At the Ballet

Ballet Austin Presents

Not Afraid of the Dark -
The Show that Glows! ®

featuring Ballet Austin II

Endowed by Emily Moreland/Moreland Properties through the Ballet Austin Foundation

A magical show that is a visual treat for all ages. Ballet Austin II delights with a production that turns darkness into a place to laugh, sing, clap, dream, dance, and do everything imaginable - except be afraid.

Recommended for ages 2 and up. Run time: 1 hour.

Choreography by Stephen Mills
Concept & music by Joe Scruggs

AustinVentures StudioTheater
Oct 18 - 19, 25 - 26
2pm & 4:30pm


A magical show that is a visual treat for all ages. Ballet Austin II delights with a production that turns darkness into a place to laugh, sing, clap, dream, dance and do everything imaginable – except be afraid. Recommended for ages 2 and up.

Program Notes


Not Afraid of the Dark is the story of nighttime in the life of a young boy. He chases fireflies in the park, gets ready for bed, and finds out about all the wonderful magic that happens in the dark. Through this little boy’s dreams and with the help of special lighting effects, we dance with the stars, catch shadows, and visit the land of stick people. We discover the dark is never scary, but fun and can be seen in a whole new light. Come on, let's discover what wonderful things can happen when you “turn out the lights”!


Joe Scruggs on creating the concept for Not Afraid of the Dark: “In my other show I have a routine called Stick Man, which uses Live Wires. Live Wires glow in the dark and they bend (sort of like flexible neon). Stick Man gets rave reviews from audience members of all ages and it is a stunning visual effect. I realized it is possible to have children enjoy turning out the lights and seeing the magic of glow in the dark effects as long as it is presented in a creative, fun and totally non-scary way. That was the beginning for Not Afraid of the Dark.”

1999 Joe Scruggs, noticing fear of the dark in many young children, creates several new songs "in the dark."

October 1999 Joe and Ballet Austin Associate Artistic Director Michelle Martin talk about a joint production with Ballet Austin.

1999–2000 Michelle and Joe develop characters and ideas for the show.

2000–2001 David Gaddy develops sketches for the costume and scenic designs, which help Michelle and Joe expand the production.

July 2001 David finalizes costume and scenic designs. Communilux builds the set in Dallas.

August 2001 Stephen Mills develops the choreography. Alexey Korygin builds costumes in Ballet Austin costume shop.

September 2001 Tony Tucci finalizes his lighting design in theatre.

September 7, 2001 Premiere of Not Afraid of the Dark, Paramount Theatre, Austin, Texas.


Songs by Joe Scruggs:
  • Fireflies
  • Bath Time
  • Gingerbread Man
  • Night Light
  • Come on Down
  • Under Your Bed
  • Falling Asleep
  • Late Last Night
  • Moon and Stars
  • I Can Dance
  • Popcorn
  • Stickman
  • Rainbow Colored Jump Rope
  • Circles and Springs
  • Conga Line
  • Star Sun



Cast & Credits



Concept and Music by Joe Scruggs
Choreography by Stephen Mills
All Songs arranged, produced, and orchestrated by Gary Powell
Scenic, Costume, and Puppet Design by David Gaddy
Lighting Design by Tony Tucci
Production Stage Manager Stacey P. Hoyt
Costumes built and constructed by Alexei Koriaguine

Special Thanks and Recognition to:
Stick Dog designed by Neal Scruggs.
"Come on Down" costumes and "Under Your Bed" puppets built by Star Costumes & Clothier, Inc.
"Humpty Dumpty" puppets and "Star Sun" puppets built by David Gaddy with Team Members: Joe Fiacco, illustrator and Larry Thacker, engineer; Andy Davis, engineer; and Veronika Zunner, sculptor
"My Own Shoes" built by Kathy Kreuter
"Rise and Shine" props built by Austin Wenning
"Star Sun" wagons built by Austin Lyric Opera Scene Shop
Special thanks to Blue Genie Art Industries
Scenery built by Communilux
Projected Scenery by Arnold Tang
Video Production by Dea Eggleston
Web site design by Brandt Parker

