The Nutcracker: a High family tradition

Cast members rehearse Tuesday for the Victoria Ballet Theatre's presentation of Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker."
  • IF YOU GO:

  • WHEN: 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

    WHERE: Leo J. Welder Center, 214 N. Main St.

    HOW MUCH: $25 presale, $30 at the door. $20 Thursday

    FOR MORE INFO: Visit victoriaballet.org

  • NUTCRACKER CAST

  • HERR STAHLBAUM Roberto Llano

    FRAU STAHLBAUM Gail Janecka

    CLARA Ashley Fajkus (Thurs./Sat.), Brooke Sanders (Fri./Sun.)

    FRITZ Ernesto Briones

    HERR DROSSELMEYER Kurt Regenbrecht

    GROSSVATER Robert C. Serrata

    GROSSMUTTER - Carla Hanes

    ADULT GUESTS - Sarah Bradley, Betty Jo Elder, Leilani Valdes, ...

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  • NUTCRACKER CAST

    HERR STAHLBAUM Roberto Llano

    FRAU STAHLBAUM Gail Janecka

    CLARA Ashley Fajkus (Thurs./Sat.), Brooke Sanders (Fri./Sun.)

    FRITZ Ernesto Briones

    HERR DROSSELMEYER Kurt Regenbrecht

    GROSSVATER Robert C. Serrata

    GROSSMUTTER - Carla Hanes

    ADULT GUESTS - Sarah Bradley, Betty Jo Elder, Leilani Valdes, Carole Wallace,

    Mike Ochoa, Bill Tally, Brandyn Burris, Mike Hanes

    CHILDREN - Reagan Bordovsky, Bailey Cisneros, Haley Grantland, Paisley Humpert,

    Katelyn Perez, Brooke Reaves, Michela Short, Avery Sparkman

    HOUSEKEEPER Chloe Cisneros

    MAIDS Kendall Bradley, Meagan Roy, Julia Saenz

    GOVERNESS Ashley Renaud

    COLUMBINE Kathryn McCoy

    BALLERINA DOLL Sarah Dodson

    HARLEQUIN Michael Landez*

    ACT 1, SCENE 2

    THE BATTLE

    MOUSE KING Brandyn Burris

    NUTCRACKER PRINCE - Jon Anthony Cavazos

    TOYS - Thurs./Sat. - Isabel Schroer (Arabian), Ellison High (Ballerina), Natalie Cook (Chinese),

    Ava Balderrama (Russian), Stella Motl (Snow Maiden), Brooke Henry (Spanish)

    Fri./Sun. - Mary Caroline McHaney (Arabian), Joliett Hanes (Ballerina), Madelyn Krueger (Chinese),

    Chloe Royael (Russian), Caroline Cohen (Snow Maiden), Nicole Reyes (Spanish)

    MICE Thurs./Sat. - Autumn Allen, Marina Balboa, Jordan Blythe, Larkin Burris, Ava Carson, Cleo Daugherty,

    Caroline Holub, Samantha Moore, Amelia Sparkman, Heidi Taylor, Reice Tibiletti,

    Fri./Sun. - Inara Ballard, Delaney Billo, Caris A. Cavazos, Cleo Daugherty, Karlyssa Ellis,

    Penelope Greco, Kendall Haschke, Sophia Hinojosa, Kaitlyn Potts, Mackenzie Roy

    DRUMMER Michael DiGangi (Thurs./Sat.), Beau Blackwood (Fri./Sun.)

    RIFLEMEN Thurs./Sat. - Calvin Douglas, Kyle Haschke, Blake Wallace

    Fri./Sun. - Kyle Haschke, Boone McHaney, Nicholas Valdes

    SOLDIERS - Sarah Belanger, Haley Grantland, Kyleigh Douglas, Elliett Hanes, Madison High,

    Mikayla Patek, Ella Porr, Michela Short, Avery Sparkman, Madeleine Royael

    ACT 1, SCENE 3

    LAND OF THE SNOW

    SNOW QUEEN Julie Janecka (Thurs./Sat.), Jacline Henrichs (Fri./Sun.)

    NUTCRACKER PRINCE Kyle Coleman*

    SNOWFLAKES Madison Elder, Ashley Fajkus (Fri./Sun.), Elisabeth High, Meghan McKittrick (Thurs./Sat.),

    Brooke Sanders (Thurs./Sat.), Ainsley Tharp (Fri./Sun.), Sarah Dodson, Avery Fajkus, Kellie Gray,

    Katie Krueger, Brandy Leos, Kathryn McCoy, Haley Regenbrecht

    SLEIGH ATTENDANTS - Madison High, Mikayla Patek

    INTERMISSION

    Please visit the Nutcracker Boutique in the lobby.

    ACT 2

    THE KINGDOM OF THE SWEETS

    SUGAR PLUM FAIRY Nao Kusuzaki (Thurs./Fri.), Sara Webb (Sat./Sun.)

