December 16, 2013
Judith Kimball, PhD, OTR/L, professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy, was the master of ceremonies at two performances of Maine State Ballet’s “Backstage at the Nutcracker” at the Merrill Auditorium in Portland on December 3, 2013. Over 2,000 school children attended.
Kimball demonstrated many of the “secrets” behind this large production. Some of the things the children learned were: how to create snow indoors and how to shovel it, how to make the production’s Christmas tree appear to grow, the definitions of “backdrops” and “scrims,” the history of “The Nutcracker,” which was first performed in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1892, and about the many different occupations and over 300 people needed to put on the performance.
The students were surprised that there were no cars, TVs, computers, or movies in1892, and that entertainment was live theater, to which people traveled by horse and sleigh or buggy.
Kimball told the story of the ballet, and it was brought to life by the Maine State Ballet dancers.
Channel 8 produced a short news piece on the backstage event.