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  • Writer's pictureKids Life Magazine

The Nutcracker Presented by The Tuscaloosa Community Dancers (2022)

Adventure awaits as Clara and her Nutcracker Prince battle the Mouse King and embark on a journey through the Land of Sweets with the Sugar Plum Fairy. The Tuscaloosa Community Dancers are proud to present their annual production of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker December 8-11at the Historic Bama Theatre. This joyous classic has graced decades of audiences with its stunning portrayal of the iconic and beloved ballet and will leave you with cherished memories for years to come. Since 1971, this beloved T-Town tradition has captured the hearts of both young and old. Countless members of the community have performed in and celebrated this treasured, endlessly anticipated production over the years, and this year’s masterpiece will be one you won’t want to miss! Period costumes, holiday nostalgia, and an endless cast of mesmerizing, colorful characters make this whimsical and elegant performance a truly unique artistic feat, and a brilliant rendition of the most beloved, inimitable, and revered ballet in the history of the stage.

Featuring local talent blended with professional guest artists from around the country, TCD’s 51st production will truly be one of a kind. Artistic Director Alden McShan, and Executive Director Joyce Phillips, along with the TCD Board, cast and crew members have sacrificed endlessly in order to bring the stage alive for the people of Tuscaloosa, and have spent this year garnering near perfection in terms of the choreography, passion, and spirit this performance entails. Each and every show put on for the enjoyment of the people in this wonderful community is truly a celebration of their talent and hard work, as well as a reflection of the spirit of joy and generosity of the Christmas season, and a triumph you will not want to miss.

This year’s production will feature Tuscaloosa native, Jennifer Lauren Quarles, a Principal Soloist with the Miami City Ballet. Jennifer is one of Tuscaloosa’s own, beginning her lifelong devotion to dance at The Dance Centre, after which she trained with the Royal Academy of Dance, and the Alabama Ballet Pre-Apprentice Program. Lauren will be performing the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy. The production will also feature Joey Lay as Drosselmeyer, known for his outstanding work and performances in Tuscaloosa Community Theatres, as well as students from the University of Alabama.

The role of Clara will be performed by Allie Plott, daughter of Hunter and Tracy Plott, with the mischievous Fritz being portrayed by Brylee Meissner, daughter of Matt and Brooke Meissner. From snowflakes to angels to toy soldiers to sugar plums and queens, this production has something for everyone. Boasting a cast of 125 members, this year’s production is the largest in program history, and will be a magical experience for anyone who loves the arts and the nostalgic, blissful magic of the holiday season.

In addition to this magical production, TCD’s “Breakfast with the Nutcracker” will take place on Saturday, December 10 at 8:45 a.m. immediately prior to the show. The event, which is also a fundraiser for TCD, is a chance for parents and children to join some of their favorite characters for breakfast before they join Clara on her Christmas Eve journey during the show.

If you have not been able to make it to the last few performances of TCD’s The Nutcracker, make this your year to revisit the magic and beauty of Drosselmeyer, Clara, Fritz, the Nutcracker, and the countless other fantastical characters and scenes that make this iconic show one that is the gift that keeps on giving.

Let your holiday spirit soar with this festive family-friendly ballet! Performances will run from December 8 through 11 at the historic Bama Theatre in Downtown Tuscaloosa. Show times are: Thursday, 7 p.m., Friday, 7 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., Sunday, 2 p.m. Tickets for any of the performances and Breakfast with the Nutcracker may be purchased online at If you would like more information about how your child can participate in TCD, The Nutcracker, or future performances, please visit

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