By Conrad Dudderar
A hand-quilted wall hanging will be featured in a drawing during Yukon’s upcoming Nutcracker ballet production.
The colorful 3-foot by 4-foot quilt features a prominent display of the Nutcracker on the front with images of other familiar dancing characters from this timeless classic story of Christmas wonder.
“It’s hand-done – and it’s beautiful,” Central Oklahoma Ballet President Allie Overton said. “We are going to offer a raffle for the wall hanging at the show, then draw a name and notify the winner the next day.”
The Nutcracker wall hanging was donated by Central Oklahoma Ballet board member and longtime Nutcracker supporter Margie Rosson. It was made by her sister-in-law Cindy Young.
Yukon’s 27th Annual Nutcracker will be staged Dec. 3-4 inside the Yukon Fine Arts Center-Gene Cranfill Auditorium, 850 Yukon Ave. The curtain will rise at 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday for this yuletide favorite.
Central Oklahoma Ballet performers will be joined by featured guest artists with live music performed by the Oklahoma Community Orchestra directed by Irv Wagner.
Funds raised from Nutcracker wall-hanging drawing will help cover production costs of the two performances.
The quilt raffle comes on the heels of three successful pre-production benefits – the Grady’s Nutcracker Fundraiser Kickoff, Nutcracker Fall Follies and Sugar Plum Fairy Tea.
Central Oklahoma Ballet artistic director Debra Vossen offered special thanks to performance sponsors Bud and Maggie Fuchs for their generous ongoing support.
Maggie Fuchs, a retired Yukon school teacher, was among the original cast members when Yukon’s Nutcracker debuted in 1994 at the Yukon Museum and Arts Center (Old Central School).
Fuchs’ granddaughter, Madeline Patterson, will return to Yukon this December to perform in The Nutcracker’s opening party scene.
Longtime Yukon realtor Larry Taylor and storyteller Ginger LaCroix are other original Nutcracker cast members who still perform in the annual weekend production.
In The Nutcracker, the mysterious Godfather Drosselmeyer gives Clara an enchanted Nutcracker at a Christmas party.
After midnight, Clara watches as the Nutcracker comes to life to lead the toy soldiers into battle against the Mouse King and his mice.
When Clara throws her shoe to help defeat the Mouse King, the Nutcracker is transformed into a handsome prince.
He transports Clara through a snow forest to the Land of the Sweets, where she is feted with a banquet of entertainment.
The Nutcracker was first performed in 1892, and 130 years later, it is still one of the most popular ballets featuring the music of Tchaikovsky.
The Yukon production has become a favorite of the Christmas holiday season, according to Vossen.
“It provides a unique opportunity for local dancers to perform with national and international professionals – much to the delight of audience members,” Central Oklahoma Ballet’s talented director said.
On the first weekend in December, dancers from Yukon, Mustang, Piedmont, and El Reno will take the stage alongside seasoned professional artists and further Central Oklahoma Ballet’s mission.
“I believe that the character of any city is reflected in its cultural activities,” Vossen added. “Cultural experiences improve our quality of life.”
Tickets to Central Oklahoma Ballet’s Dec. 3-4 performances of The Nutcracker in Yukon are $20 in advance and $25 at the door.
Advance tickets may be purchased online, at YNB Bank or MidFirst Bank inside Walmart.
For more information, visit www.centralokballet.org