grandma’s dog will be played by Chloe, a former rescue adopted by volunteer Sarah Winton at the Chautauqua County Humane Society.