TROY - Before Troy's Memorial Auditorium was built, former Troy Area School District Superintendent Robert Grantier told Sheryl Mondock about his hopes for the new building.

"The original goal was to bring drama and the arts back to Troy," Sheryl recalled. "At the time of the building of the auditorium, he wanted a nice place to showcase the talent in Troy and bring the arts back."

Sheryl, who is a teacher in the school district, and her daughter, Melinda, 19, are helping to fulfill that vision. As the owners of Melinda's School of Dance, they are presenting a production of "The Nutcracker Ballet" at Memorial Auditorium at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 1 in Troy.

Then, it will be presented at Straughn Auditorium at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8 in Mansfield.

Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for children 3-17, and free for children under 3 years old.

"We just want to give back to the community an entertaining, traditional classic in ballet," Sheryl said.

Of the 44 people in the production, 27 are from Bradford County, mainly from the Troy-Canton area.

The show features more than 175 different costumes. To save costs, Sheryl said she made most of them.

The performers are as young as 3 years old and some are college students. In addition, there are some adult dancers.

Troy residents will likely recognize the person playing the Nutcracker Prince and the Sugar Plum Prince. Kevin Malmrose, who was no stranger to the auditorium stage while attending Troy High School, will play both roles. Currently, he is a senior at Mansfield University and will graduate in December.

Melinda, who attends Elmira College for art education, will play the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Rat Queen while Ana Arreola, a student from Mansfield University, will be the Fire Doll in the party scene.

The lead role of Clara will be played by Laura Townsend, 14, of Lawrenceville. Also, the "Nutcracker" will be played by Madison Gleason, 6, from Pine City, N.Y.

Mariah Castle from Canton will be performing the part of Fritz, Clara's brother. The Pierrot Doll will be played by Caitlyn Six of Lawrenceville; the Columbine Doll, Cecilia Stallone of Wellsboro; the Jester Dolls, Taylor Johnson of Troy and Alana Castle of Canton; the Masha Doll, Lanaya Packard of Troy; and the King Rat Doll, Pamela Robbins of Canton

"I hope that they will be impressed with the talent and dancers, and how much hard work they (the dancers) put into performing," Sheryl said. She also hopes that people will appreciate ballet as an art form, and that the production "encourages more people to purse their passion in the arts and try ballet."

"We look forward to having people come out to support our dance studio and the arts in the Troy and Mansfield areas, and enjoy the holiday season with a classic form of entertainment."

Eric Hrin can be reached at (570) 297-5251; email: