Favorite Holiday Tradition: Spending time with family
Describe your typical Christmas morning: Since it’s just my immediate family we sleep in a little bit. Once everyone is awake we grab our coffee and breakfast and head to the presents. We start with stockings then move on to gifts, taking turns opening them one at a time.
Ballpark estimate of the total number of Nutcrackers you’ve performed in since you started dancing: I think about 400. Wow.
Your favorite thing about dancing: Performing for an audience and expressing myself through the movement.
Go-winter activity (recreation or relaxation): Staying warm haha
Describe your earliest Nutcracker memory.
“My earliest Nutcracker memory was being cast as the Small Grandchild in George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker when we used to perform that here at PBT. I was told it was a really special role and even though I wasn’t on stage for the whole party scene I felt like an important character at the party. I loved being on stage playing a different character. I was (and still am) a part of a make-believe world that brings so many people great joy over the holiday season. It’s very magical.”
As a native Pittsburgher, do you think you have a special appreciation for the steel city references woven into PBT’s production? Which is your favorite?
“I definitely do appreciate the Pittsburgh references in PBT’s production of The Nutcracker. The snow scene backdrop is probably my favorite. I think that view from Mt. Washington is one of my favorite sights in Pittsburgh. I feel so familiar with that view that it’s almost become just like I am looking at my backyard when I see it now.”
How has The Nutcracker intermingled with your family’s holiday traditions over the years?
“It has defined my family’s holiday traditions in a way. Every year since I was 7 our family’s holiday schedule has been worked around my Nutcracker schedule. Friends and family travel in to see the show, it’s a great reason to get everyone together. It is hard to think of it being the holiday season without The Nutcracker.”
Can you describe the special feeling or ambiance of The Nutcracker backstage. Can you share what’s like to be part of such an iconic tradition?
“Its a very cozy atmosphere backstage during The Nutcracker. Everyone is bundled up to brave the cold and the sets are warm and inviting with the house and presents rich colors. It definitely becomes a home away from home, we spend most of our time there. By the end of the run we have so many belongings that have made their way to the theater it really feels just like home. It’s so wonderful to be able to be involved in such a great production that means so much to so many people. I love being out there performing something I’ve done a bunch of times but I know that there is someone out in the audience who is seeing The Nutcracker for the first time. That makes it so incredibly special.”
How many roles will you perform this season? Which is your favorite and why?
“I will perform 8 roles in the show this season. My favorite is grandmother. It’s a new role for me this year and I am so excited to play it. I don’t really know why but I love acting like an old lady, you can do anything you want with no judgement. :)”
The Nutcracker runs through Dec. 27, at the Benedum Center. Get your tickets at www.pbt.org/nutcracker or call 412-456-6666.
Groups 8+ save up to 50%. Call 412-454-9101 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Casey recently took over PBT’s Instagram for the day and took fans behind-the-scenes of The Nutcracker. Relive her day below!