Western Wyoming Community College Performing Arts Department students come together in a modern Nutcracker performance, November 17, 18, 30, and December 1 and 2 at 7:30PM with a public matinee December 2 at 2:00PM.
Nutcracker 17 begins in the home of Clarissa, her rat-obsessed brother Freddie, her mom and dad, and her grandpa. The family hosts a Christmas Eve party, which is attended by a diverse group of families and their children. The guest of honor, family friend Herr Drosselmeier, arrives with magic tricks and special gifts, including the Nutcracker doll.
As the party winds down, Clarissa has fallen asleep, and her Christmas Eve dreams begin. The Nutcracker doll transforms into a stylish prince; together, he and Clarissa defeat an evil Rat Queen, encounter a beautiful Snow Queen, and adventure through a mysterious forest.
They arrive at Herr Drosselmeier’s Sweet Cirque du Noel, a vaudeville-inspired Christmas circus featuring exotic dancing horses, snake charmers, ballerinas, showgirls, synchronized swimmers, the Sugar Punk Fairy, and a special entertainer named “Miz” Ginger. Before Clarissa and the Prince know it, they are dancing their final dance together as she wakes up on Christmas morning to her loving family.
Nutcracker 17 showcases the work of students in all of our performing arts degree programs as well as Western faculty and community members.
The cast consists of Dance and Musical Theatre majors, who each semester take dance technique classes in ballet, jazz dance, tap, and modern, in addition to rehearsing daily for this show (Western’s dance majors dance an average of three to six hours per day!). Nutcracker 17 features many dance styles including jazz, tap, and contemporary, with hints of flamenco, bellydance, and other social dances. And there is, of course, a healthy dose of ballet.
Assistant Professor of Dance Rebecca Mayer has choreographed many of the show’s dances and pantomime sequences; additional choreography has been created by dance majors Mersadees Rasmusson, Laura Stewart, and Alma Lambson.
“I am so honored to be a part of creating movement for Nutcracker 17. The piece I choreographed is really about children just being children. I got a lot of inspiration for the piece from polka dancing. My job is to come up with the choreography and some of the blocking for the kids, and then teach it to them. I have learned a lot about how to communicate ideas to people and help them create a piece of art that they can make their own and be proud of,” stated Laura Stewart a dance major at Western Wyoming Community College.
Herr Drosselmeier is played by guest artist Drew Richardson, whose residency is sponsored in part by Western’s Cultural Affairs Committee. Richardson is an international performer specializing in physical comedy. In addition to performing in Nutcracker 17, he will teach workshops to Western students in acting and dance skills such as mime, mask, and comedy.
The scenery, designed by Western faculty Amy Critchfield, and costumes, designed by Western faculty Kristy McManus, are built by students pursuing our degrees in Technical Theatre and Musical Theatre.
Tickets are $10 for adults and $6 for students and seniors. Children under the age of five will not be admitted in the evening performances, however, children of all ages can attend the public matinee. Purchase tickets online at wwcc.tix.com, or call the Performing Arts Office (307) 382-1721, or buy them at the door.