American Midwest Ballet - The Nutcracker Program

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Premier Benefactors:

Fred and Eve Simon Charitable


Season Sponsors: Cindy and Scott Heider

Major Support:

WELCOME BACK TO WHERE WE ALL BELONG. We’re beyond thrilled to be performing live for you again. Thank you for your trust and support!

About American Midwest Ballet

American Midwest Ballet is your resident professional dance company, bringing work beyond words to audiences in Nebraska, Iowa, and beyond. Performing at home and on tour, our mission is to provide cultural enrichment through dance programs of the highest quality: breathtaking performances, inspiring education, and uplifting community engagement. American Midwest Ballet’s talented professional dancers hail from around the nation and abroad. The company plays a key role in the cultural vitality of the region, inspiring people through our expressive performing artists, acclaimed choreographers, skilled teachers, and stunning productions.

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• Sweet, but Spunky.

• Fears nothing. • Tough fighter.

• Follows her dreams.

Which of these iconic Nutcracker characters is your favorite? Vote for your team by making a donation in the Nutcracker Challenge! Proceeds go to American Midwest Ballet’s education and community engagement programs and help bring the joy of dance to everyone! Vote now! Can’t scan? Visit to donate and cast your vote!



American Midwest Ballet Board of Directors Greta Vaught, Chair – President & CEO, Midlands Choice Michelle Clark – Senior Director, Union Pacific Catherine Hall – Assistant County Administrator, Douglas County Sharon McGill – Community Volunteer, Ballet Omaha, retired Karen Nelsen – Vice President, U.S. Bank Erika Overturff – Artistic Director & CEO, American Midwest Ballet Jeanie Owen – Community Volunteer, Methodist Health System, retired Doyle Tipler – SAP Technology Architect, Cargill

Advisory Board Hal Daub – Partner, Husch Blackwell Brandon Dickerson – Attorney, HDR, Inc. Jeffrey Francis – Vice President of Finance & CFO, Methodist Health System Amy Haddad, Ph.D. – Professor (retired), Creighton University Jane Howard – Grant and Contract Coordinator, Heartland Family Service Marina O’Rourke – Director, Heartland Ballet Tatiana Bechenova, in memoriam – Former Ballerina, Ballet Russe, Col. de Basil

The Nebraska Cultural Endowment Proudly Supports American Midwest Ballet Learn more about how the Nebraska Cultural Endowment ensures an endless tradition of arts and humanities in our state, visit

Thank You Thank you to our incredible donors who make it possible to share the art of dance with our community. * Denotes members of the American Midwest Ballet Guild. † Denotes members of the Ballet Barre Society. Includes donations through October 10, 2021. Later donations will be acknowledged in future program books.

Director’s Circle Platinum Partner-$100,000 and above

Holland Foundation Fred and Eve Simon Charitable Foundation & Omaha Steaks Iowa West Foundation Richard Brooke Foundation

Gold Partner-$50,000 and above

Anonymous Douglas County Cindy & Scott Heider Peter Kiewit Foundation

Silver Partner-$20,000 and above

Nebraska Arts Council & Nebraska Cultural Endowment Herb & Carole Dewey Sherwood Foundation

Dancers’ Circle Principal-$10,000 and above Amy Haddad & Steve Martin Iowa Arts Council/Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs Sharon McGill Mutual of Omaha John Ritland, Greta Vaught & Mia Ritland* Polina & Bob Schlott

Soloist – $5,000 and above Michael & Laura Alley

Kiewit Corporation Karen & Larry Nelsen Kate & Roger Weitz

Demi-Soloist-$3,000 and above Danielle & Michael Ash Cindy & Mogens Bay Bill & Sandi Bruns Michelle & Ryan Clark FNBO Jeff & Keri Francis OrthoNebraska Jeanie Owen

Relevé-$150 and above

Erica Bryant† Melissa Chapman* Elizabeth Collins Hal & Mary Daub Michael Howland & Linda Matson Kelli Isham* Mary Manning Kechely Shalisa Nau Anderson & Jim Anderson* Robert Peterson Robert & Patricia Ranney Bob & Akemi Smith

Corps de Ballet-$1,500 and above Plié-up to $150 Bobby’s Dancewear, Inc. Daniel Hamann & Joan Squires Donna & Tom Hubbell† Murray & Sharee Newman Erika Overturff & Brandon Dickerson† Pete & Mary Anne Tulipana

Friends’ Circle Grand Jeté-$1,000 and above Barry Cleaveland Sarah & Andrew Maloney† Janet McCrae Pottawattamie County Community Foundation Bruce & Cindy Schenck† Annette & Paul Smith Charitable Fund

Pirouette-$500 and above

Maurice & Sarah Birdwell Daniel Cox & Eleanor Shirley† Catherine Hall & Colin Bernard Jamie Murphy Doyle Tipler James & Susan Tracy Charitable Foundation

