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North Fort Myers Academy for the Arts to stage ‘The Nutcracker’ for third year

By Staff | Dec 4, 2012

It is a top holiday event for many, and now again for the third year, North Fort Myers Academy for the Arts students will present The Nutcracker at Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall as well as at the local school.

“It is an exceptional experience,” said faculty and Principal Dr. Douglas Santini, as a whole and especially at the Mann. “Besides the experience of performing on such a professional stage, the word has spread about the school’s talent there. We’re getting calls from all over Lee County about tickets,” Santini said.

On Thursday, Dec. 13, the show will be at the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall. There will also be a special school performance for students and staff on Monday, Dec. 10 in the day and one for the public there at night.

The Nutcracker is a multi-faceted arts educational experience for students of all ages and arts disciplines at North Fort Myers Academy for the Arts. As an ARTS Achieve! model school, at the Academy academics and arts are combined.

Over 250 students will be involved in the event, said Middle School Dance Teacher Linda Sammons.

“For me, and dance, I love going to Barbara B. Mann. The stage floor is wonderful, a wonderful, professional floor for the students to dance on. It holds 1,865 people, a large venue.”

As a special treat, some student stars will have their own dressing rooms. “Some soloists will have their names on their stars at their dressing rooms,” Sammons said.

Featured dance and acting performers for “The Nutcracker” ballet include Christine Cahill, Abel Pardi and Marissa Healey.

Of performing at the Barbara Mann, Pardi said, “It’s big, and it will be performing before a lot of people. I’ve never done that before.”

“It is exciting because a lot of people are watching you, bigger than our normal audience,” said Cahill.

The idea can be a little nerve racking, said Healey.

“But a lot of fun to perform before so many audience members.”

Artists and computer designers are also involved. Student Nicole Paquin helped with artwork she produced for “The Nutcracker.”

Business and computer teacher Sue Sommer has had several classes design rack cards, posters, brochures and other promotional materials for the show and other school events.

Paquin actually completed a design started by now North Fort Myers High School student Cassidee Kelley, which is exceptional, according to Sommer.

“We’ve produced pieces that are online, sent to the Chamber of Commerce, as well as printed pieces for open houses and special events.” Of the quality of work, she said, “I’m so impressed.”

The 250 students involved in the production also come from chorus, band and orchestra, and will entertain before the show in the lobby, and during intermission.

Tickets are $10, $15, $20 and $25 and are available from the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall box office at bbmannpah.com or 481-4849.

The Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall is located at 8099 College Parkway, Fort Myers.

For more information on the school show, call 995-1154.

North Fort Myers Academy for the Arts is located at 1856 Arts Way, North Fort Myers.