Nutcracker Magic 2020


Champaign, Ill. (WCIA)

Lauren Frost a/k/a Sugar Plum Fairy, grew up on stage with CU Ballet. From her early roles to her first major role as Clara in The Nutcracker, and all the roles in between, she was on a journey to make her dream come true — dance the role of Sugar Plum in CU Ballet’s Nutcracker on Krannert’s stage with a live orchestra. Of course, her dream came true. She, ultimately, stayed with CU Ballet and became a teacher as well. In visiting with Lauren, who is now a Junior at Southern Illinois University, she knows these difficult times are challenging for kids. She said to me “I don’t want the kids to stop dreaming”. She wanted to give back to the community who has supported her over the years, and she felt there was no better way than to reach out and connect with the younger generation so that they will continue to dream. Who knows — maybe one of these littles who dial in with Sugar Plum aspires to one day be the Sugar Plum Fairy; or, maybe their time together will help formulate a different dream. And, Lauren’s story is so unique, in that she started as a youngster, danced her way up the ranks, and came back to teach. It’s a full circle sort of story.

This isn’t a sad story about “no Nutcracker”, but rather a story of hope. Our dancers continue to work hard and prepare for the moment when they can return to center stage. Restaging of Nutcracker in 2021, in whatever form that may take, will be a sign that our community and its traditions are enduringly strong. In the meantime, though, we are doing some special things to share a little Nutcracker magic. Just because The Nutcracker can’t come to the stage this year because of Covid, doesn’t mean we can’t bring a little Nutcracker magic to them. Technology is a wonderful thing in that it allows us to still connect even with Covid swirling about. In this particular case, kiddos will have the opportunity to not only connect with Sugar Plum (Lauren), but several other Nutcracker characters who they, typically, only see on stage from a distance.

Sugar Plum (Lauren Frost): Saturday, December 12th at 10am

Clara (Ilana Cohen) : Sunday, December 13th at 12:30pm

Rat Queen and Mouse (Hanna Laible-Seif + Ellie Rypka) : Sunday, December 13th at 1:30pm

Ice Fairy (Taylor Feddersen) : Sunday, December 13th at 2:30pm

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