Nutcracker Performance Named Number One Beneficiary for Charity Ball, Raises $22K


Enloe production of the Nutcracker, one of the biggest and most inclusive productions in Enloe’s art history, was a smash hit. Students, friends, teachers, and parents gathered throughout the school to watch an age-old classic come to life. The most compelling part of this production was the way the Nutcracker story was reinvented, being conveyed through traditional art mediums such as art, song, and dance as well as audio production, improvisational acting, and spoken word poetry. 

The dance department featured pieces from many different styles including the classic ballet interpretation, modern, and tap. Each style appealed most heavily to a different aspect of performance to the audience; sight, story, and rhythm. These components worked together to reinvent the story. The ballet recital focused on shapes created by the dancers to convey a winter snowstorm that main characters Clara and the Nutcracker are stuck in as they travel to his “realm”. The performance fused ballet with acting and light/audio production. The intricate but beautiful light show set the stage for the equally intricate configurations formed by the dancers of Ballet I, II, III, and IV. 

 The modern dance portion, held in the west gym, was a piece focused around narrative, the dancers telling a story through their movements and expressions. These narratives conveyed emotion and imagination to the audience. The talented technical theater students outdid themselves by transforming the basketball court into a hot chocolate fantasy. The huge, dramatized backdrop, designed by Head of paint crew, Abrianna Harmon, featured a large cup of hot chocolate being poured. The dancers’ movements made a big impact, as their shadowed silhouettes were projected onto the large set. This feature made the performances feel larger than life. 

This larger than life aspect was carried out throughout the production. Live actors wandered throughout the halls, interacting with one another along with the attendants moving from scene to scene. 

“We didn’t want the audience to only feel the magic in the performances, we wanted them to be fully immersed into the world we created the entire time, including when they transitioned from performance to performance,” says Actors’ Ensemble student, Mathew Bobzien. 

The senior actor describes his experience playing Drosselmeyer as “honestly the most fun I’ve ever has as an actor. I was able to actually interact with the audience and see the joy I was bringing them”. Engaging with these characters, who refused to break character no matter what brought a sense of wonder to the otherwise dreary halls of our high school by transforming them into a winter wonderland. 

Performances in the atrium were inspired by a unified theme of dreams inspired by Clara’s dream in the original Nutcracker story. Chamber choir wowed with their acapella performance of various songs including an original by Enloe senior Joshua Sobel

This production was made possible by a grant received by the Enloe Arts department with a vision of fundraising for Enloe’s annual charity ball. The event raised $22k, making Enloe Arts the number one contributor to the 207k donation given to Southeast Raleigh Promise by Enloe. Due to the breadth and complication of this production, Mr. Byrd describes it as, “a beast of a show”, the possibility of future shows like this is still in question.