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Dec. 19, 2011/For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Marla Carpenter, 336-770-3337, carpem@uncsa.edu




WINSTON-SALEM – For those who are still glowing from just having experienced the University of North Carolina School of the Arts' (UNCSA) hugely successful production of The Nutcracker as well as those who missed it: You can catch a command performance of last year’s production on UNC-TV on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. 

The 45th anniversary production, taped in 2010 by UNC-TV crews, will be broadcast at 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 24, and at 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 25.

UNCSA Chancellor John Mauceri, a two-time Emmy Award winner, hosts the broadcast. Mauceri won his Emmys as an on-camera host and writer for Hollywood Bowl Orchestra broadcasts in 1994 and 1998.

“Surely this will be a tremendous way for UNCSA to say ‘thank you’ to the people of North Carolina,” Mauceri said. “And for our citizens throughout the state to share in the astonishing achievements of our student-artists.”

The taped production aired to a statewide audience five times last year, and is now a mainstay on UNC-TV’s Christmas Eve broadcast schedule, according to Shannon Vickery, director of production for UNC-TV. “UNC-TV is delighted to make the UNC School of the Arts performance of Tchaikovsky's beloved Nutcracker a holiday tradition in North Carolina,” she said. 

“UNC-TV is North Carolina's largest stage, and the UNC School of the Arts' rendition of The Nutcracker is definitely worth occupying center stage,” Vickery added.

Photo by Rosalie O'Connor

Charles Barker, principal conductor for American Ballet Theatre (ABT), conducts the UNCSA Nutcracker Orchestra performing Tchaikovsky’s popular ballet music. UNCSA is the exclusive affiliate school of the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre – a five-year partnership Chancellor Mauceri and ABT announced in June 2011.

UNCSA has presented The Nutcracker annually since 1966, through joint efforts of the School of Dance, School of Design and Production, and School of Music. Students are involved in all aspects of the production, from the dancers on stage to the musicians in the orchestra pit, to the production crew behind the scenes.

A new production of The Nutcracker premiered in 2009, with staging by Ethan Stiefel, former dean of the UNCSA School of Dance, with additional choreography by faculty members Warren Conover and Susan McCullough and former faculty member Nigel Burley. UNCSA alumnus and ABT Resident Lighting Designer Brad Fields designed the lighting, and UNCSA Design and Production faculty member Howard Jones designed new set pieces. UNCSA staff member Katharine Laidlaw is executive producer.

UNC-TV is North Carolina’s member-supported, 12-station statewide network committed to bringing life-changing television to all North Carolinians. For more information, visit www.unctv.org.

The University of North Carolina School of the Arts is the first state-supported, residential school of its kind in the nation. Established as the North Carolina School of the Arts by the N.C. General Assembly in 1963, UNCSA opened in Winston-Salem (“The City of Arts and Innovation”) in 1965 and became part of the University of North Carolina system in 1972. More than 1,100 students from high school through graduate school train for careers in the arts in five professional schools: Dance, Design and Production (including a Visual Arts Program), Drama, Filmmaking, and Music. UNCSA is the state’s only public arts conservatory, dedicated entirely to the professional training of talented students in the performing, visual and moving image arts. For more information, visit www.uncsa.edu.