Focus on Community/Arts
Holiday Tradition Continues on TPAC Stage at Chesapeake College

Posted on Tuesday, December 07, 2004


Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer will fly into Wye Mills on Friday, Dec. 17 when the Rufus M. and Loraine Hall Todd Performing Arts Center at Chesapeake College presents "The Adventures of Rudolph."

This show will mark the first Family Series performance in the newly renovated and expanded 900-seat theatre.

Part of a year-long family theatre series, the holiday show will thrill children and their parents. The Center of Ballet and Dance Arts of Syracuse, N.Y. will take the audience on a magical journey to the North Pole. But this Rudolph story offers a departure from the familiar television version.

"This show endures because it teaches children that there is more to Christmas than just receiving gifts. The story shows children that kindness and giving are more important than receiving," said Deborah Boughton, director for the Center of Ballet and Dance Arts. "The story and sets also bring the magic of the season to life. That is exciting for the children and helps the adults stay in touch with their childhood memories. The show has snow flying deer and beautiful costumes. It’s like the Nutcracker, but with a strong plot."

Rudolph’s adventures begin in Santa’s workshop as the elves prepare for the Christmas Eve sleigh ride. The evening turns ugly, though, when an Arctic meanie tries to halt toy production at Santa’s workshop.

The evil witch Winter Gray kidnaps all of the elves, leaving Santa without a workforce. Rudolph saves Christmas Eve production, though, when he uses a magic mirror to show the witch her own wickedness. A reformed Winter Gray releases the elves, and even conjures up some snowflakes to help the reindeer fly through the Christmas Eve sky.

The Center of Ballet and Dance Arts has presented "The Adventures of Rudolph" to more than 300,000 children and adults. More than 11,000 people have seen the production at TPAC in the last eight years, according to TPAC Children’s Theatre Director Linda Zaragoza.

After more than two decades, the show now feature a second generation of performers. The young dancer who portrayed "Rudolph" in the first production will be traveling to Wye Mills with the troupe this year because her daughter is in the show.

In addition to being entertaining, the production also showcases talented young dancers. Boughton said many students of the Syracuse center go on to dance with professional ballet companies or join casts of Broadway shows.

To highlight the show’s message of generosity, patrons are asked to bring non-perishable food items to the show for TPAC’s annual food drive. The donated food items will be distributed to needy area families through Mother of Sorrows Catholic Church in Centreville.

This event has been funded in part by the Queen Anne’s County Arts Council and the Maryland State Arts Council.

With music, dance and flying reindeer, the show is now a seasonal favorite on the Shore. At $8 per person, tickets to the show would make a great holiday gift.

Tickets are also on sale now for other shows in the Family Series. TPAC presents "Pop-ups, Puppets and Parades" on Saturday, Feb. 26 at 11 a.m. Patrons can enjoy Hans Christian Andersen’s "The Princess and the Pea" on Saturday, March 19 at 11 a.m. The Kennedy Center Imagination Celebration tour comes to TPAC on Friday, April 22 at 7 p.m. with "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer." The Family Series wraps up with "The Rainbow Fish" on Sunday, May 8 at 2 p.m. For more information, call the box office at 410-827-5867.


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