Redefining the Classroom

Nighttime woods revealed in LSSU spring ballet

Posted: April 14th, 2012

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. -- What really happens deep in the woods at night will be revealed during the Lake Superior State University dance production of "Les Fées de la Nuit," or "Fairies of the Night," which will be performed at 7:30 p.m. April 12-14 in the LSSU Arts Center auditorium-turned-mystical-forest.

Tickets for the production are $10 for adults, $5 for senior citizens and students with ID and $3 for children under 12. They are available online at and by calling 906-635-2602.

Prof. Deborah Choszczyk, who wrote, choreographed and will direct the family-friendly original story, said the ballet turns "once upon a time" into "now" in the deep recesses of our northern forests. She said inspiration for the ballet came while she was camping all summer in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and the Boundary Waters of northern Minnesota. Being surrounded by water, fire, woods, and the sounds of the night was the impetus for her story.

"The ballet includes dancing fairies, invading goblins, nymphs and sprites causing mischief, magic and mayhem, and taking things that humans won’t miss," Choszczyk said. The stage will be filled with the magic and talents of 30 dancers, many of whom won't be recognized by family and friends due to the talents of make-up artist Dan Choszczyk, who also built the set.

"Members of the LSSU Dance Company fill most of the principal roles and their passion for dance is what makes the story of this ballet come to life. I have entrusted it to them with confidence," Choszczyk said.

READY FOR THE BALLET – Members of the Lake State Dance Company will be among 30 dancers in the LSSU ballet "Les Fe'es de la Nuit" (Fairies of the Night) at 7:30 p.m., April 12-14, in the LSSU Arts Center auditorium. From l-r are: Stephanie Spurr, Noel Granger, Allisha Good, Alicia Berryhill, Kelsey Smith, Kitty Drockton, Angelica Salas, Katie Dickenshied, Rayann Basawa and Susan Drockton. (LSSU/Drew Putvin)

A print-quality copy of this photo is available at this link.

The story revolves around the star fairy, performed by Noel Granger, an international business and marketing major from Fraser. She is responsible for placing the stars in the heavens at night, a signal for the woodland fairies to dance and play. The goblins, led by Goblin King Eric Fleming, a fisheries and wildlife management major from Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., choose this night to invade, stealing the stars and putting a stop to all future dancing and merry-making.

Wild Rose Fairy, performed by Kitty Drockton, an elementary education major from Sault Ste. Marie, greets the audience, allowing them to see the fairy world. She is joined by Violet Fairy, played by Katie Dickenshied, an elementary education major from Munising, and Sorrel Fairy, performed by Alicia Berryhill, a fine arts/dance major from Onekema. The three will guide the audience through the story.

"One of my goals for this production was to include as many LSSU students in the process as possible," Choszczyk said. As a result, Dena Bliss, a fine arts major from Kent City, created the design for the poster and program. Brian Jean, a literature major from Sault Ste. Marie, wrote one of the musical selections and the show's music was arranged by Brian Kloosterman, a fine arts studies major from Sault Ste. Marie. Kristen Boyea, a liberal arts major from Cheboygan, helped design the fairies' wings and will also dance as a goblin. Drew Putvin, a geology major from Flushing, created a photographic record of all rehearsals. Students helped create the flowers, build and paint the props, set dressing, and fairies' wings, and some created their own costumes.

Fairies and sprites of all types, all with their own magic touch, enhance the story. They include:
Angelica Salas, creative writing; Jill Parker, criminal justice; Kelsey Smith, early childhood education; Olivia Francis, exercise science; Sarah Becks, secondary education; Taryn MacInnis, business and Susan Drockton, all of Sault Ste. Marie
Kristin Thompson, paramedic technology, Oxford
Rayann Basawa, nursing, Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.
Allisha Good, secondary education, Prescott
Melissa Lehman, nursing, Comstock Park
Dan Walker, computer science, Rockford
Mandy Irwin, forensic chemistry, Cedar Springs
Angela Beethem, early childhood education, Cheboygan.

Goblins will fill the forest, too, including:
Jennifer Deater, biology, Bellaire
Grace Morse, electrical engineering, Williamston
Stephanie Spurr, fine arts, Milford
Charyse Reinfelder, nursing, Pickford
Nick MacAskill, conservation biology, Fraser
Amanda Cady, liberal studies, Eben
Haley Tasiemski, English and conservation leadership, Newberry
Gabrielle Nguyen, secondary education; Lindsey Mansfield, early childhood education, Chelsea Olander, elementary education and Amanda Neve, nursing, all of Sault Ste. Marie.

Students from all major fields of study are welcome in LSSU productions and many of them are pursuing a minor in dance in addition to their majors.

Choszczyk said one of her goals is to help as many children from the community as possible attend the ballet. The dance company will be visiting local schools with flyers while answering questions about the ballet, distributing flyers to all local Girl Scouts and local dancers. The Saturday night performance invites the community to bring children to the ballet by offering group discounts and a complementary ballet activity booklet.

For more information contact Choszczyk at 906-635-2265 or -LSSU-

CONTACT: Tom Pink, 906-635-2315, John Shibley, 635-2314,; Prof. Deborah Choszczyk, 635-2265,