Développé-$300 and above Deborah Floyd Mike & Kathy Gross Thomas Richter The Schweitzer Family The Donna J and John P Snowdon Fund Shanna & Dan Zordell

AmazonSmile Foundation Judith Carr Felicia Cervantes Judith Feigin Steve Goodwillie Hermes Auto & Upholstery, Inc. George Kaiser Jeanette Kenny Denise Kolkman* Karen & David Morgan William Munro Christine Parkyn* Jess Peterson Cheryl Widick Sara Williams

In-Kind 99.9 KGOR - Omaha’s Greatest Hits Athlos Chiropractic & Recovery Tom Cox Data Axle Houck Transit Advertising Lamar Outdoor metroMAGAZINE/ mQUARTERLY The Daily Nonpareil Omaha Magazine Omaha World-Herald OrthoNebraska Clyde & Deborah Overturff Erika Overturff Paul Lucht & Sons Physicians Mutual The Reader Michelle Reilly

RSVP Nebraska Dr. Stephen Stonebraker Dr. Michael C. Thompson Valpak

Partner Organizations We are proud to partner with these leading organizations:

All Communities Outreach Services Arts in Motion Autism Action Partnership Bellevue Housing Authority Big Brothers, Big Sisters of the Midlands Boys and Girls Club Boys and Girls Town Child Connect Child Saving Institute

Children’s Hospital and Medical Center Common Senses One Oak School Completely Kids Concerned Inc. El Museo Latino EMPAC Dance ENCORE Family Inc. Food Bank of the Heartland

Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa Girl Scouts of Nebraska Girls Inc. Omaha Heartland Family Service Heartland Family Therapeutic School Impact Hill Iowa Kids Net Joslyn Art Museum Lutheran Family Services

Methodist Jennie Edmundson Hospital Micah House Mosaic Munroe-Meyer Nebraska Medical Center North Platte Public Schools Kids Klub Ollie Webb Center Omaha Conservatory of Music, String Sprouts

Omaha Performing Arts Omaha Symphony Opera Omaha PACE Quality Living QLI Spinal Recovery STARS Scholarship Program The Big Garden The Hope Center for Kids Youth Emergency Service

Special thanks to: OrthoNebraska, the official orthopaedic hospital and physical therapy provider for American Midwest Ballet. Special thanks to Dr. Michael C. Thompson, M.D. and Michelle Reilly. Athlos Chiropractic & Recovery, the official chiropractic provider for American Midwest Ballet. Special thanks to Dr. Steve Stonebraker.

Sat. Dec 11, 2021 at 7:05 PM | Orpheum Theater | 402.345.0606


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The Nebraska Arts Council, a state agency, has supported this program through its matching grants program funded by the Nebraska Legislature, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Nebraska Cultural Endowment. Visit for information on how the Nebraska Arts Council can assist your organization, or how you can support the Nebraska Cultural Endowment.

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Conducted by Hal France Conceived and Directed by Susan Clement Choreography by David Neumann

SWEENEY TODD The Demon Barber of Fleet Street A M u s i c a l Th ri l l e r

FEBRUARY 25 & 27


OPERAOMAHA.ORG | 402.346.7372 TICKETOMAHA.COM | 402.345.0606 Music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim Book by Hugh Wheeler From an Adaptation by Christopher Bond

Originally Directed on Broadway by Harold Prince. Orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick. Originally Produced on Broadway by Richard Barr, Charles Woodward, Robert Fryer, Mary Lea Johnson, Martin Richards in Association with Dean and Judy Manos. Sweeney Todd is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI.

American Midwest Ballet’s Education and Community Engagement programs bring arts access to those in need 1) Student matinees engage more than 100 schools and 7,500 students annually; 60% of students are low income. 2) Outreach to people in need provides over 1,000 complimentary performance tickets through partnerships with more than 30 community engagement partners. 3) Interactive workshop classes share the joy of dance with hundreds of elementary school students. 4) Mentorship is provided to aspiring dancers through classes, workshops, and performance opportunities. Education and Community Engagement Sponsors: Iowa Arts Council/Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs Mutual of Omaha Additional Support from FNBO

Train with the professionals at the metro’s only professionally-affiliated school of dance. Company artist Katerina Schweitzer leads contemporary class at the Hoff Center.

