‘The Nutcracker’ is a family affair

By on December 7, 2016
Members of the Laurel Dance Company will perform “The Nutcracker” on Dec. 17 and 18 at Warwick High School. Shown (front row, left to right) are  Tacey Sauder, Jaeda Hurst, Cecilia Stoltzfus, Saren Williams, Brianna Sibbett, and Emma Melochick; (back row, l-r)  Elizabeth Dorsheimer, Tony Hurst (under the Nutcracker Head), Kristin Hurdleston, and Marlene Dietrich.

Members of the Laurel Dance Company will perform “The Nutcracker” on Dec. 17 and 18 at Warwick High School. Shown (front row, left to right) are Tacey Sauder, Jaeda Hurst, Cecilia Stoltzfus, Saren Williams, Brianna Sibbett, and Emma Melochick; (back row, l-r) Elizabeth Dorsheimer, Tony Hurst (under the Nutcracker Head), Kristin Hurdleston, and Marlene Dietrich.

Dec. 17-18 at Warwick High School

Bring your family and friends to see Laurel Dance Company’s family and friends perform their 14th annual production of “The Nutcracker” on Saturday, Dec. 17, at 6:30 p.m.; and Sunday, Dec. 18, at 2:30 p.m. at Warwick High School auditorium, 301 W. Orange St., Lititz.

Laurel Dance Company is in residence in Ephrata. This year’s production, as in year’s past, is a family affair with family members on stage, as well helping behind the scenes and backstage.

Clara is being portrayed for the second time by Katherine Williams. Katherine’s dad Matt will be playing her father; and her sister, Saren, will be this year’s Russian Doll and one of the Chinese leads. Another three family member set on stage are the Acebos, residents of Lititz. Grace-Anne will be playing one of Clara’s friends in the party scene and is in the Marzipan corps. Her father, Brian, is reprising his role as Opa Stahlbaum. Grace-Anne’s brother, Andrew, is joining the cast for the first time as one of the Arabian platform carriers and will be the base of Mother Ginger. Other family members sharing the stage are sisters Amber and Marlena Dietrich. Amber will be the Harlequin Doll, Snow Queen, and Marzipan lead. Marlena will play Clara’s naughty brother Fritz and is a member of both the Spanish and Russian corps. Other siblings performing together will be Natalia and Liviana Caridi, and first-time LDC Nutcracker performers, brothers Athan and Bryson Klunk.

Returning “old-timers” include David Hurst, who has been in all 14 LDC Nutcracker productions. David will be Drosselmeyer. David’s grandson Tony Hurst, in his seventh LDC Nutcracker, is taking on a new role of the Butler and is part of the Chinese corps. David’s granddaughter and Tony’s sister, Jaeda, is making her second appearance. Two other older timers are the mother/daughter team of Paula and Tacey Sauder. This will be the 13th appearance for the both of them. Paula is reprising her role as Opa Stahlbaum and Tacey is reprising her role as one of the maids and is the Spanish lead. Paula is also the vice president of LDC’s board of directors.

Sugar Plum Fairy, Kristin Hurdleston; Snow Queen, Amber Dietrich; and Dew Drop Fairy, Ashley Antkowiak.

Sugar Plum Fairy, Kristin Hurdleston; Snow Queen, Amber Dietrich; and Dew Drop Fairy, Ashley Antkowiak.

Other “old timer” families are the Hurdlestons; Kristin, Sue and Chuck; the Dorsheimers; and the Antkowiaks. Kristin Hurdleston will be on stage performing the coveted role of the Sugar Plum Fairy. She is also the Ballerina Doll and is a Snow demi-lead. Kristin’s parents, Chuck and Sue, do a lot of the behind-the-scenes work — Sue on costumes and Chuck backstage during the show.

The Dorsheimers have daughter, Elizabeth, on stage portraying the “champagne loving” maid and the other Chinese lead. Youngest daughter Katie is co-chief for the props crew and parents Michael and Helen work behind the scenes wherever needed. Helen is also the secretary of the LDC board of directors and Michael a member. In Elizabeth’s first Nutcracker performance, her entire family was involved. Her sister, Katie, shared the stage with her; her mom and brother, Sam, worked the concessions; her dad, brother, Alex, and sister, Hayly, all worked backstage; and her oldest brother, Josh, was also on stage playing the Butler.

Laurel Dance Company’s graduating seniors (left to right) Tacey Sauder, Elizabeth Dorsheimer, Amber Dietrich, and Kristin Hurdleston.

Laurel Dance Company’s graduating seniors (left to right) Tacey Sauder, Elizabeth Dorsheimer, Amber Dietrich, and Kristin Hurdleston.

The Antkowiaks are Joel, Robin, and Ashley. Ashley is on stage as the Dew Drop Fairy this year, a Snow demi-lead and a member of the Arabian corps. Joel, Ashley’s father, helps when he can backstage and mom, Robin is the production manager and president of LDC. She runs the show.

This year’s production will be bittersweet. Laurel Dance will be saying good-bye to four of their long-time family members. Elizabeth Dorsheimer, Tacey Sauder, Kristin Hurdleston and Amber Dietrich are all high school seniors. Amber has performed in eight LDC Nutcrackers; Kristin, 10; Elizabeth, 12; and Tacey, 13.

Tickets may be purchased at showtix4u.com. Ticket prices purchased before the show date are $20, adults; $15, seniors; and $10, students 3-17 years old. Tickets purchased at the door will be higher in price. Questions may be directed to laureldancecompany@yahoo.com.

Katherine Williams will portray Clara in “The Nutracker.

Katherine Williams will portray Clara in “The Nutracker.

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