Walltown Children’s Theatre dazzles with the “Durham Nutcracker”

Scenes from the Durham Nutcracker: Left to right: Jade Franco, Ginger Hintzen, Sofia Serba-Davis, Asha Moore and Abigail Garcia-Gomez play dance students at Ms. Wheeler's studio in Act One of the Walltown Children’s Theatre production of the “Durham Nutcracker” on Friday, Dec. 2. (Staff photo by Brenna Elmore)


Asha Moore, co-lead sharing the role of Sarah Tucker, wakes up on the morning of her audition in the opening scene of the Walltown Children’s Theatre production of the “Durham Nutcracker” on Friday, Dec. 2. (Staff photo by Brenna Elmore)

Asha Moore, co-lead sharing the role of Sarah Tucker, wakes up on the morning of her audition in the opening scene of the Walltown Children’s Theatre production of the “Durham Nutcracker” on Friday, Dec. 2. (Staff photo by Brenna Elmore)

In this updated version of “The Nutcracker,” hip-hop, Bollywood and African dance replace the traditional types while a diverse cast of children perform new and different roles.

In Act One, we follow Sarah Tucker through the highs and lows of being a dancer as she takes on an updated version of Clara, and in Act Two we see the talented dancing the Walltown Children’s Theatre is known for.

In its 7th year, the group put on yet another stellar performance of the “Durham Nutcracker,” over the weekend of Dec. 2-4.

Described in their press release as “an inspiring twist on a winter classic performance the whole family will love,” the “Durham Nutcracker” features a diverse cast of all ages and skin tones, which Director Cynthia Penn-Halal said is the “Walltown way.”

“I believe the performing arts are one of the earliest opportunities we have to teach children about tolerance, diversity, and intelligent expression of ideas,” Penn-Halal said. “Visually, this show is a living example of our commitment to social justice, diversity, and creative expression.”

Dominique Garrett plays the role of Uncle T in the party scene with an updated hip-hop twist in Act One of the Walltown Children’s Theatre production of the “Durham Nutcracker” on Friday, Dec. 2. (Staff photo by Brenna Elmore)

Dominique Garrett plays the role of Uncle T in the party scene with an updated hip-hop twist in Act One of the Walltown Children’s Theatre production of the “Durham Nutcracker” on Friday, Dec. 2. (Staff photo by Brenna Elmore)

Jade Franco performs the Arabian dance. (Staff photo by Brenna Elmore)

Jade Franco performs the Arabian dance. (Staff photo by Brenna Elmore)

 

 Jade Franco performs the Arabian dance. (Staff photo by Brenna Elmore) Jalen Diggs leaps across the stage during the Chinese dance number in Act Two. (Staff photo by Brenna Elmore)

Jalen Diggs leaps across the stage during the Chinese dance number in Act Two. (Staff photo by Brenna Elmore)

 

Nia Huell-Griffin dances the Chinese solo in Act Two. (Staff photo by Brenna Elmore)

Nia Huell-Griffin dances the Chinese solo in Act Two. (Staff photo by Brenna Elmore)

 

Bailey Wadlington (left) and Yashi Kudumu-Clavell (right) in the well-loved Bollywood dance number during Act Two. (Staff photo by Brenna Elmore)

Bailey Wadlington (left) and Yashi Kudumu-Clavell (right) in the well-loved Bollywood dance number during Act Two. (Staff photo by Brenna Elmore)

Bailey Wadlington (left) and Yashi Kudumu-Clavell (right) in the well-loved Bollywood dance number during Act Two. (Staff photo by Brenna Elmore)

Bailey Wadlington (left) and Yashi Kudumu-Clavell (right) in the well-loved Bollywood dance number during Act Two. (Staff photo by Brenna Elmore)

Bailey Wadlington (left) and Yashi Kudumu-Clavell (right) in the well-loved Bollywood dance number during Act Two. (Staff photo by Brenna Elmore)

