Christmas Mystery Celebrates Its 20th Season with performance at Avila

The Dramatic Truth Ballet Theater performs a Christian version of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker, December 15-17.

Twelve-year-old Daniel Day Academy student Kimberly Terry will perform the part of Clara in Dramatic Truth Ballet Theater’s Christian rendition of the Nutcracker Ballet. “The Mystery of Christmas” will  be performed December 15-17 at the Goppert Theater on the Avila University campus.

“Playing Clara is a dream come true for Kimberly and has been the role she has aspired to play most of her life,” says Liza Terry, Kimberly’s mother. Kimberly has been dancing at the Dramatic Truth Ballet Theater since she was four years old. She and her family live  at Mission Lake townhouses.

This year marks the 20th season of The Mystery of Christmas. The Christian retelling of the Christmas classic had its debut in Kansas City and was performed by Dramatic Truth Ballet Theatre, South Kansas City’s premiere ballet company. “As television and cinema continue to push traditional family boundaries, it can be a challenge finding entertainment that will be appropriate and enjoyable for parents and their kids,” says Doug Dimmel.  The Mystery of Christmas was created to appeal to families looking for spiritually significant events to build positive holiday memories.

As in The Nutcracker, this production includes the classical music of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker and central figure Clara has a magical dream. However she doesn’t dream about the Sugarplum Fairy or snowflakes, but rather she travels back in time to Bethlehem.  She witnesses angels, shepherds, and kings converging on a humble stable where she discovers The Mystery of Christmas.  And in honor of its 20th anniversary, all former cast members of Dramatic Truth Ballet Theater will be invited to the stage at intermission for a 20-year reunion bow.

Playing the role of God for his 16th season is Marc Wayne (Underground Railroad).  Guest choreographer, Tobin James (Martha Graham Dance Company), has added her contemporary expertise to dance representing  “Africa”.  The Mystery of Christmas has numerous talented performers from all over the metro as well as dancers that have relocated in Kansas City to be a member of Dramatic Truth Ballet Theatre.  The most recent addition to the company is Marrissa Richardson, from the Charlotte (North Carolina) Ballet. She is featured as the Holy Spirit in the Grand Pas de deux. Other members of the company relocating to Kansas City are Monica Berghout from London, England, Caitlin Gregorczyk from West Virginia, Kimberly Watson from Ottawa, Canada, Amanda Moder and Audra Wilson from Minnesota.

The production’s birth was in Nashville, TN in 1987.  Artistic Director Liz Dimmel was driving to the Tennessee Performing Arts Theater to see her daughter perform in The Nutcracker, with the Nashville Ballet.  Liz casually mentioned to her husband Doug, “Wouldn’t it be great if there was a version of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker that actually told the Christmas story?”  By the time they arrived home that evening the vision for The Mystery of Christmas became a reality.

Tickets are $25 at the door, $20 in advance. For more information, visit www.dramatictruth.org or call 816-767-9222.

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