The House Theatre of Chicago will celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the annual hit production The Nutcracker, an all-original, ballet-free and family-friendly production playing at The Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division, November 16 – December 29. Company Members Jake Minton, Phillip Klapperich, Kevin O’Donnell and Tommy Rapley created the adaptation based on E.T.A. Hoffmann’s story with original direction and choreography by Rapley. The press opening is Saturday, Nov. 16 at 7:30 p.m.
The regular performance schedule is Thursdays and Fridays at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 3 and 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. with added performances Friday, Nov. 29 at 3 p.m., Sundays, Dec. 8, 15 and 22 at 7 p.m. and Monday, Dec. 23 at 7 p.m. Accessible performance dates: Open Captioned on Sunday, Dec. 8 at 3 p.m., Touch Tour/Audio Described on Saturday, Dec. 14 at 3 p.m. and Relaxed/Sensory-Friendly on Saturdays Nov. 30 and Dec. 7 at 3 p.m. Note: There is no performance Thursday, Nov. 28 (Thanksgiving Day). Regular run tickets are $30 – $50. Student and industry same-day discounted tickets are available at $20 for all dates, based on availability. Single tickets are now on sale and may be purchased by calling 773.769.3832 or by visiting www.thehousetheatre.com. Tickets for groups of 10 or more are on sale now.
This fantastical expansion of the holiday classic centers on young Clara’s journey to save Christmas in the face of grief. With the help of a magical nutcracker, the brave girl faces the darkness, fights the Rat King, and saves her family. A modern holiday tradition weaving together riveting dialogue, astonishing puppetry, original songs, this spellbinding spectacle tells a heartwarming, darkly moving story of magic and hope—a fun outing fit for the whole family.The 10th-anniversary production paints a new family portrait featuring two gay fathers, a son, a daughter and their matriarchal Aunt, as they take this holiday journey of love and loss. For nearly a decade The House has made holiday memories for 30,000 audience members of all ages. “As we have continued to work on the play, the effort of inclusion has extended to the kinds of families we represent to our audience. Families who are deeply bound by love and hardship and heartache rather than appearance. Families that everyone in our audience could hopefully see themselves within as they watch the story unfold. That this family could be their family. My hope is that as we produce this story year after year, we continue to examine the many different types of bonds within our communities and expand our definition of what it truly means to be a family,” said Director, Choreographer and Co-Adaptor Rapley.
The production also features a completely re-designed Rat King puppet for the climax of Clara's journey to save Christmas. The House once again partners with the Chicago Puppet Studio, the creators of puppets from The House’s 2019 hit production of Pinocchio, on the creation of new puppets for this year’s The Nutcracker. The production is also beautifully choreographed, family-friendly and moving, even for those of us that might be on the Grinch’s side from time to time.
The cast for the 10th anniversary production features Amaris Sanchez* as “Clara,” Dwayne Everett as “Fritz,” Rachel Shapiro returns as “Phoebe the doll,” Johnny Arena returns as “Monkey,” Amanda de la Guardia plays “Drosselmeyer,” and “Really Quite Scary Rat” Benjamin Sprunger as ”Marty,” “Really Scary Rat” and “Teddy,” Nicholas Bailey* as “David” and “Quite Scary Rat” and Colin Morgan as “Hugo.”
The design teams includes Collette Pollard+ (Scenic Designer), Debbie Baer+ (Costume Designer), Mieka van der Ploeg (Associate Costume Designer), Jerika Hucke (Costume Director), Lee Keenan+ (Lighting Designer), Clare Roche (Associate Lighting Designer), Michael Griggs+ (Sound Designer), Grover Hollway (Associate Sound Designer), Chicago Puppet Studio (Puppet Designers), Jon Schniedman (Music Director), Matthew Muñiz+ (Orchestrations), Miranda Anderson* (Stage Manager).
*Member of Actor’s Equity Association
+Company Member of The House Theatre of Chicago
ABOUT THE HOUSE THEATRE OF CHICAGO
The House is Chicago's premier home for intimate, original works of epic story and stagecraft. Founded and led by Artistic Director Nathan Allen and driven by an interdisciplinary ensemble of Chicago’s next generation of great storytellers, The House aims to become a laboratory and platform for the evolution of the American theatre as an inclusive and popular artform.
The House was founded in 2001 by a group of friends to explore connections between Community and Storytelling through a unique theatrical experience. Since becoming eligible in 2004, The House has won 24 Joseph Jefferson Awards, became the first recipient of Broadway in Chicago’s Emerging Theater Award in 2007, and was awarded a 2014 National Theatre Company Grant by the American Theatre Wing, founder of the Tony Awards. The 18th season of original work begins this November and The House will continue its mission to unite Chicago in the spirit of community through amazing feats of Storytelling.
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