    CAVALIERIan Casady*

    CLARA'S GUARDIAN ANGEL Ainsley Tharp

    ANGELS - Thurs./Sat. - Emily Chaney, Audrey Cook, Katelyn Delgado, Hope DiGangi, Juliana Edwards,

    Gabriela Garza, Alyssa Hall, Madeline Klein, Madison Korinek, Jillian Pohl, Jillian Robles, Anna Sparkman

    Fri./Sun. - Robin Barker, Abby Bauknight, Samantha Blackwood, Kanella Cohen, Kieran Grones,

    Mary Katherine Henley, Madeline Klein, Gitanjali Mehan, Abby O'Neill, Thea Porr, Cata Tejera, Avery Zuniga

    CLOUDS - Thurs./Sat. - Abigail Balli, Gracie Benoit, Gracie Guerra, Melbourn Motl, Carly Oracion, Ansliee Stehling

    Fri./Sun. - Emily Bauknight, Gracie Dotter, Jayne Eaves, Karoline Fromme,

    Marie McHaney, Callee Horelka, Sarah Rosas

    CHERUBS - Thurs./Sat. - Abbie Adcock, Tia Cole, Tiberius Daugherty,

    Angelina Garza, Emma Hilliard, Ciara Tamez, Kendall West

    Fri./Sun. - Natalie Christensen, Tiberius Daugherty, Gabryelle Gonzales, Gisele Gonzalez,

    Ella Hebert, Catherine McHaney, Kylie Potts, Klare Iliana Smith, Irelyn Warner, Penelope Wilkinson

    PALACE GUARDS Megha Chandna, Megan Roy, Emily Turpin, , RUMPETERS Thurs./Sat. - Maanvi Agarwal, Kaitlyn Hodon, Morgan Korinek, Izabella Sallabedra

    , Fri./Sun. - Lucy Keith, Mia Mabray, Caroline Valdes, Hannah Zimmerman

    CHOCOLATE Madison Elder & Michael Landez*

    Brooke Alexander, Tabitha Daugherty, Kaitlyn Haschke, Angelica Pina

    COFFEE Meghan McKittrick & Vlad Glouchkov* Taylor Cole, Julia Dotter TEA Brooke Sanders (Thurs./Sat.), Ashley Fajkus (Fri./Sun.) & John Anthony Cavazos, Talia Hernandez, Landon Holub, Breeann Patek, Alexander Valdes, Kendra Vaughn, Kennedy Velasquez,

    MARZIPAN Kellie Gray, Katie Krueger, Hailey Regenbrecht & Kyle Coleman*

    PEPPERMINT Avery Fajkus & Vlad Glouchkov*

    MOTHER GINGER Honored Guests

    POLICHINELLES Sarah Bellanger, Bailey Cisneros, Kyleigh Douglas, Elliett Hanes, Madison High, Mikayla Patek, Ella Porr, Madeleine Royael

    WALTZ OF THE FLOWERS

    DEW DROP FAIRY & CAVALIER - Elisabeth High & Michael Landez*

    ROSEBUDS & CAVALIERS - Brandy Leos & Ernesto Briones, Taylor Palacios & Kyle Coleman*

    FLOWERS -Brooke Alexander, Reagan Bordovsky, Taylor Cole, Tabitha Daugherty, Julia Dotter, Kaitlyn Haschke,

    Talia Hernandez, Breeann Patek, Angelica Pina, Emily Turpin, Kendra Vaughn, Kennedy Velasquez

    GARLAND GIRLS - Haley Grantland, Paisley Humpert, Katelyn Perez, Brooke Reaves

    GRAND PAS DE DEUX Nao Kusuzaki & Ian Cassady* (Thurs./Fri.), Sara Webb & Ian Cassady* (Sat./Sun.)

    APOTHEOSIS - Ensemble

    HONORED GUEST MOTHER GINGERS Jill Lau (Thursday educational matinee AM),Kim Barker (Thursday educational matinee PM), Pastor Andrew Schroer (Thursday evening), Diane Billo (Friday educational matinee AM), Larry Long (Friday educational matinee PM), Kelly High (Friday evening), Sgt. Glen Garrett (Saturday matinee), Travis Tadlock (Saturday evening), Thomas Yantis (Sunday matinee)

    *Guest Artists

    ARTISTIC & PRODUCTION STAFF

    ARTISTIC STAFF

    Founding Artistic Director - Debbe Busby

    Artistic Director - Brenda Serrata Tally

    Assistant Artistic Director - Kelli Klein

    Managing Director - Kim Cole

    D.E.M.I. Instructor - Courtney Bosier

    PRODUCTION STAFF

    TECHNICAL DIRECTOR - Jim Busby

    STAGE MANAGER - Amanda Rocha

    WARDROBE DIRECTOR - Debbe Busby

    PROPERTIES DESIGN - David Edward Clifton, David Atmar Smith, Donnie Coker, Richard & Donna Appelt,

    Steve Barger, Amy Hicks, Roberto Llano, Doug Newbern, James Johnson, Kurt Regenbrecht, Ronnie Fajkus

    SCENERY - Roger LaVoie Design

    LIGHTING DESIGN - Jim Busby, Gary Holmes

    LIGHTING ENGINEER - Gary Holmes

    SOUND Curtis Short

    SEAMSTRESSES - Debbe Busby*, Jacqueline Vaughn, Vallery Daugherty, Bernadette Bellanger,

