Whole lot of work, but it sure was fun. I helped dress and wrangle toy soldiers this year, along with my friend Kathy, whose daughter Erin also was a soldier. My duties this year included making sure the soldiers' rifles were in the right place at the right time, painting perfectly round red cheeks, and quickly switching top-knots to regular buns for the soldier girls who danced as Candy Canes in Act II. Whew.
Here's a shot of me with my rifles. (Or "riffles," according to the pre-edited stage mom instructions. Kathy, who teaches English at Butler Community College, thankfully fixed the error, but both of us called them "riffles" throughout the run of the show anyway.)
The photo is a little blurry, possibly because I walked very quickly with that bucket of guns.
Kathy, meanwhile, got to stress out about being in charge of the Nutcracker's sword. That sword is an extremely important prop -- second only, perhaps, to Clara's toy nutcracker -- so Kathy got a little neurotic about having to know exactly where it was at any given moment. Check out the way she looks in this photo (Kathy's on the left, and that's my dance-mom buddy Jenny in the middle):
And here's a parting shot of one of my absolute favorite moments in the Friends University "Nutcracker" production -- the snow scene. Sigh. Can't believe it's over already.