Dec. 23, 2013/For Immediate Release

Media Contact: Lauren Whitaker, 336-734-2891, whitakerl@uncsa.edu




WINSTON-SALEM – Viewers across the state will have four additional opportunities to see The Nutcracker performed by the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA). UNC-TV has announced it will air the production at 8 pm on Tuesday and at 4 am, 10 am and 6 pm on Wednesday.

The program will be broadcast on UNC-EX, the public broadcaster’s Explorer channel, which specializes in travel, culture, science, nature, history, and outdoor adventure programming.

UNCSA’s annual live performance of Tchaikovsky’s holiday-themed ballet closed Sunday at the Stevens Center. 

The UNC-TV program is a taped version of the 45th anniversary production in 2010 by students in the schools of Dance, Music, and Design & Production.

“Our Nutcracker production showcases the very best of UNCSA: students excelling in their art forms, many on the very cusp of brilliant professional careers, who have been guided by the tremendous faculty and inspired by remarkable guest artists.  It is exceptional on every level,” said Katharine Laidlaw, UNCSA’s Executive Producer.

“Those who have seen the UNCSA stage production can relive the beauty and magic of our Nutcracker on UNC-TV,” Laidlaw added. “And we hope the UNC-TV production will inspire others to come see us next year at the Stevens Center.  There is nothing quite like experiencing it live!”

Shannon Vickery, Director of Production for UNC-TV, said UNCSA’s Nutcracker is “a holiday treasure” that has become a tradition for UNC-TV. “We are pleased to share this beautiful program with viewers across the state,” she said.  

The Nutcracker was the first collaboration between UNCSA and UNC-TV in more than a decade. Thanks to funding from the A.J. Fletcher Foundation of Raleigh, additional UNCSA performances have been broadcast, including UNC-TV’s  filmed  production of UNCSA’s Much Ado About Nothing, performed in 2012 and broadcast earlier this year, which has earned an Emmy Award nomination for arts programming. The 2011 all-school musical Oklahoma! aired in 2012 and earned an award for content production from the National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA). Spring Dance 2012 performances of Swan Lake Act II and Sophisticated Kingdom by cutting-edge choreographer Larry Keigwin also were broadcast earlier this year.

UNCSA has presented The Nutcracker annually since 1966. 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.

The Nutcracker beautifully showcases the strengths of UNCSA,” Laidlaw said. “The production serves as a vital link between UNCSA and its home of Winston-Salem and the state of North Carolina. We are pleased that UNC-TV continues to help us expand our reach throughout the state,” she added. 

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 current and former faculty members. UNCSA alumnus and American Ballet Theatre (ABT) Resident Lighting Designer Brad Fields designed the lighting, and UNCSA Design and Production faculty member Howard Jones designed new set pieces.

Charles Barker, Principal Conductor for American Ballet Theatre, conducts the UNCSA Nutcracker Orchestra performing Tchaikovsky’s popular ballet music.

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.

As America’s first state-supported arts school, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts is a unique stand-alone public university of arts conservatories. With a high school component, UNCSA is a degree-granting institution that trains young people of talent in music, dance, drama, filmmaking, and design and production. Established by the N.C. General Assembly in 1963, the School of the Arts opened in Winston-Salem (“The City of Arts and Innovation”) in 1965 and became part of the University of North Carolina system in 1972. For more information, visit www.uncsa.edu.