Many of the artists you are seeing in this performance are on the faculty of the American Midwest Ballet School, the metro area’s only dance school affiliated with a professional ballet company. Aspiring professionals, just-for-fun young dancers, and passion-driven adult dancers will find a welcoming home with us. DEDICATED TO TO FOSTERING A LOVE OF DANCE FOR STUDENTS OF ALL AGES THROUGH EXCEPTIONAL TRAINING AND PERFORMANCE OPPORTUNITIES • CLASSES IN BALLET, JAZZ, TAP, LYRICAL, AND HIP HOP PERFORMANCES • SPECIAL PROGRAMS INCLUDING YAGP SOLO PROGRAM AND DANCE FOR MEDIA ARTS ADULT BALLET, CONTEMPORARY, TAP, AND BARRE FITNESS


Artistic Staff Erika Overturff, Artistic Director & CEO Matthew Lovegood, Ballet Master

Artists Erin Alarcón, Rebecca Brenner, Nora Carr, Elena Carter, Ryan Christopher, Fredrick Davis, Claire Goodwillie, Alyssa Grimsley, Alexandra Hoffman, Matthew Lovegood, Richard Marks, Kelanie Murphy, Kogan Murphy, Erika Overturff, Wyatt Payne, Katerina Schweitzer, Amaris Sharratt, Isaac Sharratt, Victor Smith, Anna Swenson, Whitney Walsh Apprentices: Leah Kressin, Jessica Lopes Costume Designer �������������������Deborah Overturff Costumer �������������������Wendy Linville Development Director �������������������Sarah Maloney Operations Director �������������������Shanna Zordell Marketing Director �������������������Jim Williams Production & Marketing Manager �������������������Wesley A. Houston Community Engagement Manager �������������������Hannah Clark Rehearsal Assistants �������������������Erin Alarcón, Claire Goodwillie, Angela Rodriguez Pianist �������������������Keefer Peterson School Director �������������������Susan Chowning Filmmaker �������������������Lance Glenn

Acknowledgments Premier Benefactors:

Fred and Eve Simon

Richard Brooke Foundation,


in memory of Jane Seemann


Major Support:

Season Sponsors: Cindy and Scott Heider

Costume Sponsors: Kiewit Corporation; OrthoNebraska Scenic Sponsors: Danielle & Michael Ash; Cindy & Mogens Bay; The Daily Nonpareil Additional Sponsors: Bobby’s Dancewear; Dan Hamann & Joan Squires

Special thanks to Autism Action Partnership and Kate & Roger Weitz for making our sensory-friendly performance of The Nutcracker possible.

American Midwest Ballet Presents

The Nutcracker Hoff Family Arts & Culture Center, November 20 & 21, 2021 • Omaha’s Orpheum Theater, December 4 and 5, 2021

Choreography ��������������������������������������������������������� Erika Overturff Additional Choreography ������������������������������������� Matthew Lovegood Music ������������������������������������������������������������������������ Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Costume Design ����������������������������������������������������� Deborah Overturff Additional Costume Design ��������������������������������� Thom J. Peterson Set and Prop Design & Construction ������������������ Clyde Overturff, Deborah Overturff, Shanna Zordell, Michelle Bonker, Lance Glenn Lighting Design ������������������������������������������������������ Bill Van Deest, Carol Wisner Wardrobe ����������������������������������������������������������������� Deborah Overturff, Wendy Linville, Shanna Zordell, Amy Voogd, Maggie Toczek, Elena Carter, Thom J. Peterson, Kristin Harper, Mona Schlautman Resident Stage Manager ���������������������������������������� Wesley A. Houston Assistant Stage Managers �������������������������������������� Jozalyn Harrison, Hallie Olsen Technical Manager ������������������������������������������������� Hannah Clark Technical Crew ������������������������������������������������������� Michael Clark, Lance Glenn, Sabrina Kinney, Emily Ripa, Savannah Savick, Jason Shannon Orpheum Theater Stage Crew ������������������������������ Members of IATSE Local 42 Indian Dance Choreography �������������������������������� Asha Joseph, Rajam Ramamurthy Indian Dance Rehearsal Director ������������������������� Ushasree Devaraju The Indian dance is presented in collaboration with Viswanatya Niketan, an Omaha-based school of classical Indian dance.

The Story: The time is long ago, but not too long ago, and the place is a town not so different from our own. It’s Christmas Eve; Clara, Fritz, and their parents have invited all their friends to a festive party, and the streets are thronged with excited guests. At the house, everybody is working hard to get ready – except for Fritz, who catches a mouse and teases Clara with it. Soon guests arrive and the party begins. One very special guest is Drosselmeyer, Clara’s favorite uncle. He’s famous throughout the town for his collection of amazing mechanical toys, and his entertainments for the guests astonish everyone. Drosselmeyer has a special gift for Clara: a beautifully painted nutcracker, fashioned in the figure of a toy soldier. He tells her a fascinating story that goes with it, about a prince turned into a nutcracker by a spell cast by the evil Rat Queen. Clara is enchanted by her gift and its story. Later, when the party is over and everyone has gone to bed, she tiptoes back downstairs to find her nutcracker. As she dozes off, her memories of the evening turn to dreams: of teasing mice, a terrifying Rat Queen, and a nutcracker that comes to life. Clara herself vanquishes the Rat Queen, breaking the spell and turning the nutcracker back into a prince. To thank her for freeing him, the prince takes Clara on a magical journey. First they travel through a swirl of enchanted snowflakes, meeting their king and queen. Then they cross the starry sky to the Land of Dreams, where they’re greeted by the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier. As a tribute to Clara, the Sugar Plum Fairy calls forth visions from many lands, who dance to entertain her. Finally everyone joins in one grand, beautiful dance. And when Clara awakens, in her own house with her cherished nutcracker, she realizes that there are no limits on where your imagination can take you!

