“The Nutcracker” returns to Springfield for its 31st year

Cast members of “The Nutcracker.” Photo provided.

SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – Join Clara on her magical journey to the Kingdom of the Sweets in The Dance Factory’s production of “The Nutcracker.” This year marks the 31 anniversary of the family-friendly holiday tradition, which annually delights upwards of 800 attendees. The full-length, professionally costumed spectacle will be staged at Springfield High School in Springfield, Vt. on Dec. 10 at 7 p.m. and Dec. 11 at 2 p.m.

“The Nutcracker” is an inclusive production that has given hundreds of dancers from Southern Vermont and New Hampshire an invaluable preprofessional performance experience, including the opportunity to dance soloist roles which most schools outsource to professionals.

The role of the Sugar Plum Fairy will be shared by Madailein Wolf of Springfield and Ayla Price of Plymouth. Anna DeBlock of Weathersfield will be featured as Clara, and Anneka Yuengling, also of Weathersfield, will perform as the Snow Queen. Ben Haseltine, a Chester native who recently graduated from University of Hartford, returns for the final year to perform as the Nutcracker Prince.

Director/choreographer Ashley Hensel-Browning and her production team work throughout the year to ensure that the decades-old production remains fresh for audiences.

“We have some special new elements in this year’s production that are sure to delight, while also featuring the beloved story and music that our audiences have grown to love,” said Ashley. “I’m very much looking forward to the community coming together during performance weekend to celebrate dance, inclusivity, and the incredible efforts of many to bring accessible art to our region.

In addition to the weekend performances, dancers will showcase selections from “The Nutcracker” for students at Elm Hill and Union Street Schools on Dec. 2. For those unable to attend the show, The Dance Factory has again partnered with SAPA TV to record and broadcast the performance.

“My favorite part of “The Nutcracker” is watching the support of the entire community,” said Dance Factory owner Kate Frizzell-DeRosia. “This support starts at the studio, where everyone is there for each other with friendship and kindness.”

Kate continues the studio’s longstanding tradition of donating a portion of proceeds from “The Nutcracker” to local arts initiatives. To date, the Dance Factory has donated over $20,000 to various organizations including the Springfield High School Drama Club.

Tickets to the show can be purchased at Tina’s Hallmark and Woodbury Florist in Springfield, and Sage Jewelry & Gifts and Blair Books in Chester. Online tickets are available at www.tinyurl.com/DanceFactoryNutcracker.

Support for “The Nutcracker” has been generously provided by the following local sponsors: Bean Group, Bibens Ace Hardware, Blair Books, Denise E. Photography, Edgar May Recreation Center, Edward Jones, Halladay’s Flowers and Gifts, HB Energy Solutions, Heritage Deli and Bakery, Maple Landmark, Smokeshire Design, Springfield Co-op, Style House Salon, Tina’s Hallmark, and Willow Farms.

For more information, please visit www.DanceFactoryVT.com.

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