Hol­i­day clas­sic

Schuylkill Bal­let brings ‘ The Nutcracker’ to stage next week­end

The Republican Herald - This Weekend - - Front Page - BY DANIEL P. PROSICK COPY ED­I­TOR

Alo­cal dance pro­duc­tion of a fa­mil­iar story— which has be­come a hol­i­day tra­di­tion for­many — be­ing per­formed nex­tweek­end will look a lot like a fam­ily af­fair.

The Schuylkill Bal­let The­atre is set to de­liver its 38th an­nual per­for­mance of “The Nut cracker” at 7 p. m. Nov. 25 and 3 p. m. Nov. 26 in the Zw­er­ling Au­di­to­rium at Schuylkill Haven Area High School, 501 E. Main St. Tick­ets are $ 12 at the door, but those plan­ning to at­tend can save money by pur­chas­ing them on­line at the the­ater’s web­site, with prices at $10 for adults, $8 for stu­dents/ se­niors and $6 for chil­dren, ac­cord­ing to Jill Krew­son, vice pres­i­dent of the the­ater board for the last six years.

This year’s cast will fea­ture four mem­bers of the Bensinger fam­ily, New Ringgold. Sheri­dan Bensinger, the youngest daugh­ter, is set to play Clara; Michael, her fa­ther, is set to play Dr. Stahlbaum, Clara’s fa­ther; Me­gan, a daugh­ter, will play the Sugar Plum Fairy, a snowflake and a party scene par­ent; and Aaron, a son, will play Har­lequin, Mouse King, French Marzi­pan and Cav­a­lier with Dew Drop, Kelly Kar­povich, ac­cord­ing to Viv Con­nor, artis­tic di­rec­tor and chore­og­ra­pher at SBT.

“His ( Aaron’s) strength as a foot­ball player is a bonus to all the girls he part­ners! Aaron is an adept part­ner and the girls have no fear,” Con­nor said.

Other cast mem­bers in­clude Ha­ley Ry­markiewicz as a Gypsy Doll; Abigail Boyer, Is­abella Korell, Ly­dia Meade and Alexa Ziegler as Porce­lain Dolls; and Han­nah Houtz as a Jack- in- the- Box, Con­nor said.

The Ben singers also have a few fam­ily mem­bers work­ing be­hind the scenes for the pro­duc­tion, with Nina Bensinger, the el­dest daugh­ter, as the SBT pho­tog­ra­pher, and Michelle, Michael’s wife and mother of the chil­dren, be­ing the main seam­stress. As­sist­ing with chore­og­ra­phy is Sarah Schimpf, daugh­ter of Janet Bair, SBT’s pres­i­dent, Krew­son said.

“The Nutcracker” is a bal­let based on an adap­ta­tion of E. T. A. Hoff­mann’s “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King,” with the orig­i­nal score by Py­otr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and chore­og­ra­phy by Mar­ius Petipa. The bal­let first de­buted in St. Peters­burg, Rus­sia, in 1892. This year marks the 125th an­niver­sary of its pre­miere, and it has made its mark as a Christ­mas- sea­son rite since.

“Each year our au­di­ence has grown. Many have made ‘ The Nutcracker’ bal­let a Christ­mas tra­di­tion and their fa­vorite way to be­gin the hol­i­day sea­son,” Con­nor said.

“SBT’s ‘ The Nutcracker’ has al­ways been fam­ily- ori­ented, mean­ing even the youngest mem­ber of our au­di­ence will be en­thralled with the dancers, the story and the over­all en­ter­tain­ment of the per­for­mances,” Krew­son said.

SBT’s next pro­duc­tion will be its spring per­for­mance of “Sleep­ing Beauty” at 7 p. m. April 7 and 3 p. m. April 8 at Schuylkill Haven Area High School, with Schimpf di­rect­ing chore­og­ra­phy.

For more in­for­ma­tion, visit the SBT web­site at www.schuylkill­bal­let.com or its Face­book page.

Con­tact the writer: dprosick@re­pub­li­can­her­ald.com; 570628- 6002

JAC­QUE­LINE DORMER/ STAFF PHOTO

Amanda Johns por­trayed a solid­erette and Justin Boudreaux a solider dur­ing last year’s Schuylkill Bal­let The­atre per­for­mance of “The Nutcracker.” This year’s pro­duc­tion will be held at 7 p. m. Nov. 25 and 3 p. m. Nov. 26 at Schuylkill Haven Area High...

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