Act I

The Christmas Party Baby Mice ���������������������������������Marissa Anderson. Ella Bauerly, Hannah Downing Clara ������������������������������������������Katerina Schweitzer Fritz ��������������������������������������������Erin Alarcón Clara’s Parents ��������������������������Claire Goodwillie, Isaac Sharratt Butler �����������������������������������������Victor Smith Maids �����������������������������������������Anna Aesoph, Hannah Kubiak, Baylor Lee, Charlotte Vander Zwaag Party Guests ������������������������������Clint Beaver, Ryan Christopher, Alyssa Grimsley, Leah Kressin, Richard Marks, Wyatt Payne, John Ritland, Amaris Sharratt, Anna Swenson Tchaikovsky, a Society Dog ����Guest star representing the Nebraska Humane Society Party Children ��������������������������Nora Carr, Elena Carter, Jessica Lopes, Kelanie Murphy, Kogan Murphy Drosselmeyer ����������������������������Matthew Lovegood Toy Soldier ��������������������������������Victor Smith Porcelain Doll ���������������������������Alexandra Hoffman Harlequin Dolls ������������������������Amaris Sharratt, Whitney Walsh

Clara’s Nightmare Rat Queen ���������������������������������Alexandra Hoffman Nutcracker ��������������������������������Ryan Christopher Mice �������������������������������������������Erin Alarcón, Nora Carr, Elena Carter, Claire Goodwillie, Jessica Lopes, Kelanie Murphy, Kogan Murphy Soldiers ��������������������������������������Alyssa Grimsley, Leah Kressin, Richard Marks, Wyatt Payne, Amaris Sharratt, Victor Smith Battle Doll ���������������������������������Whitney Walsh

The Land of Snow Snow Queen �����������������������������Anna Swenson Snow King ���������������������������������Isaac Sharratt Snow ������������������������������������������Nora Carr, Alyssa Grimsley, Richard Marks, Kelanie Murphy, Kogan Murphy, Wyatt Payne, Amaris Sharratt, Whitney Walsh Snow Branches �������������������������Elena Carter, Claire Goodwillie, Leah Kressin, Jessica Lopes North Wind Sailboat ���������������Anna Aesoph, Charlotte Vander Zwaag

Intermission (20 minutes)

Act II

The Land of Dreams Stars �������������������������������������������Elena Carter, Claire Goodwillie, Alyssa Grimsley, Alexandra Hoffman, Leah Kressin, Anna Swenson Sugar Plum Fairy ���������������������Erin Alarcón Cavalier �������������������������������������Matthew Lovegood Sugar Plum Court ��������������������Anna Aesoph, Delainey Benedict, Bella Earll, Savannah Hemsley, Alena Kehm, Lillian Koenig, Hannah Kubiak, Baylor Lee, Elizabeth Marsh, Charlotte Murray Meringues ���������������������������������Hannah Adangnihoude, Ava Bargmann, Emily Douglas, Mia Simon Spanish ��������������������������������������Nora Carr, Jessica Lopes, Kelanie Murphy, Kogan Murphy, Amaris Sharratt, Whitney Walsh Arabian ��������������������������������������Anna Swenson, Wyatt Payne with Elena Carter, Alexandra Hoffman and Clint Beaver, Richard Marks, Isaac Sharratt, Victor Smith Chinese ��������������������������������������Alyssa Grimsley with Nora Carr, Jessica Lopes and Hannah Adangnihoude, Bella Earll, Alena Kehm, Keely Mulholland Russian ��������������������������������������Ryan Christopher, Kogan Murphy, Amaris Sharratt, Victor Smith, Whitney Walsh French ��������������������������������������Alexandra Hoffman, Isaac Sharratt with Anna Aesoph, Lillian Koenig, Hannah Kubiak, Baylor Lee, Elizabeth Marsh, Charlotte Murray, Charlotte Vander Zwaag, Abigail Whitt Indian ����������������������������������������Dancers from Viswanatya Niketan North Pole ���������������������������������Richard Marks with Hannah Adangnihoude, Marissa Anderson, Ella Bauerly, Sophie Chase, Emily Douglas, Hannah Downing, Bricen Egri, Vada Herrera

