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The Nutcracker ' on ice

Larissa McCoy admits that producing The Nutcracker with a 50-member cast on ice skates is an ambitious undertaking for a high school senior.

It is a very large project, said the 18-year-old South Medford High School student.

Proud families and friends filled the spectator seats at the RRRink in Medford Saturday afternoon to watch the production of the holiday classic with a new twist, and several twirls: The Nutcracker on Ice.

Clara, Herr Drosselmeyer and the Mouse King glided and spun in dazzling costumes on the ice to the well-known Tchaikovsky music.

Phoenix High School student Jillian Mortenson, 15, had four parts: a wind-up doll, a flower, a snowflake and a candy cane.

It's a great opportunity to express yourself, she said.

She said McCoy's coordinating efforts were tremendous.

I don't think I could possibly pull off a show this big, she said.

The production of the renowned fantasy story isn't something that happened overnight.

Actually, I've been thinking about it for two years, said McCoy, who wore many hats for the performance.

I'm kind of producing, directing, choreographing (and) I did costumes, she said, quickly adding, I've had help. She's also played the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy in the performance, which called for double jumps and spirals.

The cast ranges from ages 4 to 67, she estimates, with lots of talented skaters among them.

McCoy began officially planning the performance in the summer, including a pitch to the RRRink to use their space.

I had auditions in like late September, early October, she said. We've been having rehearsals pretty much since then.

McCoy said she's been studying ballet and skating for 7 years, and has been acting for several years as well.

I'm in all the plays at South, pretty much, she said, adding that she was in the school's recent production of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.

Credits also include her role as Audrey in South Medford High School's Little Shop of Horrors in 2004 and as Annie in Rogue Music Theater's musical performance of Annie in 2000.

She's also a member of the Southern Oregon Figure Skating Club, and has competed in regionals, in sectionals and has passed the senior moves in the field tests.

I auditioned for Disney on Ice in November, she said, explaining that it's too soon to say if she made it. They don't cast until summer.McCoy's mentor for her senior project is Susan Diviak-Dials, her ballet teacher at America's Best Kids.I've danced the Nutcracker a couple years, said Diviak-Dials, adding that she was familiar with many of the parts.She said for McCoy to take on this project she's had to learn some new skills.It's more than just dancing on ice, she said. For example, establishing a timeline for the production and sticking to it was not McCoy's favorite thing, she said.Another thing I've seen Larissa grow is her voice, she said. She's learned to project herself and who she is. She kind of had to ' she had no choice.Diviak-Dials said she's impressed with the final product.Looking at it, you wouldn't see a senior project, you see a production.

The cast of ?The Nutcracker on Ice? takes a bow at the end of the performance. South Medford High School senior Larissa McCoy organized the production, held Saturday at the RRRink in Medford, as her senior project.