Youth Ballet presents ‘The Magic of Christmas’

Photo provided Playing the Punchinelles (Clowns) in Act 1 of Schrader Youth Ballet’s 2017 production of “The Nutcracker (Clara’s Dream)” are Arwen Chambers, Serenity Sprouse and Nora Augenstein.

From staff reports

The Schrader Youth Ballet Co. will present three performances of its “The Magic of Christmas” show this weekend in Parkersburg and Marietta.

On Friday, the performance will be at 12:30 p.m. at the Smoot Theatre in downtown Parkersburg in a special show for school groups.

The main performance will be 8 p.m. Saturday at the Smoot. Tickets are $18 for adults and $15 for seniors and students. Tickets may be purchased by calling 304-422-7529 or online at

The final performance will be 3 p.m. Sunday at Peoples Bank Theatre in Marietta. Tickets are $18 for adults and $15 for students and seniors. The box office can be reached at 740-371-5152.

Photo provided Young Clara (danced by Anna Martin) scolds brother Fritz (danced by Josie Augenstein) for stealing an apple in Schrader Youth Ballet’s upcoming production of “The Nutcracker (Clara’s Dream)”

In addition to presenting its annual classic “The Nutcracker (Clara’s Dream),” the performances will include “Christmas in the Heartland,” featuring the music of Aaron Copland, and “The Schraderettes,” a piece inspired by Christmastime in Rockefeller Center.

Narrator for the production is Kirk McCall. Returning guest performers Rob Royce (Drosselmeyer) and Jesse Tidquist (Sugar Plum/Snow Queen) join the local company after a successful holiday season with the New York State Ballet. Additionally, eight college students will be guest performers, representing The College Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati, The Ohio State University, Ohio University, Marshall University and West Virginia University.

The Nutcracker Ballet, first performed in Moscow in 1892, was a story written by E.T.A. Hoffman, with music by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, and original choreography by Marius Petipa. The story of a young girl’s dream following a beautiful Christmas party at her parents’ home has been abridged for the SYBC production, but includes the music and variations familiar to and loved by audiences of every age.

Choreography for the youth ballet’s production is by the late Duncan Noble, famed performer with the Ballet Russes and former Dean of North Carolina School of the Arts. Costumes were created by A. Christina Giannini, currently of New York City.

A new addition to this year’s show, “Christmas in the Heartland” tells the story of an Appalachian holiday, featuring the music of Aaron Copland and choreography by Teri Seier. Wrapping up the production are the holiday favorites, “The Schraderettes,” recently featured at Parkersburg’s Winterfest celebration and tree lighting. As a nonprofit arts organization, SYBC has secured funding for a portion of the production from a grant from the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation, as well as private donors.