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Springfield, Missouri


The Nutcracker | December 20-23, 2019


Patrons followed along as Clara and her Nutcracker Prince dashed from an extravagant Christmas party to a fierce battle with the evil Mouse King, then on a magical journey through the Land of Snow and Kingdom of Sweets. Many celebrated this past holiday tradition and shared the magic of Springfield Ballet's The Nutcracker with the ones they love!

All shows were performed at Landers Theatre.
Friday, December 20, 7:30pm
Saturday, December 21, 2:00 & 7:30pm
Sunday, December 22, 2:00 & 6:00pm
Monday, December 23, 2:00pm

Run time for The Nutcracker was two hours, including the 20 minute intermission.

Professional Guest Artists

Our professional guest artists' performances made possible by the support of 2019-2020 Ballet Partner Presenting Sponsors John & Beth Raidel.

Sugar Plum Fairy: Ashlan Grace Zay

Ashlan Grace Zay began dancing when she was three years old. She joined Springfield Ballet at age ten and began training with Ashley Paige Romines, continuing her training there until the age of fifteen. While at Springfield Ballet, she performed The Nutcracker in roles such as Clara, Snow Queen and Dew Drop Fairy. She also performed the title role in Cinderella in her last production with Springfield Ballet.

She then accepted an invitation to Charlotte Ballet’s Pre-Professional Division as a conservatory student. Ashlan trained with Charlotte Ballet for four years and advanced into a trainee position, followed by a two year apprenticeship. She accepted a full scholarship to attend the summer dance program at the Chautauqua Institute and trained at Boston Ballet during her summer breaks from Charlotte Ballet. While at Charlotte Ballet, Ashlan had the privilege to train under Patricia McBride and Mark Diamond, as well as Kati Hanlon Mayo and Laszlo Berdo, among others. She performed in Charlotte Ballet’s The Nutcracker every year, Mark Diamond’s The Little Mermaidand Jean Pierre Bonnefoux’s Sleeping Beauty, touring the productions to Charleston, South Carolina. While at Charlotte Ballet Ashlan had the opportunity to dance the lead roles in Balanchine’s Raymonda and Who Cares?.

Currently she is dancing under full scholarship at the University of Missouri Kansas City, where she has performed the lead in Les Sylphides as well as other pieces by David Justin, Deanna Hiett and Garry Abbot. 

Ashlan is thrilled to return to the Landers Theatre stage to perform as Sugar Plum Fairy in Springfield Ballet’s The Nutcracker.


Cavalier: Richard F. Nebel II

After leaving Springfield Ballet and Missouri State University, Richard completed his training with the late John Magnus, dancing with the Portland Festival Ballet, where he danced for three seasons. With Mr. Magnus, he had the opportunity to work on both classical roles and create multiple original contemporary works.

A native of Bolivar, he has lived in the constant adventure that is New York City. He has been able to bridge the world between both ballet and musical theatre in the last few years. These days, in addition to keeping up with his ballet, he is focusing primarily on where his theatre career can take him. His regional credits include: On the Town (Dance Captain/ u/s Gabey), Guys & Dolls (Rusty Charlie), La Cage aux Folles (Hanna/Dance Captain), Funny Face, 42nd Street and My Fair Lady.

In Eugene, OR, he had the opportunity to dance with Ballet Fantastique, originating multiple roles in the new ballets The Dragon and the Night Queen and Scarlet Flower, a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, along with a return to Springfield Ballet in The Nutcracker in 2016.

 Richard has returned to Springfield to complete his BFA in Musical Theatre along with an accounting degree at Missouri State University.  He is excited to be back at Springfield Ballet, both dancing and on faculty, passing on his training to the dancers. At 6'7", Tommy Tune better look out, there's a new tall man on the rise.