Artist Profiles

Joe Scruggs, Concept and Music
Joe Scruggs’ musical background can be traced to his childhood days and his involvement with the Methodist Church Choir. He was heavily influenced by the folk singers of the Sixties and enjoyed playing his guitar whenever possible.
In the 1980s, Joe began writing family-oriented songs to help his wife with her work in her kindergarten classroom. Her stories of the children’s concerns and activities—as well as the contributions of their own children—ensured that Joe would never be at a loss for material.
Joe’s music has earned four prestigious Parent’s Choice Awards. His two videos are also both award winners. Joe Scruggs in Concert was chosen as a winner of a 1993 Notable Children’s Video Award from the American Library Association. He performed as the Celebrity Mother Ginger in Ballet Austin's 1999 & 2000 productions of The Nutcracker.
Whether Joe Scruggs addresses our fear of the dark, our ability to think up imaginative excuses, or our enjoyment of the simple things in life, his words and music will always find a responsive home within our hearts.
Stephen Mills, Choreographer
Stephen Mills is an accomplished choreographer in both classical and contemporary balletic styles. In 2001, Mills and Ballet Austin II premieredNot Afraid of the Dark, the result of a 2½ year collaboration with nationally-known children's entertainer, Joe Scruggs. Prior to Not Afraid of the Dark, Mills created the charming ballet Peter and the Wolf in 1991. Mills’ ballet is set to Sergei Prokofiev's well-known and well-loved 1936 children's symphony. Both ballets engage audience members of all ages. Mills was named Resident Choreographer of Ballet Austin in 1992 and has been Artistic Director of Ballet Austin since 2000.
Michelle Martin, Associate Artistic Director
Michelle Martin has worked with Ballet Austin since 1991, first as a dancer, next with the Ballet Austin Academy, and now as the Associate Artistic Director. In 1999, she founded Ballet Austin II, the apprentice company, and began developing educational programming to take into schools. Michelle worked with Joe Scruggs to bring his magical glow-in-the-dark concepts to life. They chose the characters, special effects, and decided how the dancers would be used.
Gary Powell, Musical Producer and Arranger
Gary Powell’s accomplishments read like a Who’s Who catalog of children’s music. His list of credits include scoring work and songs represented on Walt Disney’s storybook and song albums of The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Pocahontas, Toy Story, A Bug’s Life, Toy Story II and Dinosaur. In Powell’s work with Walt Disney Records, five of his productions have gone Gold and one Platinum. He has also produced the entire catalog of albums and videos for Joe Scruggs.
In 1999, Powell won a Grammy Nomination for his production of Disney’s “A Bug’s Life Sing Along”. In 2001 Gary Powell was awarded the “Award of Distinction” from both the Communicator Awards and Videographer Awards for his video production of “Gary Powell Presents....” a behind-the-scenes look at the recording sessions for “A Bug’s Life Sing Along”.  Powell has won five Gold Parents’ Choice Awards and one Silver for his work as producer for Joe Scruggs. Joe’s first video, another Powell production, won the National Parenting Publication Award, is a California Video Award winner and has been honored at the USA Film Festival. Powell’s production of Joe Scruggs’ song Bahamas Pajamas won the 1996 Cable Ace Award for “Best Original Song”. Mr. Powell can be found on the web at
Pete Markham, President, Shadow Play Records
Mr. Markham graduated from the University of Texas with a degree in Journalism. He then moved to Los Angeles, and for nine years worked inadvertising and promotion. Markham returned to Texas In 1983, and has been president of Shadow Play Records & Video since its inception. Peteand Joe Scruggs are co-owners of this record label and music publishing company Pete is responsible for label and artist promotion, concert touring, and distribution. Markham has, along with Scruggs, been the executiveproducer of two video releases and nine albums including the music forNot Afraid of the Dark-The Show that Glows! ™.
Pete Markham is a founding member of the American Academy of Children's Entertainment. He received a Cable Ace Award for his involvement with (and his appearance in) Discovery Communications’ presentation of the music video, Bahamas Pajamas by Joe Scruggs.
Markham also performs in the national touring show Live from Deep in the Jungle, Joe Scruggs inConcert. Together, Markham and Scruggs have entertained hundreds of thousands of children and parents all over the United States and Canada since 1986.
Ballet Austin II, Dancers
Funded in part by the generosity of Sarah & Ernest Butler through a Ballet Austin Foundation Endowment
Established in 1999, Ballet Austin II is Ballet Austin's apprentice program and second company. The 10 apprentices, ranging in age from 18-23, are recruited through a competitive national audition process. They perform with the main company in large productions and present at least two independent projects per year, including biennial performances of Stephen Mills' Peter and the Wolf and Not Afraid of the Dark - The Show that Glows! in collaboration with Joe Scruggs. Choreographers currently represented in the Ballet Austin II repertoire include Stephen Mills, Jennifer Hart and Nick Kepley, as well as New American Talent/Dance choreographic competition winners Thang Dao, Thaddeus Davis, Viktor Kabaniaev, and Nelly van Bommel.

Currently, more than 65% of Ballet Austin's main company roster are graduates of Ballet Austin II Former Ballet Austin II dancers have also joined the ranks of both ballet and modern dance companies, including Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Smuin Ballet, Nashville Ballet, Dayton Ballet, Washington Ballet, Nai-Ni Chen, The Suzanne Farrell Ballet, Ballet Met, Kansas City Ballet, Kim Robards Dance Company, Dominic Walsh Dance Theater, Wideman/Davis Dance, and Thang Dao Dance.

Director's Notes

“My goal for Not Afraid of the Dark was to combine music and dance with the wonder of things that glow in the dark, to create a performance that is irresistible to adults and children alike.”
- Joe Scruggs



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