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Cast members in NECCA's production of the Nutcracker practice their solos on Tuesday, Dec. 8.

BRATTLEBORO >> Take a magical journey into the 1920s with this year's production of New England Center for Circus Arts' "The Flying Nut: A Swingin' Circus." This is the seventh year NECCA has presented a circus version of the classic holiday tale, and the second year it is set to take place in the larger, higher-ceilinged auditorium of the Austine Gym. Every year professional level and advanced youth students from NECCA tell the story of "The Nutcracker" in a different light. This year students of the circus arts, who are also trained in theater and in dance, will perform high-flying trapeze, tumbling, juggling, and stilt-walking acts, transporting the audience back to an era when flappers and big band swing music was big. Eighty performers in total will grace the stage. The younger students entertain as urchins and orphans costumed in patched depression-era tweed clothing, a sharp contrast to the older students taking the stage as flappers adorned in color and glitter enjoying a happier world. Advanced troupe members will perform a "Tchaikovsky Reimagined," and Spanish- and Russian-theme dance in swinging'20s style transport the audience around the world, touching base with the traditional Nutcracker a bit.

Two former students of NECCA, will join the cast. Award-winning juggler and coach Thom Wall who recently toured with Cirque du Soleil will bring his own unique form of juggling, acrobatic, and theatrical and comedic stunts to the stage, along with Chloe Wallier – bottle walking, clown/trapeze artist – also returns to the NECCA stage for a guest appearance.


"The Flying Nut" is directed by Aimee Hancock and choreographed by several coaches of NECCA, giving the show a nice variety in style and presentation. Soshanna Bass choreographed the main dance segment that is seen throughout the show, tying the story together neatly.

The new space at the Austine Gymn has doubled the performing and audience capabilities and an added plus is that there are no columns blocking the view, a problem in their former location at the Cotton Mill Hill. There are higher rigging points allowing for more thrilling trapeze routines, and with the extra space seating in circus-style semicircle around the performing stage, and 3-step bleachers affords better visibility also. New this year are soft VIP seats on floor that may be reserved in advance.

Travel back in time with the Sugar Plum Fairies and all the other characters you know and love for an all-ages show featuring performers of all levels from NECCA's Youth Performance troupes to their Professional Training programs. Many of the Youth Performance Troupe tour during the summer with Circus Smirkus. Adult performers from all over the world attend NECCA's acclaimed professional training program. Graduates of the program are on tour with Cirque du Soleil, Ringing Bros. & Barnum and Bailey, 7 Fingers, Circa and other top shows. Come see them now before they embark on their professional journeys!

NECCA's Executive Director Serenity Smith Forchion said, "I think that it is a unique and exciting way to enjoy the Nutcracker."

"The Flying Nut: A Swingin' Circus" performances are Friday, Dec 18 at 7 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 19, and Sunday, Dec. 20 at 1 and 5 p.m. Tickets are $8 to $25 each, children under 2 years old are free. Fickets are available online at or by calling 802-254-9780. Advance reservations are recommended.

The Austine Gym is located at 209 Austine Dr, just off Maple Avenue in Brattleboro,

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Contact Cicely M. Eastman at 802-254-2311 ext. 261.