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Local girl in Prairie Nutcracker
new deh prairie nutcracker blackwell pic
Olivia Blackwell

HUTCHINSON – In the Prairie Nutcracker, 1869 Kansas’ dances to life in this new century twist on the traditional ballet. Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker music remains, masterfully adapted by Boston composer, Rick Kuethe, a native of Omaha, Neb. Prairie Nutcracker is a biennial event held on the second weekend in December, odd numbered years, and is produced by Prairie Nutcracker Foundation Inc.
The Prairie Nutcracker will return for its 10th season at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 13 and 14, and at 3 p.m. on Dec. 15, at Hutchinson’s Historic Fox Theatre, 18 East 1st. 
Olivia Blackwell, 15, of Great Bend will dance in this year’s performance. In her second season, she will dance ‘en pointe’ in Snow and Waltz of the Prairie Flowers as a Sunflower. She also dances several other featured roles.
Tickets on sale now at and www. The Fox Box Office can be reached at 620-663-1981 or 877-FOX-SHOW.
 The show includes a cast of 75, including boys and girls, men and women, dancers and town dignitaries, ranging from ages 7-65. They hale from nine surrounding communities – Arlington, Buhler, Burton, Great Bend, Hutchinson, McPherson, Newton, Turon and Wichita.
Jim Davis, Hutchinson real estate developer, steps into the role of Commanding Officer (vacated by the recent death of Ron Kelley. This year, Ron will be honored as Prairie Nutcracker’s Commanding Officer Emeritus.
This season’s lead roles of Prairie Doll and Frontier Toy Soldier danced by professional dancer Molly Zongker Williamson of Hutchinson, and Buhler High’s co-band director Nathan Biggs.
Katie Miller, age 12, daughter of Delmar and Suzanne Miller, home schooled seventh grader from Arlington, debuts as Little Laura.
Anna Kimmel, 17, Hutchinson, recreates her 2011 solo role of Snow Queen and dances other featured roles. Kimmel was Little Laura in 2009.
The Snow Queen attendants are danced by Mya Masterson and Shannon Galliher, junior and
senior, respectively, at Hutchinson High School. The featured role of Daisy is danced by Kylee Tucker, age 17, of Buhler.
 Live pre-show music will be provided by Lisa Mitchell (fiddle) and Doug Mitchell (guitar), both of Hutchinson, and Jay Hawkins (mandolin) of Buhler. Ray Nicodemus (guitar, fife) of Newton, returns as Balladeer, Waggoner, and Fifer).
The production also includes over 200 authentic pioneer outfits and dance costumes managed by costume mistress Kathy Zongker, Buhler. Several historical pieces and historical consultation provided by Sherrie Smith with the Fort Hays Historic Site.
The Prairie Nutcracker is a nonprofit  organization, produced by Prairie Nutcracker Foundation Inc. whose mission includes honoring Kansas’ pioneer heritage and providing scholarships to further dancers’ intensive training.
Last summer, qualified dancers received scholarships for study at Joffrey Ballet School, Alvin Ailey School, both in New York City, and Oklahoma Ballet and Tulsa Ballet, both in Oklahoma.
For further info, call Betsie Andrews at 620-727-7245 or visit