Alan Hineline’s Coppélia

April 17-18, 2021 Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts
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Lively and Amusing

Step into the storybook world of Alan Hineline’s Coppélia, a romantic-comedy that has something for everyone! One of the most lively and amusing story ballets, Alan Hineline’s must-see staging of this 19th-century comic classic combines a young couple’s tiff with the unusual workings of old toymaker Dr. Coppelius whose greatest desire is to create a doll with a soul. When Franz becomes infatuated at the sight of a beautiful girl who sits by the window in the house of the mysterious inventor, he sets aside his fiancée — the feisty Swanilda who isn’t above disguise and breaks into the eccentric doll-maker’s workshop to win back her fiancé. Performance Length (without intermissions): Act I – 37 min. Act II – 30 min. Act III – 29 min. (approx.)


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Experience the Magic

Step into the storybook world of Alan Hineline’s Coppélia, a romantic-comedy that has something for everyone!

Whitaker Center

Saturday, April 17, 2021 at 1 & 7 PM
Sunday, April 18, 2021at 2 PM

Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts, Harrisburg, PA

Production Credits

Based on the 1815 story Der Sandmann by E.T.A. Hoffman Choreography: Alan Hineline Ballet Masters: Alecia Good-Boresow and Simon Ball Composer: Léo Delibes Scenery: Pennsylvania Ballet Costume and Wardrobe: MaryLynn Schwartz, Betty Smith, Jamie Cristali Lighting Design: Josh Monroe

Thank you to our Sponsors

Presenting Sponsor ? Season Underwriters Unknown   

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The curtain rises on the square of a small European town; a lovely young girl, Coppélia, sits reading a book on a balcony. As Swanilda enters the square, she looks up at the girl and tries to attract her attention, but she receives no reply. When the likable village rogue, Franz, enters, he blows a kiss to the beautiful Coppélia, who ignores his attentions and continues unconcerned with her book. Franz’ flirtations with another pretty girl do not go unnoticed, however, by his fiancée, Swanilda; and Franz is a diligent young man assuring Swanilda that his affections are hers alone. Swanilda runs away, refusing to believe him.

The Burgomaster comes to the square announcing that on the following day he will present dowries at a celebration to all couples who wish to marry. Still jealous, the pouting Swanilda puts a stalk of wheat to her ear when asked if she will marry Franz — according to tradition the wheat will tell her if her fiancé is faithful or not. Sadly, she says the stalk is silent. Delighted at the Burgomaster’s good news, however, the other couples dance until night falls when they must leave for home. Dr. Coppelius comes out of his workshop, locks the door, and is immediately swirled away by a boisterous band of revelers. In the excitement, Dr. Coppélius drops the key to his shop. Finding the key, Swanilda and her friends are filled with curiosity about the eccentric inventor, and they sneak into his studio to uncover its secrets. Dr. Coppelius returns, sees his door open, and dashes in. In the meantime, Franz enters carrying a ladder, which he uses to climb on to Coppélia’s balcony.

As the curtain rises, the dimly-lit interior of Dr. Coppelius’ shop — a room full of life-like, life-size dolls — becomes visible. Swanilda pokes her head into an alcove to discover Coppélia. When someone jars a Chinese doll, it dances until its clockwork runs down. Soon the mischievous young intruders wind up all the dolls in the shop and they watch enchanted as the toys dance. Suddenly, a furious Dr. Coppelius enters and the culprits flee, leaving behind Swanilda. She runs into the alcove where Coppélia is kept. At the same time, Dr. Coppelius apprehends Franz entering by the window. The infatuated, unfaithful young man pleads his love for the lovely Coppélia, while Dr. Coppelius feigns interest and entices Franz with several well-doctored potions. Unsuspecting, Franz falls asleep. Having discovered Coppélia’s true identity and overhearing Franz’ declaration of love, the feisty Swanilda changes places with the fabulous doll, which the gullible Dr. Coppelius now brings out from her alcove. Making some magical gestures, Dr. Coppelius “causes” Swanilda to awkwardly rise to dance. Dr. Coppelius becomes elated. Believing his puppet has come to life!

Swanilda dances on and on, creating havoc in the workroom and upsetting all of the Doctor’s work until Franz wakes, and he and Swanilda run out leaving the shop in shambles. Dr. Coppélius returns to discover the figure of Coppélia lying in her chair, divested of clothes and realizes that he has been deceived.

The curtain rises on the final act, which is again set in the village square. Now reconciled, Franz and Swanilda approach the Burgomaster to receive their gifts and be married. Dr. Coppelius storms in distraught, accusing the young couple of destroying his life’s work. Swanilda owns up to causing Dr. Coppelius’ misery and offers him her dowry. The Burgomaster then sends Dr. Coppelius off with a bag of gold, as the townspeople share in the féte that unites Swanilda and Franz in a happy marriage.