The Enchanted Garden Dew Drop Fairy �����������������������Kelanie Murphy Thistle ����������������������������������������Isaac Sharratt Iris ����������������������������������������������Alexandra Hoffman Wild Rose ����������������������������������Kogan Murphy Fuchsia ��������������������������������������Whitney Walsh Lily ���������������������������������������������Amaris Sharratt Dahlia ����������������������������������������Anna Swenson

Zinnia ����������������������������������������Alyssa Grimsley French Marigold ����������������������Jessica Lopes Bluebell ��������������������������������������Nora Carr Dragonflies �������������������������������Elena Carter, Claire Goodwillie Frogs ������������������������������������������Ryan Christopher, Victor Smith Butterflies ����������������������������������Leah Kressin, Hannah Kubiak, Baylor Lee Snails �����������������������������������������Ava Bargmann, Mia Simon Bee ���������������������������������������������Charlotte Murray


Full cast

•◆• American Midwest Ballet Costume Designer Deborah Overturff has designed and created costumes for such notable ballets as Giselle, Swan Lake, Coppélia, Cinderella, The Sleeping Beauty, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Cleopatra, Alice in Wonderland, and The Nutcracker. For many years she had the privilege of working directly with Tatiana Bechenova, former ballerina of the Original Ballet Russe Col. de Basil. Deborah has created costumes for the Heartland Ballet, Dubuque City Youth Ballet, Montgomery Ballet, and American Midwest Ballet. She received the Willoughby Award for her costumes in The Nutcracker. In addition, Deborah has worked as part of the wardrobe staff at Hancher Auditorium in Iowa City on the national tours of Cats, Les Miserables, Joffrey Ballet’s The Nutcracker, and Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Her dazzling costumes for American Midwest Ballet’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Cleopatra were nominated for Omaha Entertainment & Arts Awards in the category of Best Costume Design.


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Celebrating American Midwest Ballet’s Twelfth Season “Dance is your pulse, your heartbeat, your breathing. It’s the rhythm of your life. It’s the expression in time and movement, in happiness, joy, sadness, and envy.” — Jacques d’Amboise

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Who’s that guest star with the cold, wet nose? Our canine co-star in the ballet’s party scene represents our “Muttcracker” partnership with the Nebraska Humane Society. Our “Muttcracker” pups are here to remind you that if you’re thinking of adding a pet to your family, the Humane Society is a great place to start! Visit them at “My dog, Molly, was a shelter pet, so I hope our ‘Muttcracker’ partnership helps other pets find homes!” – Erika Overturff – American Midwest Ballet artistic director & CEO

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American Midwest Ballet Artistic Staff Erika Overturff, Artistic Director & CEO

Erika Overturff is the founder of American Midwest Ballet, the region’s professional ballet company. Under her leadership as artistic director and CEO, American Midwest Ballet enriches the area through an exciting array of professional dance performances and a strong commitment to cultural education and community engagement. Erika began her training in Iowa at the Academy of Ballet, studying at summer programs including North Carolina School of the Arts, American Ballet Theatre, Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, and the Kirov Academy. Following early high school graduation as valedictorian, Erika earned her B.F.A. in ballet performance and teaching from the University of Utah, which she attended on a full scholarship. She graduated cum laude in just three years and was chosen outstanding senior by the ballet department faculty. Erika went on to dance with Montgomery Ballet, Alabama Ballet, and Omaha Theater Ballet. She has performed principal and soloist roles in a wide range of classical and contemporary repertoire. Audiences have enjoyed Erika’s performances in roles such as Eileen in Swing, Swing, Swing!, Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Lucy in Dracula, Snow Queen and Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland, Myrtha in Giselle, and the Wicked Witch in The Wizard of Oz. Erika has also been a faculty member and guest teacher for schools around the United States. As a choreographer, Erika has received critical praise for her work. She served as répétitrice for Montgomery Ballet and resident choreographer for Omaha Theater Ballet. She has worked on several collaborations with Opera Omaha, created an all-new production of Peter and the Wolf with the Omaha Symphony, and regularly creates new works for American Midwest Ballet. As part of the company’s ongoing collaboration with Joslyn Art Museum, Erika has choreographed original ballets inspired by museum artwork or exhibitions, including Connemara, Cleopatra, Go West!, and Appalachian Song. Other featured works include Tropico, Party Animals, The Diner, Ella, and Rhapsody in Blue. Erika also created American Midwest Ballet’s lively and entertaining version of the holiday favorite The Nutcracker, which has premiered to enthusiastic audiences both at home and on tour. For her vision and achievements, Erika was named a recipient of the Midlands Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 Awards, honoring area entrepreneurs, executives, and professionals.


