Oceanside Theatre Company & Megill & Co Present Not Your Normal Nutcracker Featuring Dance for Every Body and More December Events to Fill the Holidays
Featuring Dance, Poetry, Music, and Comedy, Oceanside Theatre Company’s December Events Highlight the Brooks as a Beacon for the Arts in North County

(Oceanside, CA) – Megill & Company’s Not Your Normal Nutcracker flips the script on the classic holiday favorite in this gender fluid, body positive performance set to musical selections from Tchaikovsky. Choreographed and starring Oceanside native Beth Megill as a 40-something Clara, who dreams of being a star, this whimsical modern jazz theater production brings to life an imaginary world filled with life-sized rodents, a melting snow kingdom, and a land of sweets comes to life.


Audiences will not see dancers like these in your traditional Nutcracker performance. The Snow Queen is 7 1/2 months pregnant — one of two dancers expecting in the new year. The Nutcracker Prince is portrayed by a woman. One gender non-conforming dancer portrays both male and female roles. Best of all, there are tutus for almost everyone, since the men in the cast wear tutus and dresses along with the women in the corps de ballet.


“There are certain stories we all love hearing and seeing at the holidays. They remind us of our childhood and ring in the season for us. But it’s also exciting sometimes to mix it up a little, to take a traditional story and apply an unusual filter. And that’s what Megill and Company has done with this Nutcracker,” said Oceanside Theatre Company’s Creative Director Ted Lieb.


One of Megill & Company’s tenets is “Dance for Every Body.” Heather Reba, one of the dance company founders, explains, “We believe dance should be accessible and performed by bodies of all shapes, sizes, and genders. We try to foster inclusivity for dancers who may not fit the typical “dancer body” mold.”


Founded by sisters Beth Megill and Heather Reba in 2002, Megill and Company or “MeCo” has produced seven fully staged musical theater productions and eight dance productions and taken part in the Rogue Festival (Fresno, CA), the Fringe Festival (Hollywood, CA), the MixMatch Festival (Santa Monica, CA), ArtBark (Santa Barbara, CA) and performed in Puebla, Mexico with the small contemporary dance company Quinto Elemento.


“It’s great to have Heather back at OTC where she ran our Youth Academy for several years, most recently directing Honk, Jr. in 2019,” Lieb said.


Playful, colorful, rhythmic, and wonderfully light-hearted, Not Your Normal Nutcracker will entertain and delight fans of the beloved ballet, as well as new audiences seeing the story for the first time. 


Not Your Normal Nutcracker takes place Friday, December 16 and Saturday, December 17 at 7:30 pm and Sunday, December 18 at 2 pm. Tickets are available for $35 online at OceansideTheatre.org. or by calling the box office at 760-433-8900.

More Oceanside Theatre Company events in December include:


Black Rootedness: A Poetry Reading

December 10

Poets from California to Kenya come together for “Black Rootedness: A Poetry Reading” to build community across continents through verse. Inspired by the anthology Black Rootedness: 54 Poets from Africa to America, edited by Karla Brundage of the West Oakland to West Africa project, this performance explores themes of Mother Land, Home, The Middle Passage, The New World, Collective Memory, and The Journey Home. Gather early for community and coffee by local black-owned local businesses Coffee, Beards, and Bowties at 10 am followed by the poetry reading hosted by North County poet Rameses “R3sh” Setekh of Sown in Truth Orations and anthology editor Karla Brundage at 11 am. Tickets are available for $10 in advance, $15 at the door or $29.99 for book and reading. Order online at www.oceansidetheatre.org or by calling the box office at 760-433-8900.


