Wednesday, October 22, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Leads become leaders, making ‘Nutcracker’ timeless

The Nutcracker Prince (Cooper Hosley) and the Mouse King (James Hayakawa) engage in swordplay during rehearsal for the "Davis Children's Nutcracker," which opens Wednesday and continues through Sunday at the Veterans' Memorial Theater. Tickets sold out long ago, but check the message board in the Vets' Center lobby for any last-minute availability. Wayne Tilcock/Enterprise photo

By
From page A1 | December 13, 2011 |

Ask a participant in the “Davis Children’s Nutcracker” what his or her favorite part of the experience is, and odds are pretty good the answer will be, “my leaders.”

Because as fun as performing in the annual rite of passage is for Davis children, from the music to the dancing to the costumes, it’s often the interaction with the teenagers who teach them everything that leaves the deepest impact of all.

For years afterward, in fact, children will spot their leaders around town, working at Nugget, teaching a swim lesson, passing them on a sidewalk downtown, and respond with a shriek of joy: “That’s my ‘Nutcracker’ leader!”

It’s no wonder, then, that many of these children grow up to be leaders themselves, sharing their love for the “Nutcracker” year after year with the kids who follow in their footsteps. And they do so with a sense of obligation.

“My leaders always made it so fun,” says Davis High senior Emma Hunter, “so I always want to do the same.”

Hunter has been a leader for five years now, following six years spent in the cast itself. Cast members — who number 250 — are all between the ages of six and 12, and after that become eligible to be leaders.

This year, Hunter and junior Katya Christian are working with the two dance leads in the “Nutcracker,” both choreographing and teaching the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Forest Fairy their respective dances.

For Hunter, who was herself the Sugar Plum Fairy back in 2005, there is a seamlessness about the process of rehearsing onstage with this year’s version — Leila Roberts — and working through the dance movements.

And because both Hunter and Christian have been taking dance lessons since they were little, “we can actually put our knowledge of dance to use,” Christian said.

“It’s a great creative outlet,” Hunter added.

They and their fellow leaders also bring an immense knowledge of “Nutcracker” lore to the job.

“Everyone has all the lines memorized,” Christian noted.

So when the Mouse King — James Hayakawa — was rehearsing his role onstage one afternoon last week, any of the leaders could step in at any time to rehearse with him, playing a mouse, a soldier or anything else, and always knowing exactly what to say and what to do.

Leaders Lindsay Brandt, Hannah Jolkovsky and John Greer have the task of preparing a dozen children for their lead roles in this year’s “Nutcracker.” They’re working with everyone from Clara and the Prince, to the Mouse King, Gnome Queen and assorted family members.

Since right after Thanksgiving break they’ve been at the Veterans’ Memorial Center nearly every day preparing their charges for their roles, helping Clara learn her lines, and coaching the Mouse King and the Prince through their swordplay.

This year’s main leads are:

Clara: Lilja Jelks

Nutcracker Prince: Cooper Hosley

Mouse King: James Hayakawa

Forest Fairy: Abby Sutcliffe

Sugar Plum Fairy: Leila Roberts

The complexity of teaching a ballet dance has been particularly time-consuming for the dance leaders.

“We’re here the most of any of the leaders,” Christian noted.

But they wouldn’t have it any other way.

“I love everything about it,” Hunter said.

This is the 35th year of the “Davis Children’s Nutcracker” and director Ann Smalley’s 21st year at the helm. Once again she has about 40 volunteers and leaders assisting.

As it has nearly every year, the “Nutcracker” sold out the day tickets went on sale to the public. In fact, the public in general rarely gets a chance to buy tickets. Families of participants have the opporunity to purchase six tickets in advance and many of them then line up at the city’s Community Services Department in the early morning hours the day the remaining tickets go on sale. Parents have been known to line up two or more hours before the office opens — usually in the cold, sometimes in the rain — to buy more tickets.

People’s plans do change, though, and tickets often become available for resale. Check the bulletin board in the lobby of the Veterans’ Memorial Center for updates. The “Davis Children’s Nutcracker” opens Wednesday and continues through Sunday.

— Reach Anne Ternus-Bellamy at aternus@davisenterprise.net or (530) 747-8051.

Comments

comments

Anne Ternus-Bellamy

.

News

Pumpkin patch: a favorite tradition every autumn

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Marathon specialist Winter heads to cycling shrine

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
County to fund pilot project for West Sac homeless

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1

 
Heavy metal

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2 | Gallery

Tuesday’s smoky air hailed from Colusa County

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

 
Vandals damage two Woodland schools

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

 
Hearing postponed for man suspected in 7 killings

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

Canadian soldier shot at war memorial

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
Pedal around Davis on weekly bike ride

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Apply soon to be a Master Gardener

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Terez will perform at Wine’d Down Thursday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Super-fun 5K run will support UCD students

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Davis Arts Center: a call to artists for Holiday Sale Wall of Art

By Erie Vitiello | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Author showcases field biology as he revels in nature

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Entries due Nov. 1 in VFW essay contests

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Teen services grant applications due this week

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

 
Voice of the Wood plans family Halloween show

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Wine-tasting and auction benefit Advanced Treble Choir

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

Garamendi will speak at U.N. Day event

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Setting a good example

By Sue Cockrell | From Page: A5

No-till doesn’t help cold, wet farmlands

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

 
Kids form a lifelong habit of drinking water

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

Farmers Market hosts Fall Festival

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
A Taste of India dinner benefits Davis Community Meals

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Wolk sets ‘Morning with the Mayor’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Volunteers sought to chip in on parks cleanup

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Composting workshop set at Grace Garden

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Women and men want the same things in cars … usually

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

California state parks show off fall color

By Kimberly Yarris | From Page: A7

 
October is fall car care month

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

Soroptimists offer ‘Living Your Dream’ grants

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
Halloween Carnival planned Oct. 26

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

Mondavi Center gift shop plans holiday sale

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
Soda bottlers spend big to fight S.F. ban

By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A9

Railroad work will close Eighth Street

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

 
Special education information night scheduled

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A9

Clinton sounding like a candidate in S.F. appearance

By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A12

 
.

Forum

Bad business over the phone

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Life vests are a must when rafting

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
Vote no on Prop. 1, because it’s no solution

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

Slower travel on new stretch

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
David Fitzsimmons cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A8

Support choruses in schools

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
Archer’s the go-to person

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

Adams has what we need

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
.

Sports

Giants rip Royals in Game 1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
UCD women’s soccer postseason hopes flickering

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

A typical Blue Devil girls water polo win

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
DHS boys hold off Rio Americano in the pool

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

Devils are on track for volleyball playoffs after win

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
AYSO roundup: Local winners have the Eye of the Tiger

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

Alliance/Legacy roundup: Italia cruises past Chico

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Sports briefs: Fipps earns another preseason hoops award

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8

.

Features

.

Business

.

Obituaries

Clement ‘George’ Hebert

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Mariana Brumbaugh Henwood

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

.

Comics