UNCSA's "Nutcracker" breaks all-time records for sales and attendance in 2019

16,528 people from the Triad and beyond saw one of the 12 performances of UNCSA’s beloved production of “The Nutcracker” in 2019, including Prep Dance’s “The Nutcracker Tea” and free performances for third-graders in high-need schools and for UNCSA students, alumni and employees.

The production grossed $698,921, more than any other year. Included in that total is a generous grant of $25,000 from presenting sponsor Wells Fargo. Proceeds from “The Nutcracker” support student scholarships at UNCSA, a pillar of the Powering Creativity comprehensive fundraising campaign launched publicly in September.

The production, called “spectacular and inspiring” by the Winston-Salem Journal, was Dec. 13-22 at the Stevens Center of UNCSA.

“We’re extremely grateful for the support of Wells Fargo, and for the greater Winston-Salem community and those who travel from throughout the state to experience this superb production,” said Interim Chancellor Brian Cole. “‘The Nutcracker truly is a cherished holiday tradition in our community, with families bringing their next generations and new families arriving to witness the magic.”

The scholarship funds will benefit students in the three schools that create the production, under the direction of faculty. Students from the UNCSA School of Dance and Preparatory Dance Program perform in the ballet, while students from the School of Design & Production build the sets and run the show behind the scenes, and students from the School of Music perform Tchaikovsky’s beloved score live in the orchestra pit as the UNCSA Symphony Orchestra, this year conducted by Karin Hendrickson.

Audiences on Dec. 18 and 19 had the opportunity to see two of today’s top professional dancers when guest artists Stella Abrera and Peter Walker danced the roles of the Sugar Plum Fairy and Her Cavalier Prince. Abrera is a 24-year veteran of American Ballet Theatre, and the company’s first Filipina principal dancer. Walker is a soloist and choreographer with New York City Ballet. Appearances by star guest soloists in “The Nutcracker” are supported by a generous gift of $15,000 from the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation.

“Welcoming two of the nation’s most accomplished ballet dancers to perform alongside our immeasurably talented students embodies how UNCSA is powering creativity in our community and on our campus,” said Dean of Dance Susan Jaffe.

The gross total includes revenue of $20,605 from ad sales in the commemorative program, and nearly $43,063 from the High School Parent Support Organization (PSO), which operates “The Nutcracker” Boutique at the Stevens Center. It also includes revenue from “The Nutcracker Tea” and media trade.

“The success of this event wouldn’t have been possible without the incredible support of the Winston-Salem community, our sponsors, donors, students, faculty, staff and partners,” added Interim Chancellor Cole. “We extend our sincere thanks and wish all very happy holidays!”

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December 23, 2019