The Nutcracker Ballet Performers
Mackenzie Hale (Clara)
Mackenzie has been dancing for 12 years performing and competing with 4 companies earning numerous awards/scholarships including Joffrey Ballet, Kentucky Ballet, and OKC Ballet. A founding member the Pensacola Youth Ballet, she held the roll of Jiminy Cicket-Pinocchio. A featured dancer at LaBelle Performing Arts, she took to the stage at Mr. Mole in Thumbelina and Bagheera in Jungle Book. A sophomore at Tate High School, she is a member ACE - Chamber Orchestra, Tate Showband of the South & Tate Chaparrals (Colorguard). She has held first chair with Violin and also plays viola and cello. A member of All County Orchestra for 2 years, this past year earning the spot of Concert Master yet again. She is hoping to march her first year on DCI with Southwind Drum & Bugle Corps this summer. Mackenzie would like to pursue a career as a Sports Trainer and hopes to one day march with the Boston Crusaders. She is honored to share the stage tonight with such amazing and talented students!
Noah Witner (Nutcracker Prince)
Noah Witner is a 12th grade honors student at Hazleton Area High School. He has been participating in theatre since his youth, and will certainly continue to do so for as long as he can. He has played various roles, including: Cogsworth (Beauty and the Beast), Kyle (Legally Blonde), Peter Cratchit (A Christmas Carol), Snoopy (You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown), Shrek (Shrek: The Musical), Bert (Mary Poppins), St. Aphrodisius (The Hunchback of Notre Dame), Dr. Josiah Bartlett (1776), Jean Valjean (Les Miserables), and many ensemble positions throughout his theatrical endeavors. He is also a youth academy counselor at DM Performance Works Factory Theater, where he is actively involved with teaching children various skills that they can use both on and off the stage. He is also a dancer at Drama in Motion Studio of Performing Arts, and is a musician as well, playing both piano and guitar. He is also active in FBLA, the Psychology Club, the HAHS Drama Club, Mock Trial, and more.
Ashley Sabia (Sugarplum Fairy / Snowflake)
Ashley Sabia is a junior at the Hazleton Area Academy of Science. She has studied dance for 9 years and continues lessons at Drama in Motion with Joelle Witner and Phyllis Colombo. Ashley is also a member of the Hazleton Area Varsity Competition Cheerleading Team. Ashley has been in a number of DMPW Factory shows including Peter Pan, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast where she played Babette/Beau, and 2018’s Nutcracker, in which she assumed the role of Dew Drop. Ashley is very excited to be playing the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy and would like to thank the entire cast and crew for making this show so wonderful!
Melina Ayala (Young Clara)
Melina is a 3rd grade student at Freeland Elementary/Middle School. She lives in Hazle Township with her little sister Norah, her Mom, her Memaw, and a very spoiled sheltie named “Crunchy.” Melina has been studying dance for six years with Drama In Motion. Her favorite styles of dance are ballet, tap, and jazz. When she isn’t dancing, Melina enjoys reading the “Whatever After” series by Sarah Mlynowski.
Tim Solarek (Herr Drosselmeier / Mother Ginger)
Tim Solarek is a NEPTA nominated (Sam Carmichael) veteran actor. He recently played Jerry in Zoo story at PTPA and Gary peter Lefkowicz in DMPWs “I Hate Hamlet”. Other recents include Tom in PTPA’s That Championship Season and E.K. Hornbeck in the PTPAs “Inherit the Wind”. Some of Tim's favorite roles include Lt. Kaffee (A Few Good Men), Phillip Lombard (And Then There Were None), Sam Byck (Assassins) and King Phillip of France (The Lion in Winter) and Aldolpho (Drowsy Chaperone) He is currently an acting coach and co-director of DM Performance Works Youth Academy.
Kenzie Youngcourt (Dewdrop / Snowflake)
Kenzie Youngcourt (Dewdrop / Snowflake) is a 9th grade honors student at the Hazleton Area Academy of Sciences. She belongs to Reach HEI, HOSA and SADD. This is Kenzie’s first time performing in the Nutcracker. She has been dancing for the past 12 years, taking dance such as ballet, lyrical, contemporary, hip hop, and tap. Kenzie joined the Drama in Motion family this year and is also a member of the Motion Makers dance competition team and Explosion dance team.
