Youth theater company puts on ‘Nutcracker’


Neighbors | Natalie Scott.Anna Salupo, a student at St. Christine's School, played Marie Stahlbaum for the AfterSchool Players production of The Nutcracker Dec. 7.


Neighbors | Natalie Scott.Eighth-grade student at St. Charles School, Joan Reardon, took on roles as student director and light and sound operator for the AfterSchool Players performance of The Nutcracker Dec. 7.


Neighbors | Natalie Scott.Johnny George, in the role of Godfather Drosselmeier, hid in a box prior to the performance to be able to jump out and suprise everyone at the AfterSchool Player's production of The Nutcracker Dec. 7.


Neighbors | Submitted.The entire AfterSchool Players cast worked hard to make their Dec. 7 performance a great play for family and friends to see.


Neighbors | Natalie Scott.Allie Sayhoun (left), St. Charles School, had roles as both Mother Stahlbaum and the Doll, while Clark Hergenrother, St. Charles School, took on roles as Father Stahlbaum and the Mouse King for The Nutcracker Dec. 7.


Neighbors | Natalie Scott.Shannon Reardon (left) and AfterSchool Arts LLC founder and director, Jennifer Kuczek, auctioned off Nutcracker figurines that were made by the cast prior to the performance Dec. 7.


The AfterSchool Players, a group of children who attend AfterSchool Arts LLC, recently put on a musical based on E.T.A. Hoffman’s “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King” with music from Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker Suite.”

The Players last production was in October and they had been working on performing “The Nutcracker” since then.

“The AfterSchool Players consists of kids that are ages 5-13 years old and they are led by Jennifer Kuczek, who has been involved in the theater from a very young age,” said Danielle Surko, a recent addition to the AfterSchool Arts LLC team. “We met at a different after-school and Jennifer saw that her son, Jack, was not really into sports like some other kids and she really wanted to make a place that kids like him could go and be themselves. “

It is obvious from talking to the children involved in the AfterSchool Players that being involved in the theater has been very beneficial.

“I have more stage presence and more confidence in school,” said Joan Reardon, an eighth-grader at St. Charles School and student director for the Players.

“Not only can I go on stage, but I can go back stage and know that I can do everything there, too. I love it — I get to meet so many kids from different schools. I definitely want to do drama club in high school.”

The AfterSchool Players puts on a production roughly once every other month. The next showing will be “Just Like Us” Feb. 22-23. For more information on AfterSchool Arts LLC or on future shows, visit

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