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OPA Presents THE NUTCRACKER This Weekend

Olmsted Performing Arts (OPA) - - in Olmsted Falls will present "The Nutcracker" this weekend, Dec. 18, bringing the wondrous and gorgeous Christmas fairytale favorite to life once again for all dancers, theatre fans and families to enjoy. "The Nutcracker" sponsored by OhioGuidestone -

This year OPA will have a special, abbreviated, version of "The Nutcracker" on Friday morning, Dec. 18 at 10:30 a.m., for seniors and students, which will be followed by a Q&A session with some of the professional dancers. Come Tour the Kingdom of Sweets during the Saturday Matinee on Dec 19 where you will enjoy a sweet treat and a backstage tour for only $5.

"The Nutcracker" is a tale that follows the young Clara to gorgeous lands of Ice and Snow and Sweets. Clara meets a Nutcracker prince, an evil Mouse King and a Sugar Plum Fairy, among others. There are epic battles, beautiful dances, incredible displays of heartwarming joy and the inescapable feeling that you have witnessed a holiday classic that has made audiences smile for generations.

The Nutcracker at OPA is an incredible, imaginative, story for fans of all ages. The holiday classic is brought to life with a cast of professional dancers, actors and students. Director and choreographer Janet Strukely-Dziak, an Elyria native, an OPA dance instructor and a former member of the St. Louis Ballet, has made classical ballet family-friendly and accessible through her use of integrated live narration, thrilling theatrical elements, and colorful larger-than-life sets and costumes. The cast has been promoting the grace, art and enjoyment of this ballet at community events in places like the Crocker Park Christmas Tree Lighting, the Kiwanis Club of Olmsted Falls, The IX Center Christmas Connection, Spruce Elementary School, the Cub Scouts' Santa Workshop at Falls-Lennox Elementary School, the Cleveland Botanical Gardens and Tower City.

"Nutcracker is always such a magical experience for families during the holidays," says Strukely-Dziak. "I want the audience to be left in awe of the spectacle of the theater along with the impressive technical feats of professional classical ballet, and really feel like they are part of Clara's dream."

Making the ballet extra special this year will be guest performer Averianna Holstein who will appear in the cast as a "party girl" during the matinee performance of "The Nutcracker" on Dec. 19. Holstein is a quadriplegic who was a foster child before being adopted through the services of OhioGuidestone.

"Dancing alongside someone with Averinanna's spirit and positive attitude is very inspiring, the whole cast and the audience will benefit" says Strukely-Dziak.

OhioGuidestone, based in Berea, Ohio, is a community solutions organization that offers behavioral health services, skill building programs and prevention opportunities for children and families.

Now through Dec. 18 if anyone brings a new toy to the OPA box office during regular business hours, or one hour before show time on Dec, 18, they will get a $5 discount on a ticket to the Dec. 18 performance of "The Nutcracker" and the toy will go to OhioGuidestone, helping make Christmas a bit brighter for the children they serve.

Before each performance on Dec 18 and 19 of "The Nutcracker" will be "The Sugar Plum Fair," an arts, crafts and delicacies market enjoyed by thousands of people at OPA annually.

"The Nutcracker" at OPA will be Dec. 18 7:30 p.m., Dec. 19 at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 20 at 2:30 p.m.
For more information on "The Nutcracker" tickets and tours, and "The Sugar Plum Fair" contact the OPA offices at 440.235.6722 or e-mail

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