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Mudlark Theater will present “The Nutcracker,” adapted by Christina Lepri and directed by Artistic Director Andrew Biliter, Dec. 14-16 and Dec. 20-22 at the Noyes Street Theater, 927 Noyes St.

Marie, in Ms. Lepri’s adaptation, is not like other children. While her peers have outgrown their dolls and stuffed animals, she still believes her toys are alive, and that belief causes tension with her family.

But one Christmas Eve, a series of strange gifts sends Marie on an adventure that proves all her suspicions and places her at the center of a struggle for the future of Toy Land and for the safety of her friends and family.

“Everyone knows the story of “The Nutcracker” ballet,” says Mr.  Biliter. “She gets a toy. The toy gets big. They fight some mice – the end. But our version trades beautiful dancing for characters, detail and depth. You get to know Marie – not Clara in this one – her quirky family, and her larger-than-life toys.”

Mudlark’s production, first staged in 2015, delves into the origins of the story’s iconic characters. The audience will see how a boy becomes a Nutcracker, why the seven-headed Mouse Queen wants revenge and how one girl’s imagination creates an entire world.

“I was drawn to the character of Marie as someone who uses her creativity and ingenuity to become a hero in her own story,” says playwright Ms. Lepri. “While her parents and family disapprove of what they see as her inability to grow up, her imagination is what she uses to save the day… although the shoe certainly helps.”

The cast includes youth actors Alexandra Price, Amanda Biggs, Amariah Bull, AsenSa Sadiki, Audrey Levisay, Ben Henderson, Caroline Streicker, Cullen  Dunbar, Estevan Torres, Eva Chernovksy, Hanna Lindroth, Jackson Stroth, Leah Johnson, Lila Portis, Louise Baer, Noa Silins, Oscar Baliga, PQ Hletko, Sam K alil, Sianna Waters and Sophie Brown and adult actors John Taflan, Emily Wills, Nik Whitcomb, and Krista D’Agostino.

Performances are at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 3 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets can be purchased at