American Midwest Ballet

& The Omaha Ar ts Communit y 402.334.1225


13471 W. Center Rd. Omaha, NE 68144

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Matthew Lovegood, Ballet Master

Artist Sponsors: Amy Haddad & Steve Martin Matthew Lovegood began his training in Pennsylvania with Sharon Filone at the Lake Erie Ballet School and Sandra Barnett at Little’s Dance Studio. He went on to study on full scholarship at North Carolina School of the Arts, Miami City Ballet School, and the Chautauqua Festival Dancers. Matthew has danced professionally with Ohio Ballet, Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, Lake Erie Ballet, and Omaha Theater Ballet. He has performed numerous leading roles within the classical repertoire, including Prince Desire in The Sleeping Beauty, Franz in Coppélia, and Mercutio in Romeo & Juliet, as well as in works by George Balanchine, Merce Cunningham, Donald Byrd, Heinz Poll, Laura Dean, Luis Montero, and many others. He has also performed as a Guest Artist with Hawaii Ballet Theatre, Neglia Ballet Artists, and Ballet Tucson. Area audiences have enjoyed Matthew in roles such as Prince Siegfried in Swan Lake, Albrecht in Giselle, the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz, Cavalier in The Nutcracker, the Asp in Erika Overturff ’s Cleopatra, Puck in Oscar Antunez’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and the leading role in Ann Reinking’s staging of In the Style of Bob Fosse. Also a choreographer, he has premiered works with numerous schools and professional companies, including Bacchanale Variations, Signs of Life, Sadako, Poseidon, Transcription, Caprice, and Swan Lake for American Midwest Ballet. Matthew continues to serve as a guest teacher for schools throughout the country. Matthew is a founding member of American Midwest Ballet and returns for his twelfth season as ballet master.

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Artists Erin Alarcón

Artist Sponsors: Deborah & Clyde Overturff Hometown: Hackettstown, New Jersey Training & Experience: B.A. in dance from Mercyhurst University; New Jersey School of Dance Arts; summer programs at Eglevsky Ballet and Joffrey Ballet; professional performances with SoMar Dance Works and Ballet Concert; guest artist with Iowa Dance Theater Featured Repertory: Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker; Odette in Swan Lake; Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz; title roles in Giselle and Alice in Wonderland; featured roles in Tropico, Party Animals, The Diner, DanceSport, and Ella Additional Highlights: choreographed full-length original version of The Wizard of Oz, and short works Bricolage and One in Three featured in Momentum; twelfth season with American Midwest Ballet; founding company member

Rebecca Brenner

Hometown: Columbus, Ohio Training & Experience: B.F.A. in dance from University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music; Columbus City Ballet School, merit scholarship at Orlando Ballet School; summer program at American Ballet Theater; member of Rochester City Ballet

Featured Repertory: Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Little Swan and Neapolitan variation in Swan Lake; roles in Giselle, The Nutcracker, Paquita, Cleopatra, and Go West! Additional Highlights: participated in Youth American Grand Prix New York City finals; eighth season with American Midwest Ballet

Nora Carr

Artist Sponsors: Herb & Carole Dewey Hometown: Burnt Hills, New York Training & Experience: B.F.A. in dance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music; Akjun Ballet Theatre; Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet; Northeast Ballet Artist; summer programs at American Ballet Theater, Miami City Ballet, Saratoga Summer Dance Intensive, CPYB; scholarship recipient at New York Summer School of the Arts Featured Repertory: Roles in Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Appalachian Song, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream Additional Highlight: sixth season with American Midwest Ballet

Elena Carter

Hometown: Seattle, Washington Training & Experience: B.F.A. in dance and B.A. in mathematics from the University of Arizona; Pacific Northwest Ballet School; summer programs at Alonzo King LINES Ballet, Perry Mansfield, Ballet Austin, Los Angeles Ballet, Ballet Chicago, and Pacific Northwest Ballet

Featured Repertory: roles in The Wizard of Oz, The Nutcracker, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Death and the Maiden, In the Style of Bob Fosse, and Appalachian Song; performed the solo Temporary Dwelling in Omaha Dance Project Additional Highlights: selected to train with Pacific Northwest Ballet at the age of eight on full scholarship through a public outreach program; fifth season with American Midwest Ballet

Ryan Christopher

Hometown: Golden, Colorado Training & Experience: International Youth Ballet School and Performing Arts Conservatory of Texas; professional dancer with Ballet Ariel and Boulder Ballet; guest artist throughout Colorado and around the United States

Featured Repertory: soloist in Paquita; pas de trois in Swan Lake; pas de six in Giselle; Snow King and Cavalier in The Nutcracker; Wizard in The Wizard of Oz; featured roles in On My Mother’s Side and Go West! Additional Highlights: former baseball and football athlete; professional costume and prop designer; ninth season with American Midwest Ballet

Fredrick Davis

Hometown: Brooklyn, New York Training & Experience: Trained on full scholarship with Ballet Tennessee; worked with Arthur Mitchell at Dance Theatre of Harlem Ensemble; promoted to company member under the direction of Virginia Johnson; guest artist for Dallas Black Dance Theatre, Ballet Tucson, Dance Theatre of Harlem, San Jose Dance Theatre, New Jersey Ballet Company, and Connecticut Ballet; guest choreographer for Neville Dance Theatre