Improv at the Brooks

December 15

Join host Chris Shurland for a fast-paced, fun night of improvised comedy in Studio 219. The free drop-in improv class begins at 6 pm, followed by an improv show at 7 pm for which tickets are $10. The one-of-a-kind show performed by improvisers from northern and southern California will be made up on the spot based completely on audience suggestions. Chris Shurland, the founder of Santa Barbara’s Irreverent Improv, is a Chicago-trained improv teacher and performer currently based in Southern California. Before being a part of several house and independent teams in Chicago, Chris completed the training programs at Second City, iO (formerly ImprovOlympic), and Annoyance Theater and was lucky enough to be trained by some of the nation’s best improv teachers. He brings his unique brand of improv to Oceanside for the first time. For more information visit OceansideTheatre.org.


A Winter’s Eve Concert with David Arkenstone & Friends

December 21

Join 5-time Grammy nominee David Arkenstone for an enchanting evening filled with joyful holiday spirits, virtuoso musicianship, and some of his chart-topping favorites reimagined and performed in exciting new arrangements. Arkenstone has plenty of surprises in store for this performance, including the debut of some of his recent neo-classical compositions with strings, flutes, and percussion. He has always believed that music can uniquely enrich our lives and ignite our imaginations, and he will use his evocative songs to take you and your family and friends on a one-of-a-kind holiday journey. With more than 60 albums to his credit, numerous film and game score compositions, and unforgettable themes for NBC (The Kentucky Derby, US Figure Skating, Premier League soccer, and more), this concert promises to be a magical family-friendly night to remember! “A Winter’s Eve Concert with David Arkenstone & Friends” takes place Wednesday, December 21 at 7:30 pm. Tickets are available for $25-$45 online at www.oceansidetheatre.org or by calling the box office at 760-433-8900.


Nerd Comedy Alcohol-Free New Year’s Eve

December 31

Clever comedy and a nerdy audience make this Alcohol-Free New Year’s Eve one-of-a-kind. Scientist turned comedian Tim Lee hosts “Nerd Comedy“ with several top nerd comics in the state. Lee, who got his Ph.D. before realizing where his true talents lie, blends science talk (complete with PowerPoint presentations) with comedy. The hilarious result is like what would happen if you crossed your high school chem teacher with David Letterman. Lee is joined by comedy veteran Mike Pace who has appeared on Curb Your Enthusiasm and regularly entertains the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. His act is a series of characters and one-minute, one-act plays about childhood, family, parenthood, marriage, divorce, dating and growing older. “Nerd Comedy” takes place Saturday, December 31 at 7 pm. Tickets are available for $35-$55 online at www.oceansidetheatre.org or by calling the box office at 760-433-8900.


About Oceanside Theatre Company

Oceanside Theatre Company (OTC), the resident professional theater company operating the Historic Brooks Theater in downtown Oceanside, is a focal point of the Oceanside California Cultural District (OCCD). OTC’s mission is to produce professional theatrical, visual art, and musical productions for the entertainment and enrichment of the community, present educational opportunities in the arts for children and adults, and provide a safe, state-of-the-art public venue for expansion of artistic endeavors in North San Diego County and greater Southern California. OTC produces a four-show mainstage theater season in the 198-seat venue, as well as a Music Series, play readings and various other events in the adjacent black box theater, Studio 219. An important part of OTC’s mission is inspiring and sharing the arts with local youth through the Youth Theater Arts Program, which includes Summer Theater Camps and Youth Theater Arts Outreach in partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of Oceanside during the school year. To learn more visit www.oceansidetheatre.org.



Download press photos at: https://oceansidetheatre.org/news-press/press-releases/nutcracker-december-events/


For OTC interviews and photos: 

Leann Garms

Public Relations




Meg Pierce

Marketing Manager



Megill & Company’s Not Your Normal Nutcracker Photos

Click on image below for high resolution image. 

2022 Production

Photo Credit: Blaine Casey

Photos from previous production.

Photo Source: Megill & Company

A Winter’s Eve Concert with David Arkenstone & Friends Photos

Click on image below for high resolution image. 

Photo Source: David Arkenstone

Nerd Comedy New Year’s Eve Photos

Click on image below for high resolution image. 

Photo Source: Tim Lee