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'The Nutcracker Fantasy' comes to Park Theater
In last year's production of "The Nutcracker Fantasy," masked dancers, from left, Katie Sweeton, Gracie Brock and Meghan Madewell perform. Tickets are available now at the Park Theater box office and online for the Dec. 9-10 performances.

The Park Theatre Group presents Paula’s Dance Academy in three performances that will bring McMinnville its most joyous holiday gift, “The Nutcracker Fantasy” on Dec. 9-10. A wonderful ballet for the entire family, “The Nutcracker Fantasy” is the perfect way to introduce young children to the power and beauty of classical dance. A magical score, fairytale scenery, Paula Barnes and Camryn Austin’s choreography and staging combine to create one of the most fantastic local productions.
“The Nutcracker Fantasy” tells the story of a little girl named Clara who is given a magical nutcracker doll on Christmas Eve. She meets the frightening mouse king before embarking on a journey through the Land of Snow and the Kingdom of Sweets. Young and old alike will experience the production’s special effects, including the Christmas tree that “grows” and fantastic scenery, some of which was crafted locally by talented volunteers for the Park Theatre Group and Paula’s Dance Academy.
The role of Clara is played by 10-year-old Kiera Reynolds, who is excited and humbled to be given the experience.
“When I heard the news, I was excited times 5,000,” said Reynolds. “I ran around the house and then called my grandmother and great-grandmother to give them the news.”
Barnes is complimentary of Reynolds and the entire cast for their diligence and hard work.
“Kiera will do a wonderful job and is going to make a great Clara,” said Barnes. “She brings a lot to the program with her stage presence. We have a strong cast, with many returning from last year’s performance.”
Reynolds was in the previous cast, and is joined by Ally Locke who is reprising the role as the Nutcracker. Veteran actor and dancer Livia Brewer will return as Madam Ginger, as well as Melonie Turner and Matt Feno playing Clara’s parents. Willard Powell will once again portray Uncle Drosselmeyer, a magician who comes bearing gifts for the family. Thirteen-year dance veteran Anaston Chisam is cast as the Snow Queen.
“This production has raised the standards by increasing the number of characters and performances, raising the level of difficulty and incorporating a new scene, The Kingdom of Sweets,” said Barnes.
Show times will be Dec. 9 at 7 p.m.; and Dec. 10 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Ticket prices will be $16, children 3 and under are free when not taking a seat. Tickets are available through the Park Theater box office and online.