Fully Staged Nutcracker Ballet with Goleta School of Ballet

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Event Date: 
Wednesday, November 18, 2020 - 08:00

Luke Virtual Concert Series Announces Fully Staged Nutcracker Ballet In Partnership with Goleta School of Ballet

The Marjorie Luke Theatre’ popular Virtual Concert Series is excited to announce its newest offering for the Holidays – a traditional, full-length production of The Nutcracker in partnership the Goleta School of Ballet (GSB). This traditional holiday favorite has been produced by GSB for over 30 years and boasts sumptuous, colorful, professionally designed costumes and backdrops. It will be the only Nutcracker staged in Santa Barbara, where there are normally over four productions a year. Over 80 dancers ages 8-18 will appear onstage at The Luke Theatre, videotaped with three cameras and edited for streaming, free of charge,  beginning December 18th, 2020 at www.luketheatre.org.  

“The holidays will be quite different this year and when we were approached by Lisa Abshere and Emily Abshere about this collaboration, The Luke jumped at the opportunity to bring this treasured ballet back to life for families to enjoy at home,” said Series Producer Rod Lathim. “If you have never seen a ballet, The Nutcracker is the one to see. It is one of the most beloved ballets,” according to Lisa Abshere, GSB Artistic Director.

There are many unique and innovative elements of this production. It has been reimagined to maintain physical distance on and off the stage. Dancers have been divided into Pods for rehearsals and performing to keep interactions contained for safety. The decision was made to incorporate custom designed masks into the hand-made costumes, to creatively fit with the costumes and characters. GSB is no stranger to The Luke stage, having produced The Nutcracker on this historic stage annually since 2012. All the favorite characters will come to life with Tchaikovsky’s brilliant, memorable orchestral score, including Clara, The Nutcracker, The Rat Queen, and The Sugar Plum Fairy. 

To help introduce this classic ballet to new audiences, the Ballet will be preceded by an introduction to the story, characters and music, and how ballet tells full stories with no language. Viewing audiences will be treated to a look behind the scenes to see how the magic is created. This video will be presented in English, Spanish and closed captioned for people with hearing loss.

The lead role of Clara will be played by San Marcos Senior Abby Mills. Abby was meant to dance Aurora in “The Sleeping Beauty” in the Goleta School of Ballet’s cancelled Spring Performance. As Clara, she is joined by her younger sister playing the role of Fritz and her parents as Clara’s parents. For the Mills family, it’s an exciting time to be all on stage together for the first time.

Mendeleyev In Concert and Resonance have both begun streaming as the first two concerts in this innovative and diverse virtual series. Pianos at The Luke, in collaboration with Pianos on State Street will begin streaming on November 25th, followed by The Nutcracker on December 18th. Jackson Gillies In Concert and Tariqh Akoni & Friends will begin streaming in early 2021.

“We anticipate that by late December, well over 10,000 viewers will have enjoyed The Luke Virtual Concert Series. The fact that it is free, when most online events are pay per view, makes our offerings very accessible, and we are reaching an enormous audience we could have never reached in a live setting. We terribly miss our live audiences and cannot wait for them to return, but meanwhile, we are thrilled we are having such a broad reach with quality, thoughtful and classic entertainment for all ages,” commented Lathim.

In addition to the four concerts that are secured, The Luke is in development on at least two more unique music and spoken word events. The key is having generous sponsors to support this important work and to keep the arts alive, employ artists and technicians. Generous Series Sponsors include: Jean Kaplan, Hutton Parker Foundation, Montecito Bank & Trust, Andrew and Liz Butcher, Rod Lathim, Montecito Journal Media Group, Anonymous, Schipper Construction, Home Improvement Center, Santa Barbara Education Foundation, Easy Lift Transportation, Larry and Gerrie Fausett, Gerd and Peter Jordano, Anne Towbes, Stephen & Kathleen Carmel, Easy Lift Transportation, Dawn Ziemer, Ferris Orthodontic Group, Phil and Pam McLendon, Sam and Sandra Tyler, Pamela Dillman-Haskell and The Battle Family.

The Nutcracker will begin streaming 24/7 indefinitely on December 18th, 2020 at www.luketheatre.org where full Virtual Series details can be found. Information on the Goleta School of Ballet can be found at www.goletaschoolofballet.com.
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Event Graphic
Photos from BSB Past productions of The Nutcracker

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