Barn Swallow presents ‘Nuncrackers’

Published 11:43 am Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The cast of 'Nuncrackers' Submitted photo

The cast of ‘Nuncrackers’ Submitted photo

Attending a holiday performance is a traditional way to spend an evening during the Christmas season. From ballets and musicals to choir concerts, school pageants and theatrical productions, there are so many options to choose from.

Those who attend Barn Swallow Theater’s production of “Nuncrackers” won’t have to choose.  It incorporates all of those different types of entertainment into one big, comedic production with a hometown flavor.

“It’s a great way to come out and start off your Christmas season — with a fun evening of live theater,” said Pam Boepple, director of the show and a founding board member of the Edwardsburg-based community theater.

“Nuncrackers” is the Christmas-themed sequel to the popular musical “Nunsense.” Barn Swallow Theater put on a version of that original show several years ago.

“This sequel features the irrepressible nuns from Mount St. Helen’s Little Sisters of Hoboken in their very first televised Christmas Concert.  You, the audience, will be privy to and a part of this special production as it is being produced,” Boepple said.

By attending one of the performances of Nuncrackers, audience members will be supporting the arts in their local community while they are being entertained. Originally formed in 1985 with an old barn as their playhouse, Barn Swallow Theater is wrapping up its second season in their new building, an old church that they have converted into a theater, located at 22334 U.S. 12, east of Edwardsburg, Mich.

“It just so happens that everybody [in the show] this time is from the Edwardsburg area. I have eight children in it, and they all attend Edwardsburg schools,” Boepple said. “They say some lines, but basically they come out and do some chorus numbers. They take part in the ballet. We have a very funny version of the ‘Nutcracker’ ballet, and they are a part of that.”

Children participating in the production include Daniel Guarino, Tommy Oppman, Ismael Guerra, Vanessa Enriquez, Emily Andrina, Aubrey Gruver, Tori DeMeyer and Sofia Hernandez.

While there are children in the production, Boepple described the production as appealing more to an adult audience.

“As far as being something that is geared for children to see, I might bring my older children, but I wouldn’t bring really young kids.  It’s not going to have a lot of entertainment value for them,” Boepple said.

The children are joined by a cast of characters that includes Reverend Mother Sister Mary Regina (played by Janet Pietrzak, who is reprising her role from Barn Swallow’s original production of “Nunsense”). She is joined by Sister Mary Hubert (Mary Geminder), Sister Robert Anne (Cheryl Steele) and Sister Mary Paul, also known as “Sister Amnesia” (Shelby Guarino). Sister Mary Leo (Michelle Gruver) and her brother Father Virgil (Patrick Doyle) will be joining these familiar characters.

All told, 22 members of the local community have been rehearsing and readying the sets and props for “Nuncrackers” since early October, preparing for the four performances at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 5-7 and a matinee at 2 p.m. on Dec. 8. The show will last about two hours, including an intermission during which refreshments, such as lemonade, tea and cookies will be available for a small donation.

Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and $5 for children 12 and under. Ticket sales will enable Barn Swallow Theater to pay for current and upcoming productions and theater improvements.  Reservations are strongly encouraged as seating is limited to 80, and they may be made by calling Carol at (269) 445-2511.

“At one of the performances of our last production, ‘Little Shop of Horrors,’ we only had three seats left. So, it’s always better if people call in advance, and then they can pay for the tickets at the door,” Boepple said.