"Dear E. Thomalen,
"We performed Clara's Christmas Dreams at the Center Church in Windham on December 6 and 7th. I worked with a choreographer who has been doing the Nutcracker Ballet for several seasons. In this collaboration we thought we would try something different and Clara's Christmas Dreams really seemed to fit the bill. This presentation was performed by young people with teens playing the adult parts. We added choreography for the Mouse, Snow Queen and Christmas Treats sections. It was the perfect holiday show and very well received.
"We are considering doing another version next year with adults and children."
Director/Producer - December, 2008 Production in the Catskills
"Let me start by congratulating you on a job well done. The play was well received in our community and we continue to hear compliments about the performances. Two comments have stuck with me: 1) one woman came up to me after one performance and stated she could not believe something so cute could have been directed by a man and 2) one young lady had been taken to see a performance of The Lion King in Atlanta shortly before she saw one of our performances and she thought our play was better than The Lion King.
"I made a choice to cast all parts with young performers. The oldest turned 18 during the run and the youngest was four. The biggest challenge to the cast with speaking parts was mastering the "poetic" dialog. Each actor did a superb job and the dialog flowed after a few weeks of rehearsal...We had a cast of 40 children for the performances. This included the speaking parts, party guests, mice, soldiers, snowflakes, and dancing fairies.
"Again, thank you for a job well done. This play was a pleasure to direct. Feel free to provide my contact information to any other groups performing this play if you feel I can be of any assistance to them. I apologize for the length of this email, but I wanted to share as much as possible with you."
Director - December, 2008 Production in Calhoun, GA
A reader's comment: "The dream sequences interspersed with the 'real' illness scenes made sense of the ballet story line to me. The characters were simple and clear, appropriate for a fable/fairytale. I enjoyed the dialogue in verse...I found Clara's fight for her life and character journey stronger than in the ballet...".