Tabitha Morant dances a hip-hop solo during Act Two. (Staff photo by Brenna Elmore)

Artemisa Garcia-Gomez (center) and Nia Huell-Griffin (right) perform in the large group number to Meghan Trainor’s “Me Too” during Act Two of the Walltown Children’s Theatre production of the “Durham Nutcracker". (Staff photo by Brenna Elmore)

Artemisa Garcia-Gomez (center) and Nia Huell-Griffin (right) perform in the large group number to Meghan Trainor’s “Me Too” during Act Two of the Walltown Children’s Theatre production of the “Durham Nutcracker”. (Staff photo by Brenna Elmore)

Left to right: Jade Franco, Asha Chinfloo and Jessie Howard perform the African dance number during Act Two of the Walltown Children’s Theatre production of the “Durham Nutcracker". (Staff photo by Brenna Elmore)

Left to right: Jade Franco, Asha Chinfloo and Jessie Howard perform the African dance number during Act Two of the Walltown Children’s Theatre production of the “Durham Nutcracker”. (Staff photo by Brenna Elmore)

Director Cynthia Penn-Halal thanks the audience for attending the Walltown Children’s Theatre production of the “Durham Nutcracker” as the cast looks on. (Staff photo by Brenna Elmore)

Director Cynthia Penn-Halal thanks the audience for attending the Walltown Children’s Theatre production of the “Durham Nutcracker” as the cast looks on. (Staff photo by Brenna Elmore)

 

Rehearsal photos (below) from the week before the show’s opening, Friday, Dec. 2. (Staff photos by Brenna Elmore)

Asha Moore, one of the two actresses cast as Sarah, the main character in the musical, practices a dance number during one of the final rehearsals for the Walltown Children’s Theatre production of the “Durham Nutcracker” on Tuesday, Nov. 22. (Staff photo by Brenna Elmore)

Asha Moore, one of the two actresses cast as Sarah, the main character in the musical, practices a dance number during one of the final rehearsals for the Walltown Children’s Theatre production of the “Durham Nutcracker” on Tuesday, Nov. 22. (Staff photo by Brenna Elmore)

 

FeatureBefore one of the final rehearsals of the Walltown Children’s Theatre production of the “Durham Nutcracker,” Adair Carroll (left) assists Nia Huell-Griffin with her costume. (Staff photo by Brenna Elmore)

FeatureBefore one of the final rehearsals of the Walltown Children’s Theatre production of the “Durham Nutcracker,” Adair Carroll (left) assists Nia Huell-Griffin with her costume. (Staff photo by Brenna Elmore)

 

Tabitha Morant (center) strikes a pose with Destiny Monroe (left) and Nia Huell-Griffin (right) while working to match precision during a dance number during one of the final rehearsals of the Walltown Children’s Theatre production of the “Durham Nutcracker” on Tuesday, Nov. 22. (Staff photo by Brenna Elmore)

Tabitha Morant (center) strikes a pose with Destiny Monroe (left) and Nia Huell-Griffin (right) while working to match precision during a dance number during one of the final rehearsals of the Walltown Children’s Theatre production of the “Durham Nutcracker” on Tuesday, Nov. 22. (Staff photo by Brenna Elmore)

 

Destiny Monroe does acrobatics in preparation for her role as Mouse Queen during one of the final rehearsals of the Walltown Children’s Theatre production of the “Durham Nutcracker” on Tuesday, Nov. 22. (Staff photo by Brenna Elmore)

Destiny Monroe does acrobatics in preparation for her role as Mouse Queen during one of the final rehearsals of the Walltown Children’s Theatre production of the “Durham Nutcracker” on Tuesday, Nov. 22. (Staff photo by Brenna Elmore)

 

 

Brenna Elmore is a UNC-CH junior photojournalism major from Chapel Hill. She is a photographer-writer for the VOICE.


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