Mid-Columbia Ballet’s Nutcracker opens Friday

Clara, the Sugar Plum Fairy and all the rest will delight Tri-Cities audiences this weekend.

“Even for people who don’t attend the ballet regularly, or maybe even the arts regularly — ‘The Nutcracker’ is an iconic performance. It really brings our community together,” said Renée Adams, Mid-Columbia Ballet’s director of programs and outreach.

“It’s place where everyone is gathering and having this shared experience. That’s really powerful, especially in an age where we’re stuck on our devices, where we so often communicate electronically, where we don’t always share these experiences,” she said.

Nearly 180 Mid-Columbia Ballet dancers and community members will bring “The Nutcracker” story to life on stage.

Debra Pearse Rogo, the ballet company’s artistic director, is the choreographer. Seo Hye Han and Irlan Silva of Boston Ballet and Kaitlin Frankenfield and Joshua Burnham of Manassas Ballet Theatre are the guest artists.

Set designer Greg Elder has created a new piece — a grandfather clock for the first act. It was paid for with donations from alumni.


Mid-Columbia Ballet’s production of ‘The Nutcracker’ is Dec. 7-9 at Richland High School.

Courtesy of Realife Photography

“The Nutcracker” runs Friday to Sunday at Richland High School, 930 Long Ave.

Performances are at 7 p.m. Friday, 1 and 7 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday.

A special sensory-friendly performance for children with special needs and their families is at 4 p.m. Sunday.

Some special activities are planned:

The sensory-friendly performance at 4 p.m. Sunday is free, although families are asked to register in advance at https://goo.gl/forms/hlLhuJL6a9piVUA53.

During the performance, the show is shortened to 75 minutes, the music is softer and other adjustments are made. A special area is set up in the lobby for those who need a break, and attendees are sent information in advance so they know what to expect.

A “Sweet Treats” pre-show event is 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Saturday.

Cost is $10, in addition to the show ticket, and includes VIP access to the cast for autographs and photos, plus exclusive access to merchandise, a special sweet treat and a reading of “The Nutcracker” story. Tickets are limited.

A pre-show “Performance Perspectives” is at 6:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

The live presentation focuses on the history behind the ballet. There’s no additional charge.

Tickets to “The Nutcracker” are $28 for adults, $19 for students and seniors and $14 for kids age 12 and younger.

They’re available at midcolumbiaballet.org, by calling 509-946-5417 and in person at The Dance Boutique, 21 Aaron Drive Richland.

Sara Schilling: 509-582-1529, sschi[email protected]

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