News Local/State

Annual C-U Ballet Production Of ‘Nutcracker’ Opens Thursday At Krannert


Champaign-Urbana Ballet

Champaign-Urbana Ballet’s annual production of “The Nutcracker” opens Thursday at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts in Urbana.

Illinois Public Media’s Brian Moline got a preview of this year’s show from C-U Ballet Executive Director Kay Greene and Champaign Mayor Deb Frank Feinen, who once performed in “The Nutcracker” herself on the Krannert stage.

Feinen said now as a “ballet mom,” she enjoys seeing the performers grow through the years.

"You really get to know the other parents and the other kids," Feinen said. "I think probably the most fun piece for me is you get to watch them grow through the roles. So they may start as a little cow, or as a soldier, or a mouse, and the next thing you know they're the sugar plum fairy."

Greene said "The Nutcracker" continues to grow, both in size of the cast, and geographic footprint.

"We have 127 cast members, but we have cast members from 18 different communities, which involve seven different counties," Greene said. "All the way from Vermilion County to the east, to Menard County to the west."

"The Nutcracker" will have six performances in Krannert Center's Tryon Festival Theatre. Find full performance details at