A Peek into the Nutcracker

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"The Children's Nutcracker" Poster

Kara Mcgeehan, Staff Writer

Emily Hohenadel is sitting in practice room two, singing and practicing for her All State Auditions. She almost always is in practice room two, even during lunch. She loudly sings until she is certain about a note and plucks it out on the piano. Her voice beautifully echoes off the walls, and sneaks through the supposedly soundproof door. People outside of the room don’t mind. They too are plucking out notes, but they are trying to sing a popular song.

It’s November, which means that the dance practices are beginning for the Nutcracker. The Goffstown Public High School is hosting its annual Nutcracker. This is the sixth year that the English and Dance teacher, Christina Philibotte, and Music teachers, Josh Desrochers and Doug McKernan, are coordinating both high school and elementary students to teach them choreography for the Nutcracker. To participate in the Goffstown Nutcracker, you must be in the half-year Intro To Dance class or the whole year course Movement and Dance. “There are no auditions to get in,” Mrs. Philibotte states, “Because I am evaluating my students during the classes.” Because she in class with the students who want to participate in the Nutcracker, she already knows the potential of each student.

Emily Hohenadel, who is participating in the Nutcracker, stated that she definitely did have to work up her muscles. People do have to work up their muscles and perfect their point, which is a way they hold their feet. In order to achieve such perfection, they practice every day except for Sunday. Their practices start at nine in the morning and go until four in the afternoon. Weekdays are different times but they always make time to have dinner.

“I think it is important to have dinner together,” Mrs. Philibotte comments when asked about the dinners. She explains that they shop together and teams prepare healthy meals at each other’s houses. Family meals are put together by people who have experience with people who have no experience so that they help each other out. It is also classified by the area where people live, so the performers can have easy commutes. Mrs. Philibotte thinks that each meal should be healthy, and quick to reheat because they only have about twenty minutes to finish up meals. She says that it is extremely important to stay healthy, also on tech week. Teck Week is the hardest week because they stay later and have to add in all the technical stuff, like projections and set. Mrs. Philibotte says that the family meals bring people together. It brings them together while they are preparing the food it allows them to talk and also when they eat it at school they are allowed to bond and talk over dinner.

Emily, who would like to be a Broadway star, thinks that performing in the Nutcracker and joining the dance company is a huge help to her career. She says that it is a beneficial to have dance classes at the school. Dance classes are expensive, so this opportunity is definitely important to her future. She admits it is hard to balance school classes and the Nutcracker rehearsals, but she always finishes on time. Mrs. Philibotte also understands there will be struggles in balancing school work and the dance practices, she considers the persons dance experience and the amount of homework each student is going to have, this allows the students to be able to balance school work and dance easier.

Emily also states that people during the rehearsals have different roles. For example, the more experienced students will review some piece and then later on help Mrs. Philibotte teach the entire group. They also may have small groups and teach their group, or they could also be helping teach the younger children. The younger children, as in many Nutcrackers, play a big part in the “Mother Ginger” scene. When asked about a part of the production Mrs. Philibotte describes this scene, “Mother Ginger is a mother who has a big skirt, and the littles hide under it. The littles pop out and start dancing.” She later describes the skirt as big enough to hold a lot of small children and made out of pipe and wood so that it holds up the fabric of the skirt.

Ms. Philibotte mentions this entire performance is not school funded, which is the reason tickets are twelve dollars for adults, and ten dollars for students. The prices have never gone up, which means they have been performing with the same budget for a total of six years. They expected to have lots of audience members, as always, watching the performance of the Nutcracker on November 30th at 7 p.m. in the GHS theater and on December 1st at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.. They sold all their tickets on Friday and they were very close to being sold out on both Saturday performances.