An area Christmas tradition will come to an end this week when Brookwood Elementary School holds its final productions of The Nutcracker.
After 16 years, the last two public performances of the children's musical by Brookwood Elementary pupils under music teacher Johnny Carr will be held Tuesday and Wednesday.
"It's going to be an emotional night," Carr said. "For 16 years, it's been a major part of my life."
Along with volunteer dance choreographer April Storm, the owner of the Martinez-Evans Dance Studio, Carr works on the production for fourth-graders about six months each year, he said
"I really don't know what I'm going to do with myself next fall," Storm said.
She said she often has chance encounters with former Brookwood pupils who remember her from working on the show, which is based on the popular ballet.
"That's the joy of it," she said. "I'm going to miss meeting the kids."
The long-time tradition is coming to an end because Carr plans to retire at the end of this school year. He'll continue teaching at Brookwood part time but will no longer direct the annual fourth-grade play.
This week's 35-minute performances will feature 100 pupils in full costume dancing, singing and acting on the Brookwood stage.
"We still use the original classical music by Tchaikovsky, but the play has been modified for children, so they can understand better what's going on," Carr said. "I've had many adults tell me, after they saw the show, that it was the first time that they really understood the story of The Nutcracker."
Essentially, the musical recounts the story of Clara, a young girl, and a dream she has about her nutcracker Christmas present.
The Nutcracker will be performed at 7 p.m. Tuesday and at 9:40 a.m. Wednesday in the Brookwood Elementary auditorium.
For more information, call the school at (706) 855-7538.
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