Emily Trella (Arabian Soloist)
Emily Trella is a freshman at Hazleton Area High School. She has been studying dance for 12 years and currently dance at Drama In Motion under the direction of Joelle Witner. Emily is part of the Hazleton Area Varsity Competition cheerleading team. Emily is glad to be in the Nutcracker for the 2nd time.
Madison Roberts (Hot Chocolate Soloist)
Madison Roberts is a 14 year old freshman at Hazleton Area High School. She has 9 years experience of dancing with Drama in Motion. She was part of the cast in the production of Mamma Mia produced by DM Performance Works. Madison is a advid athlete who participates in both track and volleyball. She is extremely excited to display her talents as she takes on a lead role for the 2nd time in DM Performance works production of The Nutcracker.
Tamina Winkler (Snow Queen)
Tamina Winkler is a 9th grade honor student at the Hazleton Area Academy of Sciences. She began her classical ballet training at The Degnan Ballet Center in Wilkes-Barre at the age of 10, and currently studying at Keystone Ballet Academy under the direction of Emily Finer. She has been receiving additional training at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet (CPYB), Pennsylvania Youth Ballet (BGLV), Hariyama Ballet NYC, and Megumi Ballet School in Japan. This is her 5th season performing The Nutcracker and she has danced as Spanish Hot Chocolate, Chinese Tea, Snow Corps, Soldier Doll, and Russian (Trepak) as a soloist.She is very excited to perform as Snow Queen and Demi Lead of Waltz of the Flowers in DMPW production!
Melina Gregory (Marzipan Soloist)
Melina Gregory (Marzipan) is 12 years old and is a 7th grade student at Drums Elementary/Middle School. Melina will be dancing in this year's production of the Nutcracker Ballet, as Lead Marzipan, a Snowflake, and a Flower. She was previously seen on the DMPW stage during their 2018 production of the Nutcracker Ballet where she danced the roles of Young Clara and as a Polichinelle. Melina was most recently seen on the DMPW stage as part of the ensemble during their production of "Frozen, Jr". Melina enjoys playing the clarinet and ukulele, she is a member of her school drama club and sings in her school chorus. She also enjoys playing soccer and basketball and is in her tenth year of dancing ballet, jazz and hip hop.
Emily Adams (Lead Candy Cane)
Emily Adams is excited to be dancing as both Marzipan and lead Candy Cane for her 2nd performance in the Nutcracker. She is 13 years old and a 7th grade student at Valley Middle School. This is her 5th theater show with DMPW. She was a fairy in Peter Pan Jr. and ensemble in Frozen Jr. as well as Matilda the Musical earlier this year. She also performed as a candy cane in last year’s Nutcracker. She loves dancing and spending time with her friends and family. She has been taking dance classes since she was 2 years old, and currently dances at Drama in Motion Studio of Performing Arts.
Gemma Smolenak (Youth Corps)
Gemma Smolenak is a 5th grade student at The Berwick Middle School where she enjoys studying Chorus, Spanish, and Industrial Arts. Gemma is also a student at Drama in Motion training in Acro, Ballet, and Irish. Gemma enjoys reading, wearing headbands 24/7, and spending time with her family. She is thrilled to be dancing for the second time in The Nutcracker Ballet as a mouse, party kid, Polinchinelle, and Candy Cane.
Kailyn MacCollum (Youth Corps)
Kailyn MacCollum (Party Boy, Mouse, Polichinelle, and Candy Cane) is a 10-year-old 4th grade honors student at Drums Elementary Middle School. Kailyn enjoys both dance and theater. This is her 2nd Nutcracker performance. She was last seen as Simba in Lion King Kids at PTPA. A few of her more notable roles are: Jane Banks in Mary Poppins Jr. (NCP), Lead Student Alice in Matilda the Musical (DMPW), Young Elsa in Frozen Jr. (DMPW), Babette in Beauty and the Beast Jr. (NCP) and Tweedle Dee in Alice in Wonderland Jr. (DMPW). Kailyn currently takes vocal and dance lessons (ballet, jazz, & acro) with Drama in Motion. Kailyn is part of the Drums Elementary Middle School Chorus, and she was just selected to participate as a member of Drums Select Chorus. She also enjoys taking flute lessons. Kailyn and her family extend a special “Thank You” to her Drama in Motion family for all of their hard work and dedication.