Featured Repertory: Balanchine’s Agon, Alvin Ailey’s The Lark Ascending, Ulysses Dove’s Dancing on the Front Porch of Heaven Additional Highlights: Featured in the award-winning PBS documentary From the Streets to the Stage: the Journey of Fredrick Davis, sharing the story of his life beginning as a homeless child on the street and transcending to be a world-class ballet dancer; U.S. Ambassador for Dance Theatre of Harlem in Jamaica, St. Thomas, and Honduras; performances at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem, the Donald McKayle honors performance in Irvine, California, and the Kennedy Center Honors in Washington, D.C.; first season with American Midwest Ballet [beginning with Momentum]

Claire Goodwillie

Hometown: Omaha, Nebraska Training & Experience: Omaha Theater Ballet School; summer programs at Pacific Northwest Ballet and Ballet Austin; apprentice with Omaha Theater Ballet Featured Repertory: title role in Cleopatra; Rat Queen in The Nutcracker; Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream; featured roles in Sadako, Party Animals, Giselle, The Diner, and Go West!; Edgar L. Page’s A Slow Drag

Additional Highlights: twelfth season with American Midwest Ballet; founding company member

Alyssa Grimsley

Hometown: Fort Smith, Arkansas Training & Experience: B.F.A. in ballet performance from the University of Oklahoma, summa cum laude; Western Arkansas Ballet; summer programs at Joffrey Midwest, Ballet Austin, Tulsa Ballet, and Cincinnati Ballet

Featured Repertory: Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Gift of Heart in the Wizard of Oz, Big Swan in Swan Lake, Chinese and Spanish in The Nutcracker; roles in French Songs, Death and the Maiden, Giselle, Paquita, Go West!, and Ella Additional Highlights: toured with Oklahoma Festival Ballet to Eisenstadt, Austria and with Burklyn Ballet Theatre to Edinburgh, Scotland; eighth season with American Midwest Ballet

Alexandra Hoffmann

Artist Sponsors: John Ritland, Greta Vaught, & Mia Ritland Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio Training & Experience: Ana Lobe of Cleveland San Jose Ballet; summer programs at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Nashville Ballet, and Louisville Ballet; trainee with Louisville Ballet Featured Repertory: Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker; Gift of Wisdom in The Wizard of Oz; Maiden in Death and the Maiden; Fee in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Little Swan in Swan Lake; roles in Group Therapy, Cleopatra, Go West!, Bournonville Divertissements, and Transcription Additional Highlight: seventh season with American Midwest Ballet

Richard Marks Hometown: Waukee, Iowa Training & Experience: Milwaukee Ballet II; Westside Dance Academy; The Pointe Academy Featured Repertory: Frank Chaves’ Habaneras, the Music of Cuba; Russian in The Nutcracker; Rustic in Bruce Wells’ A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Dark Angel in George Balanchine’s Serenade; Vicor in Michael Pink’s Dracula Additional Highlight: third season with American Midwest Ballet

Kelanie Murphy

Artist Sponsors: Polina & Bob Schlott Hometown: Chicago, Illinois Training & Experience: B.F.A. in dance performance from the University of Missouri-Kansas City; Madison Ballet, Minnesota Ballet, Kansas City Ballet, Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company, Judith Svalander School of Ballet; summer programs at Alonzo King LINES Ballet, Kansas City Ballet Featured Repertory: Porcelain Doll and French in The Nutcracker; roles in French Songs, The Wizard of Oz, and Habaneras, the Music of Cuba; Ann Reinking and Dylis Croman’s staging of Bob Fosse’s Trumpet Solo from ‘Sing, Sing, Sing’ Additional Highlight: fourth season with American Midwest Ballet

Kogan Murphy

Hometown: Chicago, Illinois Training & Experience: Joffrey Ballet trainee; Ballet Theatre of Indiana, Judith Svalander School of Ballet; Joffrey Ballet summer program Featured Repertory: lead in Rhapsody in Blue; Spanish in The Nutcracker; Little Swan in Swan Lake; roles in The Wizard of Oz, Giselle, Appalachian Song, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Additional Highlights: Miss Illinois talent scholarship and Miss Douglas County; seventh season with American Midwest Ballet

Wyatt Payne

Artist Sponsors: Omaha World-Herald Hometown: Wichita, Kansas Training & Experience: B.F.A in ballet performance from Friends University; Rogers Ballet; summer programs at Next Generation Ballet and Oklahoma City Ballet Featured Repertory: Demetrius in A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Nutcracker Prince, Russian, and Arabian in The Nutcracker; roles in The Wizard of Oz, Death and the Maiden, Appalachian Song, Bricolage, and Habaneras, the Music of Cuba. Additional Highlight: fifth season with American Midwest Ballet

