Acting Up – The Nutcracker

One of my favorite moments happened this past week – the first meeting with the cast of a show I’m directing.

This particular show is a twist on the Russian folktale that most of us know as a ballet frequently staged at Christmas time.  In THIS version, Fritz is the focus.  Obsessed with beating the next level in his favorite video game, he accidentally frees the Mouse King who is determined to destroy Christmas.  As in the traditional story, the Nutcracker is determined to stop the Mouse King.  But in THIS version, the Nutcracker is a girl.

I have a cast of 39 ready to start rehearsals this coming week.  Some of them have been on stage a few times before while others are gearing up for their very first show ever.  They range in age from Kindergarten through high school (I believe the oldest performer is a Junior).  Some of them are old friends or family – have a few sets of siblings and even a set of cousins – and a few have even shared the stage together before.

I am facing several hours of rehearsal, teaching rookie actors what terms like “blocking” and “counter cross” mean, designing and painting the set, deciding on costumes, collecting props, . . . and I cannot wait to get all the insanity started!  Watching students hone and polish their performance skill is always such a fantastic experience.  And a show during my favorite holiday of the year?  Sounds like perfection!

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