Olivia Moore (Youth Corps)
Olivia Moore is 9 years old and a 4th Grade student at Holy Family Academy. Over the past 5 years, Olivia has studied Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Acro, Irish, HipHop, Production, and Voice under the direction of Joelle Witner and Phyllis Columbo at Drama in Motion. Olivia is very excited to take part in her second production of the Nutcracker where she will be dancing in the party scene, and appearing in the roles of Polichinelle, Toy Soldier, and Chinese Tea. She has also appeared in DMPW performances of the Little Mermaid, Jr. and Beauty and the Beast, Jr. Olivia enjoys participating in her school’s Safety Patrol, playing with her American Girl dolls, drawing, cooking, and having fun with her brothers and kitten.
Michella Hockenbury (Youth Corps)
Michella Hockenbury is new to DMPW as this is her first performance in the classical ballet of the Nutcracker. Michella will be dancing in the scenes of the Party Girls, the Toy Soldiers, and the Angels. Michella is excited to part of this year’s production of The Nutcracker. Michella is 7 years old and attends 2nd grade at Rice Elementary in the Crestwood School District. She cheered on the Mountain Top Jr. Comets Cheer Squad and competed in group cheerleading competitions. Michella is in her 5th year of dance with Drama In Motion and has studied ballet, tap, jazz, hip-hop, cheer and acro. Michella enjoys spending time with family and friends and spends her summers swimming and reading her favorite Amelia Bedelia books.
Faith Fields (Youth Corps)
Faith Fields is an 11 year old 5th Grade Honor student at Commonwealth Charter Academy. Faith is excited to be dancing in this years performance of The Nutcracker. She has been dancing since she was 3 yrs old and was taking ballet and jazz at the Performing Arts Center, Conyngham. She is currently taking ballet with Drama in Motion, under the direction of Phyllis Colombo. Faith just left the Pride Lands of Africa with her performance in The Lion King Kids with PTPA. This past summer, Faith was in DMPW’s Frozen Jr where she performed with the ensemble in Arendelle. Faith has also performed in Peter Pan, Jr (DMPW), where she played Jukes, the Pirate; Allana, the Mermaid and an Indian. Faith in Agrabah last summer where she performed in Aladdin Jr, (DMPW). She also performed in Alice in Wonderland, Jr as the KING of HEARTS. She also played various ensemble roles in The Lion King Jr, with DMPW. Faith loves performing, dancing, singing, playing piano and working with her cast mates.
Lauren Somerdak (Youth Corps)
Lauren Somerdak is 12 years old and is a 7th grade student at Valley Elementary/Middle School. Lauren will be dancing in this year's production of The Nutcracker Ballet, as a Candy Cane and Polichinelle. She was most recently seen on the DMPW stage during their 2019 production of "Frozen Jr.," as middle Anna. Lauren was part of the production of The Nutcracker in 2018 as a Candy Cane dancer. Lauren is a cheerleader for her school, she enjoys playing soccer and is in her ninth year dancing Modern, Jazz, and hip hop with PAC. In her spare time you can find Lauren dancing and singing wherever she can.
Kathleen Lombardo (Youth Corps)
Kathleen Lombardo, Angel She is 7 years old, and a 2nd grader at Valley Elementary/Middle-school. Her hobbies include dance, horses, swimming, and “working” at her Poppie’s store. She performed as part of the Ensemble in Frozen Jr. this summer with D. M. Performance Works. She is very excited for her first Nutcracker!
Cassidy Witner (Youth Corps)
Cassidy Witner, age 5 is the daughter of Rachel and Jeremy Witner. She lives with her parents and Brother, Kaden, in Weatherly, PA and attends Zions 4yo Nursery School. Cassidy is in her 3rd year of dance at Drama in Motion. She loves all sorts of animals, especially cats and wants to be a Veterinarian when she gets older. She loves to dance, sing and make people smile. This is her first time in the Nutcracker, and definitely not her last! She will be playing one of the children in Act 1 party scene and an Angel in Act 2! Watch for her!
