Nutcracker To Offer 'Youth Flavor'

Performance Dates Later Than Previous Years

Posted: December 11, 2012

HARRISONBURG — Although the Rockingham Ballet Theatre has staged its Christmastime “Nutcracker” performance since 1995, this year’s show is unlike any other.

Two guest artists from the Suzanne Farrell Ballet — Cleopatra Avery and Dylan Keane — will perform in the Bridgewater shows scheduled for Friday through Sunday. The ballet company is in residence at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

“They’re going to bring a little bit more of a balanced, youth flavor to the choreography,” said Susan Muterspaugh, the theater’s artistic director.

“She’s the keeper of the heritage,” Muterspaugh said. “This is a big first for us.”

A new children’s chorus, full of 8 ½- to 15-year-old youths, will sing during the Waltz of the Snowflakes, she added.

Also, two young area dancers were the first from the Rockingham Ballet Theatre to ever dance the entire Sugar Plum Fairy performance in touring production.

Jessica Grant, 19, of Staunton, and Daniel Ranck, 17, of Weyers Cave, are were chosen for the roles.

“It’s the first time we’ve ever had students dance those roles because they’re so challenging,” Muterspaugh said.

They performed the dance during the shows at the Schultz Theatre in New Market Friday through Sunday, but the Suzanne Farrell Ballet performers will take over those roles for the Bridgewater shows.

Yet another major change is taking place this year for the play; it’ll be held in Bridgewater on a different weekend. 

After more than 15 years of performing the play during the first weekend of December, the company has moved back the date to ensure that the performance doesn’t conflict with practices or performances at Bridgewater College, where the theater company has been performing the play since its beginning.

The shows are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 3 p.m. on Sunday at Bridgewater College’s Cole Hall.

To purchase reserved tickets, call 828-0026. They cost $12 for adults and $10 for students or seniors.

To purchase general admission tickets, visit Randy’s Do It Best Hardware in Bridgewater, the Rocktown Gift Shop in Harrisonburg or Ben Franklin in Broadway. Those tickets cost $10 for adults and $8 for students or seniors.

Both reserved and general admission tickets purchased at the door will cost $2 more.

For more information, call 828-0026.

Contact Candace Sipos at 574-6275 or

NDN Video News