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Georgia College to present a holiday tradition, "The Nutcracker"

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POSTED: November 28, 2006
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Celebrating a decade of twirling and leaping into the hearts of Middle Georgia, this year's 10th anniversary production of "The Nutcracker Ballet" by Georgia College & State University promises to leave even the grumpiest bah-humbugger with the holiday spirit.

"We are so excited to be working on our 10th production of this beloved classic," said Amelia Pelton, director of the Georgia College Community Dance Program and director of "The Nutcracker." For the past 10 years Pelton has coordinated and choreographed the production from a small abridged offering to the full-scale classic.

The production will feature 200 dancers ranging from ages three to adult. Kaitlyn Fain of Madison, Ga. will play Clara. The Rev. Jay Hodges, of the First United Methodist Church in Milledgeville, will play Drosselmeyer. Randy Dalyrumple will play Mother Ginger. Bob Wilson, Georgia College professor of history and university historian, will return as the narrator along with the Georgia College cheerleaders as the Russian dancers. For the first time, 35 additional dancers from The Mustard Seed daycare at Lake Oconee will play the roles of mice and angels at the Saturday program.

In celebration of this mile-stone production a "special surprise" will be unveiled at the beginning of each production, along with new choreography for the party scene, a nearly 7-foot-tall Drosselmeyer, and guest artists from the American Ballet Theatre in New York, said Pelton.

Sarah Lane and Luis Ribagorda, performers with the American Ballet Theatre will play the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Cavalier.

Guests will have the opportunity to meet all the characters and principle dancers from the Nutcracker at the Sugar Plum Tea.

"This is a magical, dress up affair, full of white lights, beautiful holiday greenery, and delicious snacks, complete with Peppermint Princess Punch," said Paula Tompkins, program coordinator. "Children may have their picture taken with their favorite characters and ballerinas, have autographs signed, and have the opportunity to purchase Nutcracker souvenirs to treasure for a lifetime."

Performances are at 7 p.m., Friday, Dec. 8, and Saturday, Dec. 9, and a matinee at 2 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 10 in Russell Auditorium. $10 general admission; $7 children under 12 and GCSU students with a valid student ID. The Sugar Plum Tea will be from 2 p.m. until 3:30 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 9, in the University Banquet Room of the Maxwell Student Union. Tea tickets are $10.

There is no reserved seating for the performances or the tea. Purchase tickets in advance by calling (478) 445-5277 with a credit card, or stopping by the Office of Continuing Education at 103 Chappell Hall. The event is sponsored by the Georgia College Department of Continuing Education and the Department of Music and Theatre.

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For more information, contact Ben Holcombe in University Communications at (478) 445-4477.