Sarah Yanuzzi (Youth Corps)
Sarah Yanuzzi (Spanish Hot Chocolate) - Sarah is 14 years old and is in the 9th grade at MMI. She has taken dance lessons for 10 years and is currently taking dance at Drama in Motion. This is Sarah's first year in ballet. She is excited to be a part of this amazing production and hopes everyone enjoys the show!
Mary Yanuzzi (Youth Corps)
Mary Yanuzzi (Spanish Hot Chocolate) - Mary is 13 years old and is in the 7th grade at Holy Family Academy. She has taken dance lessons since she was 3 years old and is currently taking dance at Drama in Motion. This is Mary's first year in ballet. She also takes vocal lessons from Joelle Witner, and is active at Drama in Motion Performance Works Factory Theater. She is happy to be a part of this production of Nutcracker and hopes that everyone enjoys the show!
Liana Winkler (Youth Corps)
Liana Winkler (Polichinelle) is a 5th grade student at McAdoo- Kelayres Elementary/Middle School. She started classical ballet training at the age of seven at The Degnan Ballet Center in Wilkes-Barre and began studying at Keystone Ballet Academy in West Hazleton in 2018 under the direction of Emily Finer. She has attended various Summer Ballet training programs including Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet (CPYB). This is her 3rd Nutcracker performance and very excited to dance on stage as a Polichinelle!
Sarah Greco (Youth Corps)
Sarah Greco (Snowflake, Spanish Hot Chocolate, and Flower) Sarah is 13 years old and an 8th grade student with Seton Catholic Homeschool curriculum. This is her 3rd year dancing with Drama in Motion. She studies Ballet, Jazz, Acro, Irish and is part of the Motion Makers dance team. Sarah was also in many theater productions with DM Performance Works, Frozen-ensemble, Peter pan-Tinker Bell, Aladdin-Omar, Alice In Wonderland- Cheshire cat, The Lion King- Sarabi and Mamma Mia-ensemble. She also takes voice lessons under the direction of Joelle Witner. She studies cello with the Hazleton Philharmonic. Sarah is very excited to be doing the Nutcracker for the 2nd time.
Caylie Sima (Youth Corps)
Caylie Sima is in seventh grade. She loves ballet, painting, drawing, photography, and theatre. Caylie played middle Elsa in DMPW Frozen. This is her first time in the Nutcracker.
Mia Galbiati (Youth Corps)
Mia Galbiati is a 12 yr. old 6th grade honor roll student at Maple Manor Elementary/Middle School. She has been dancing since she was 5 years old at Performing Arts Center and now with Drama In Motion. This is her second year in the Nutcracker having played young Clara, and a Polichinelle in last yrs. production. She also takes hip-hop, and Irish dance. Her other interests include playing drums and violin, singing in her school chorus and basketball. This year she will be dancing as Marzipan and a flower.
Jada Nowak (Youth Corps)
Jada Nowak (Youth Corps) is a 2nd grade student at McAdoo Kelayres Elementary Middle School. In the last 5 years, Jada has studied jazz, tap, ballet, hip hop, cheer, and acro with Drama in Motion. Jada is very excited to take part in her first DMPW production of the Nutcracker where she will be appearing in the roles of, Party Girl, Toy Soldier, and Angel. In her free time, Jada enjoys spending time with her family, especially playing with her baby brother, Jace and her cats Shady and Sidney, dancing, drawing, coloring, and writing, being outside, reading, and helping her mom cook and bake. Jada can’t wait to shine on the stage with her cast mates and hopes everyone dances their hearts out!
Rachel Witner (Adult Corps)
Rachel Witner, age 34, from Weatherly, PA is playing an adult in Act 1 party scene. She is the mother of Cassidy Witner. Back in the day, Rachel danced for Phyllis Columbo for many years when her studio was formerly called, Hazleton Studio of Dance. This isn’t her first act in the Nutcracker, as a young girl, she danced as a Candy Cane. Her love for dance has not left her, as she has participated in Production numbers with Drama in Motion with her daughter for the last two years. Her daughter Cassidy is following right in her footsteps and she couldn’t be more proud. Rachel is a Physical Therapist for All Care Home Care, where she proudly serves the surrounding communities helping others get better and back on there feet.
