The Brunswick Little Theatre is making the holidays jolly and bright

 

 

 

With their production of Nuncrackers, the Nunsense Christmas Musical.

BY: JEFFREY STITES

PHOTOS COURTESY OF BRUNSWICK LITTLE THEATRE (BLT)

The show will run at the BLT home theatre, 8068 River Road SE, Southport, Fridays through Sundays December 11-13 and 18-20 with Friday and Saturday shows at 7:30 pm and Sunday matinees at 3 pm.

Nuncrackers continues the story of the Sisters that brought you Nunsense and Nunsense 2, The Second Coming as they produce a Christmas special in their new cable access television studio. The audience serves as studio audience as the nuns are joined by a priest and few students from the convent school for the production that hits a few bumps along the way. A wide range of music and dance styles as well as some audience participation help ensure this show has something for everyone.

“The composer of the Nun shows likes to create a great variety of styles. I mean, The Sugar Plum Fairy and The Village People, Western Swing and Gospel…….if you want it, this show has probably got it,” said Beverly Veenker, Nuncrackers’ director and choreographer.

Veenker began her involvement in Brunswick Little Theatre working as choreographer on its production of Nunsense in 2004 and continued in that role for their offering of Nunsense 2 in 2011, both in Odell Williamson Auditorium on the campus of Brunswick Community College. Veenker expanded her role to serve as director of Nuncrackers after the original director experienced some health problems and had to withdraw. A couple of cast members are veterans of BLT’s past Nunsense shows as well. Debbie Skillman continues to portray Sister Amnesia and Sherrill Jolly will carry on as Sister Hubert.

Veenker brings a life-long involvement in theatre and the arts to her work with BLT. “My background is pretty easy…. I was born into a musical theater family, my parents were performers. Everybody else did family dinners and picnics and vacations…….we did rehearsals…and rehearsals…. AND rehearsals.  I was a young performer because my mother insisted that in order to teach a performer well, one needed to be experienced in the whole spectrum of it, so I was lucky enough to do a lot of various things as a performer and enjoyed performing but I found my soul as a faculty member at Western Kentucky University preparing performers for careers in this business. To see my students on Broadway or in movies or Television shows or choreographers, teachers, etc. That fills my heart, “Veenker said.

Adding to the adult cast of Nuncrackers will be a number of teens participating in BLT’s new Musical Theatre Apprentice program. Veenker explains, ”The show calls for a small number of young people whose characters in the show are those of students who have won, through their teachers’ recommendation, a chance to do the special Christmas TV production at the convent that the plot centers around. There are only five and they are age specific. Our new musical theater apprentice program was just starting and the fit was perfect. “

“The musical theater program is designed to give an ongoing experience in musical theater to young serious musical theater students who are studying all forms of musical theater seriously by taking regular weekly classes. The kids needed were a relatively small part of the show but required a good deal of time so the kids already involved in theater were the likely candidates for this one,” Veenker said, “There are also young people from that group who will be working backstage learning tech theater and all the backstage technical things as part of the Musical Theater Apprentice program.”

Putting on a church-based show in a former church (BLT’s theatre is the former home of Christian Alliance Church and they perform in the former sanctuary) has its advantages. “Paul Bertelsen is designing the set and has, I believe, tried to do it in such a way as to have the theater benefit from the design afterward or, at least, parts of the set. The set is very flexible to use. Not a big set but sort of convertible,” said Veenker.

Tickets for Nuncrackers are on sale now online at www.brunswicklittletheatre.com and at Rickey Evans Gallery, 211 n. Howe Street, Southport. This show is expected to sell out, but tickets will be available at the door if there are any left.

The Musical Theatre Apprentice program will offer a Showcase performance on Sunday, January 10 at 3:00 pm on the Brunswick Little Theatre main stage. The public is welcome and invited to attend. For information on the second session of BLT’s Apprentice Workshop and its Let’s PLAY! Children’s Theatre Workshop for children ages 4-11, visit the BLT website at www.brunswicklittletheatre.com.

“The new Musical Theater Apprentice program is exciting. It will help us broaden our base of talent and production resources.  The kids are like little sponges. They are so excited about learning and performance. I hope all interested BLT people will catch their first small show and revue in January. The older high school age group is nothing short of impressive for the small amount of time we have been working. Hope you get to see them soon,” said Veenker.

 

 

 

 

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