make space to make magic

I think we can all agree, good news has been in short supply these past few months. Things seem to keep on getting deeper and darker, without any warning or a moment to come up for air. But last week, Festival Ballet got some very good news…

With short notice, the development team worked through the weekend to apply for a grant from Rhode Island as part of the state’s “Take It Outside” initiative, helping businesses and arts organizations fund the creative ways they are planning to stay afloat as this pandemic continues and winter weather approaches. To our shock and absolute delight, FBP was awarded a $100,000 grant to build an outdoor stage this December!

For three weeks, we will have a large, fully-sprung, modular harlequin floor mounted on a raised stage with forced heat, rigged lighting, and a brand new marley. The grant will also allow the company to purchase new seating for the fully heated and social-distanced audience area. This is HUGE. With this support from the state, FBP will be able to continue the beloved tradition of The Nutcracker in Providence, which has been performed in the Creative Capital for all of the company’s 42 (going on 43!) years.

I never thought I would be so excited at the prospect of performing Nutcracker. As I’ve mentioned before, I am a bit of an anomaly in the ballet world for being a professional who actually (not so secretly) loves the holiday classic. But after 19 years of performing in the FBP version (yes, it’s the same one I have done- and LOVED- since I was 8), it seems fitting that in this year of extreme change, The Nutcracker will change a bit too.

Since the stage will be built in our parking lot on Hope Street, and safety regulations will likely require a shortened running time and smaller cast, it certainly will not be the same show we are all used to. But Nutcracker is all about the magic, and magic we will make!

If you are in the area and in need of some soul food this holiday season, please come out and support the ballet. We are so appreciative to have this support from our state and can’t wait to bring the community together safely this December. In the mean time, better dust off that old practice tutu…

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