FPAC's THE NUTCRACKER to Feature Guest Soloists, Professional Orchestra and Over 100 Area Dancers

The Franklin Performing Arts Company (FPAC) presents The Nutcracker, bringing special guest artists, a 27-piece orchestra, and more than 100 area dancers to one suburban stage.

FPAC invites audiences to fall under Drosselmeyer's dreamy spell and join Clara and her Nutcracker Prince on a journey full of surprises and wonder. A popular holiday tradition for more than two decades, The Nutcracker remains a highly anticipated and treasured part of the FPAC season. Set to Tchaikovsky's beloved score, the timeless ballet delights the imaginations of audiences young and old with festive magic and colorful splendor.

FPAC presents The Nutcracker on Saturday, December 3 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, December 4 at 2 p.m. at the Franklin High School auditorium, 218 Oak Street, in Franklin.

The production features a professional orchestra under the direction of Peter Cokkinias, who celebrates his 13th year as music director/conductor of FPAC's Nutcracker orchestra. Guest artists Vilia Putrius and Mindaugas Bauzys, company dancers with Festival Ballet Providence, will perform the roles of the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier. Rosario Guillen, a student of the Boston Conservatory at Berklee, will dance the part of the Nutcracker/Prince, with Aaron Andrade of Lincoln, Rhode Island, playing the role of Dr. Drosselmeyer. A choir will sing the ethereal choral parts that accompany the enchanting Snow Scene that closes the ballet's first act.

FPAC's The Nutcracker also showcases the talents of scores of area students, ages 6 and older, from many regional communities and local dance schools. Performers cast in featured roles include Mia Antunovic of North Attleboro as Clara (Saturday) and Kissy Doll (Sunday); Alli Tomsik of Medway as Clara (Sunday) and Kissy Doll (Saturday); Ty Gavin of Bridgewater as Fritz; Shaina McGillis of Franklin as Dew Drop (Saturday), Snow Queen (Sunday) and Spanish Soloist (Sunday); Sarah Strock of Holliston as Snow Queen (Saturday), Spanish Soloist (Saturday) and Candy Cane Soloist (Sunday); Lauren Szczepanowski of Franklin as Mouse Queen, Candy Cane Soloist (Saturday) and Dew Drop (Sunday); Haley Desjarlais of Medway as Arabian Soloist; Naomi Fitzgerald of Walpole as Harlequin (Saturday) and Marzipan Soloist; Alex Beckman of Northbridge as Harlequin (Sunday) and Marzipan Soloist; Mairead Nee of Walpole as Chinese Soloist (Sunday); Emma Nicholson of Franklin as Soldier Doll; and Julia Kimball of Canton as Soldier Doll.

FPAC's The Nutcracker is choreographed and directed by Cheryl Madeux, who formerly danced with the Joffrey Ballet, Hartford Ballet and American Ballet Theatre companies. Additional choreography is by Casey Harkness Andrade and Clyde Nantais. Marina Van Winkle is rehearsal assistant for Cherubs and Marzipan Corp.

Founded in 1991, the nonprofit FPAC supports educational arts experiences, quality entertainment and outstanding performance opportunities for professional artists, community performers and students of the arts. With a focus on youth development and a commitment to live music, FPAC celebrates its 26th season. Rockland Trust Charitable Foundation is FPAC's Holiday Performance Sponsor. Tickets are $30-$34. For tickets and more information, visit www.THEBLACKBOXonline.com or www.FPAConline.com or call (508) 528-3370.



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