    Jennifer Southern, Jennifer Short, Tisa Cole, Kelly Humpert, Kristie Dicken, Elizabeth Grubbs

    MAKE-UP - Shelly Tharp*, Susanna Reaves, Tammie Patek, Kathleen Grones

    PROPERTIES - Iris Leos, Heather Fajkus, Carrie Palacios, Kara Haschke,

    Linda Hernandez, Veronica Perez, Susannah Porr, Carla Hanes

    SET CREW - Jim Busby*, Carl DuBose, Fathers of Dancers

    PUBLIC RELATIONS - Cari Laza, Brenda Tally

    BOUTIQUE/HOSPITALITY - Beth High*, Amy Krueger, Sharon Elder, Kay McCoy,

    Elsa Pina, Mary Cisneros, Rhonda Turpin

    PROGRAM AD SALES/USHERS - Amy Alexander*, Jackie West, Marci Grantland, Renee Bordovsky

    PROGRAM - carilaza designs

    EDUCATIONAL OUTREACH/PRELUDE PRESENTATION COORDINATORS - Madeline Dodson*, Amy Royael

    T-SHIRTS - carilaza designs

    GROUP PHOTOGRAPHER - Images by Kevin Jordan

    ACTION PHOTOGRAPHER PC Photography - Jennifer Short

    VIDEO Video Data Services

    STAGE CREW Victoria East & West High School Dance Students, Parents & Friends of Dancers

    VOLUNTEER COORDINATORS - Kim McKittrick*, Mary Regenbrecht

    *denotes chairperson

    Victoria Ballet Theatre salutes those advertisers who support the arts.

    We urge you to patronize these businesses and let them know you

    appreciate their commitment to our community.

Elisabeth High has danced since she was 2 years old. The 17-year-old St. Joseph's High School senior will have a lead role in the Victoria Ballet Theatre's production of "The Nutcracker" as a snowflake and Dew Drop Fairy.

"I love sharing my talent and letting the audience see my joy," she said.

Although, the National Honor Society student is learning to master her craft, she gives God the glory.

The Tchaikovsky classic production is a High family affair. Her parents and five siblings are all involved in the beloved Christmas ballet in various functions.

The High family and other fine arts lovers have all donated their time to put on the Victoria Ballet Theatre's largest production of the year, which will begin Thursday and run through the weekend at the Leo J. Welder Center.

Brenda Tally, the ballet group's artistic director, said 40 senior company members and 110 others comprise the cast and crew.

Special guest dancers from Houston, Austin, San Antonio, New York and Ohio will also perform.

Tally said rehearsals for some started as early as August.

"The Nutcracker" is a classic holiday tradition that keeps her interest, she said. "I never get tired of the music."

Kelly High, Elisabeth's father, said he's grown an appreciation for fine arts through his daughters' involvement.

Kelly High said he is excited for his daughter's opportunity to dance since she's been so dedicated from the beginning.

"It's like a little kid watching a varsity game, growing up and finally getting a chance to be quarterback," said the proud father.

The proud dad said his daughters have learned there are no shortcuts to being successful in ballet, and that same attitude carries through in real life.

The dad is the owner of High-Brehm Hats & Western Wear, and he will play the honored guest role of Mother Ginger, with a western flair, he said.

In previous years, he's declined the offer. But for Elisabeth's senior year production, he surrendered.

"I didn't have any fight left in me," he said jokingly.

The father of six said he would survive because his predecessors have.

Beth High agreed with her husband's sentiments, and said her children have become better students because of their commitment to dance.

Mrs. High said she is the chairperson of VBT's Boutique Committee. Her two sons, Harrison High, 15, and Hudson High, 21, who are into athletics will help take down the set.

She said that the sisters support them in their endeavors. "It's important for everyone to support one another," said Mrs. High. "It's part of being a family."

Sisters Madison High, 9, and Ellison High, 7, also have parts in this year's production.

Debbe Busby, founder of Busby Dancenter has known Elisabeth since she was a brand new ballerina.

"She's a driven and focused young lady," Busby said. "It's a pleasure to be with her not only as a dancer, but as a human being."

Elisabeth also teaches children at Busby's school.

This Snowangel's slippers have followed in her older sister's footsteps.

"She taught me to stick with it," Elisabeth said of her sister Audrey High, 20, who also performed in the Nutcracker.

Audrey is now is on a dance scholarship a Southern Methodist University.

Elisabeth said she would also like to go to school for dance as well as special education.

The National Honor Society student said she wants to teach children with special needs to dance. She said she's had practice working with autistic children.

"I just love seeing the big smile that comes across their face when they can express themselves," Elisabeth said.

Although she's been in "The Nutcracker" 11 other times before this, each time is a refreshing experience.

"I've taken different parts, and each is a new way to tell the story," Elisabeth said.

Starting on Thursday, ballet lovers will get a chance to see Elisabeth dance in group and solo performances. She said it's a privilege to usher in the holidays doing what she enjoys, dance.

"I love getting in the Christmas spirit," she said. "People all over Victoria can be a part of it."