Madison Youngcourt (Adult Corps)
Madison Youngcourt (Adult) is a freshman at Bloomsburg University where she majors in Early Childhood Education and minors in voice. Her credits include Jack’s Mother (Into the Woods), Oaken (Frozen Jr.), Bird Woman (Mary Poppins), Mrs. Millennium/Girl Cop (Urinetown), Old Woman (Les Miserables), and various ensemble roles. Next, Madison is Sponge U/S at the Grove Theatre. At Bloomsburg, Madison is a member of the Women’s Choir and Little Huskies, as well as an Office Assistant for the Professional Engagement center. Madison is a distinguished graduate of the Hazleton Area Academy of Sciences where she was a four year member of the Choir, a member of the Cougar Crooners, the treasurer of the Drama Club, a National Honor Society Inductee, and a lab assistant. She placed in PMEA District 9 Choir (Second Soprano) and takes voice lessons with Rachel Paden. Madison was named the Elk’s Club Student of the Month for January 2019.
Holly Marinock (Youth Corps)
Holly Marinock is 9 years old and is in 4th grade at Drums Elementary/Middle School.... This is her 2nd year doing the Nutcracker. Holly enjoys ballet and singing all of her favorite Disney songs.
Meagan McBride (Mouse King/Youth Corps)
Meagan McBride(Corps) Meagan will be playing The Mouse King. She will also be dancing in Spanish Hot Chocolate, Snow, and Flower. This is her 2nd performance with The Nutcracker . Meagan is 14 years old and is a 9th grade honor student at the Hazleton Area Academy of Science. She started dancing just over a year ago with Drama in Motion. Meagan takes Pointe Ballet, Irish, Jazz, and is in the competition group The Motion Makers. She also takes piano lessons from The DeMelfi School of Music. She is very honored and excited to be in The Nutcracker . She would like to thank everyone involved in The Nutcracker . Let’s all have a great time . See you at the show.
Erica Trella (Youth Corps)
Erica Trella is a 12th grade honors student at Hazleton Area High School. She has studied dance for 16 years and currently taking lessons at Drama in Motion Studio of Performing Arts, where she also helps as assistant teacher in tap classes. She was a part of DM Performance Works’s The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Mamma Mia and 2018’s Nutcracker. Erica is also active in many clubs at HAHS. Erica is very excited to be part of the show again this year. Enjoy the show and have a great holiday season!
Hope Bridges (Youth Corps)
Hope Bridges is a 13-year-old, eighth grade student at Maple Manor Elementary/Middle School. She is a member of the ecology club, art club, drama club and SADD. Hope enjoys choreographing dances in her spare time. She has studied various forms of dance for the past nine years, under the direction of Joelle Witner, Phyllis Columbo, and Melissa Wilkinson through Drama in Motion Studio of Performing Arts. She has also started to study vocal under the guidance of Joelle Witner. Hope is looking forward to performing in the Nutcracker again and wishes everyone a very Merry Christmas and Happy, Healthy New Year!
Gabrielle Kopczynskie (Youth Corps)
Gabrielle Kopczynskie is a sophomore at Hazleton Area Academy of Sciences. She currently dances at Drama in Motion Studio of Performing Arts. She was in two shows with the DM Performance Works Factory, Mamma Mia and Matilda. She was also in the production of Mary Poppins put on by the Hazleton Area Cougar Players. Gabrielle is a member of the FBLA. She is so excited for you to see the show!
Makena Soltis (Youth Corps)
Makena Soltis is very excited to be a part of The Nutcracker. This is her ninth production and she hopes to do many more. Makena is a seventh grade student at Holy Family Academy school. In her free time she enjoys dancing, listening to music, and hanging out with friends. Enjoy the show!
Faelynn Eddy (Youth Corps)
Faelynn has been taking ballet since she was 7 years old, and began serious training at 11 years old at Keystone Ballet Academy in Hazleton, PA. Faelynn is in 8th grade and attends Commonwealth Charter Academy.