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‘Nutcracker like no Other’ offers acting, dancing opportunities

Feather Staff | The Feather Online

Dancers practice for their upcoming performances of “A Nutcracker like no Other”.

Dancers practice as builders and painters prepare props for the upcoming Break the Barriers production, “A Nutcracker like no Other”, Nov. 17. The show is based on Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker”

Dance and gym coach, Katie Hale appreciates the inclusivity of Break the Barriers performances and the detail placed into the productions. During her third Nutcracker production, she is responsible for on-stage props.

“It (the performance) is unique because we gather all of our people from Break the Barriers and from outside the community and we use anybody and everybody who comes to our door,” Hale said. “We don’t turn anybody away regardless of ability or age. It’s a chance to be in a real show.

“It’s a chance to get a taste of the performing arts lifestyle without the all of the commitment to it,” Hale continued. “You’re not slaving away in a studio for five hours a day just to be a snowflake in the back corner.”

With their largest cast ever, 275 performers take the stage in the production. Along with other FC students, Jenna Obwald, ‘24 dances in the ballet. She values an opportunity to express herself and learn new things.

“My favorite part is getting to dance with all the different dancers,” Obwald said. “I enjoy dancing because you can express yourself through dance. After performances that we do, we get to hang out and talk with my friends. One of the funniest things we get to do is learn new tricks and moves with our coaches.”

Break the Barriers dance coach Katie Hale provides insight into the production.

Angela Young, ‘20, signed up as a dancer for the show, but is encouraged by the challenge to also act out scenes in the performance.

“My favorite part about being in this Nutcracker (performance) is the fact that it is so different that any other Nutcracker around,” Young said. “We introduce various abilities into our Nutcracker meaning you could see someone with cerebral palsy, down syndrome or autism and they are fully incorporated into this Nutcracker.”

Performers put on two shows that day, beginning at 2 and 5 p.m. Both performances take place at Warnors Center for Performing Arts in downtown Fresno. According to the Break the Barriers website, tickets sell for $15 on

For more articles, read WWII veteran Dr. Fitzalbert Marius encourages students toward serviceFor more news articles, read 99th annual Fresno Veterans Day Parade spotlights Air Force.

Sam Cross can be reached via email and via Twitter.

Cohl Obwald also contributed to this article. He can be reached via email and Twitter.

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