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  • Nutcracker Key West 2009
  • At the Tennessee Williams Theatre
  • 5901 College Road
  • Key West, FL 33040
  • (305) 296-1520
  • j_stahl@bellsouth.net

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Nutcracker Key West 2009

Letter from Michael Shields Executive Director Paradise Ballet Theatre Of all the holiday traditions, surely one of the worlds most beloved is The Nutcracker, Tchaikovsky’s famous ballet which debuted in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1892. Since its debut, there have been an estimated 11 million performances of this classic tale of a young girl’s magical journey. International audiences have not only adopted the story as their own, they have adapted it - tailoring the setting, characters and costumes to local cultural tastes and traditions. This year, for the third time, the storied ballet will grace our shores and stage with a sumptuous, artful theatrical experience. Transformed and brought forth through the vision of Executive Producer and Artistic Director Joyce Stahl, it is our very own Nutcracker Key West-- complete with chickens, roosters, sea fans, anemones, snowy egrets, and yes, even a conch shell nutcracker. Joyce Stahl’s Nutcracker Key West was born amid the maelstrom of the hurricane-wracked conditions of 2005. And it was due to the strength of Stahl’s determination and commitment, the will of a hopeful community and its children, and the talent and dedication of an astounding support team, that the dream made it to the stage. The film, Underwater: The Making of the Key West Nutcracker, captured the incredible conditions and obstacles of that inaugural effort, and in 2007 premiered at the prestigious Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival, taking First Place in the Documentary Film category. Achieving theatrical heights that are breathtaking and marvelous, this international-scale quality production is one of the largest to ever play on a Key West Stage and has set the record at Tennessee Williams Theatre for the longest run of any production. Again this year, two casts of more than thirty Key West area children each, plus an adult cast of local actors and performers, will star as dancers, tumblers and in character roles. Again, they will perform alongside renowned professional and principal dancers from across the country, who will make their home in Key West throughout the rehearsals and performances. Choreographer Alun Jones returns to this even grander edition of Nutcracker Key West, along with the extraordinary talents of set designer Michael Boyer who has lifted the bar even higher for a stunning stage production. Sets and costumes from the 2005 and 2007 productions, valued at more than $500,000, will again amaze and delight, yet with even more incredible additions, extras and set elements. Nutcracker Key West is more than just a ballet. It incorporates seasonal joys and traditions with Key West imagery, icons, characters and heritage in a cooperative effort involving the island’s children, local talent and community leaders in conjunction with a professional corps de ballet. From its inception, Joyce Stahl has been the foremost underwriter of Nutcracker Key West, but it is the support and partnership of the community that will ensure its continuation. This year, we are particularly grateful for the financial assistance of the Florida Keys Tourist Development Council, the Dogwood Foundation, and the Kawaler Family Foundation, in addition to the talents and treasures of the many volunteers and contributors that it takes to bring the production to the pubic. Upcoming fundraising activities include the dazzling Princess Ball costume gala at the Garden’s Hotel in Key West, with Miss America 2008 Kirsten Haglund, who danced in Nutcracker Key West 2005, appearing as special guest. Because Nutcracker speaks especially to the magic of childhood, a campaign to provide tickets for children who otherwise would not be able to experience it is underway. Last year, more than 600 children were funded. Their heartfelt letters, along with those of parents and caregivers, are testament to the transformative magic of Nutcracker.

  • Nutcracker Key West 2009
  • At the Tennessee Williams Theatre
  • 5901 College Road
  • Key West, FL 33040
  • (305) 296-1520
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