Katerina Schweitzer

Artist Sponsors: Herb & Carole Dewey Hometown: Vero Beach, Florida Training & Experience: apprentice with Gelsey Kirkland Ballet; Space Coast Ballet Academy; Kirova Ballet Academy of Miami; private training by Heidi Khursandi; Gelsey Kirkland Ballet Academy graduate; summer programs at American Ballet Theatre, Joffrey Ballet, Ballet Vero Beach, Kirova Ballet Academy of Miami, and Gelsey Kirkland Academy Featured Repertory: Spanish in The Nutcracker; roles in Death and the Maiden, Group Therapy, The Wizard of Oz, Appalachian Song, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Habaneras, the Music of Cuba; Ray Mercer’s Ghost Light Additional Highlight: fifth season with American Midwest Ballet


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Amaris Sharratt

Hometown: Tucson, Arizona Training & Experience: Ballet Arts; summer programs at Pacific Northwest Ballet, Houston Ballet, and Ballet Tucson on full scholarship; performed with Milwaukee Ballet II, Houston Ballet, Nevada Ballet Theater, Ballet Tucson, Earthen Vessels, and Hopestone Dance Company

Featured Repertory: Poppy Queen and Gift of Courage in The Wizard of Oz; lead in French Songs; Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Arabian and Chinese soloist in The Nutcracker; roles in Giselle, Paquita, Cleopatra, Go West!, Swan Lake, and Ella; Sandra Organ Solis’ Pearl Additional Highlights: performed in Edinburgh, Scotland as a scholarship recipient at Burklyn Ballet Theater; eighth season with American Midwest Ballet

Isaac Sharratt Hometown: Tucson, Arizona Training & Experience: Milwaukee Ballet; Ballet Tucson; Milwaukee Ballet II; Ballet Arts Tucson; Tucson Regional Ballet Academy Featured Repertory: Leading and soloist roles including Michael Pink’s Beauty and the Beast, Dracula, and La Boheme; Aleix Mañé Sáez’ ExiliO; Mark Godden’s Angels in the Architecture; Erika Overturff ’s Party Animals; Cavalier and Thistle in The Nutcracker; Frank Chaves’ If Only Additional Highlights: choreographed works at company and second company levels; third season with American Midwest Ballet

Victor Smith

Hometown: Brisbane, Australia Training & Experience: Diploma of Dance, Queensland Conservatoire of Ballet, Brisbane; Royal Academy of Dance, Advanced 2 exam, with distinction; Cecchetti, Advanced 1 exam, with honors; Boston Ballet School (trainee); Gelsey Kirkland Ballet Academy, studio company; Joffrey Ballet School, performance company; Baltimore Ballet; Charlottesville Ballet, principal; Ballet Theater of Maryland, soloist; US International Ballet, principal

Featured Repertory: Male lead in Gerald Arpino’s Light Rain, Kettentanz, and Birthday Variations; Mercutio in Romeo & Juliet; Lysander in A Midsummer Night’s Dream Additional Highlights: First season with American Midwest Ballet

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Anna Swenson Artist Sponsor: Sharon McGill

Hometown: Spokane, Washington Training & Experience: Ballet Arts Academy; trainee program at school of Alberta Ballet; summer programs at Walnut Hill School for the Arts, Joffrey Ballet’s Jazz and Contemporary program, and School of Alberta Ballet

Featured Repertory: Emerald Queen in The Wizard of Oz; Snow Queen and Arabian Princess in The Nutcracker; Big Swan in Swan Lake; featured roles in Blackbird, Appalachian Song, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Seneca Montgomery’s Order in the Chaos Additional Highlight: ninth season with American Midwest Ballet

Whitney Walsh Hometown: Westlake Village, California Training & Experience: Joffrey Ballet trainee; guest artist at Pacific Festival Ballet; California Dance Theatre; summer programs at Joffrey Ballet, American Ballet Theatre New York, Houston Ballet, and Kirov Academy of Ballet Featured Repertory: Porcelain Doll and Spanish in The Nutcracker; Little Swan in Swan Lake; roles in Connemara, In the Style of Bob Fosse, One in Three, Transcription, Ella, The Diner, Go West!, Appalachian Song, and Giselle Additional Highlights: performed several world premieres in Joffrey Ballet’s Winning Works; eighth season with American Midwest Ballet

Apprentices Leah Kressin

Hometown: Carlsbad, California Training & Experience: Bachelor of Arts in dance from California State University Long Beach; San Elijo Dance and Music Academy on merit scholarship, City Ballet of San Diego, San Diego Ballet Collective; master classes with Gelsey Kirkland, David Howard, Susan Jaffe, Abbie Seifel, Desmond Richardson, Lawrence Rosenberg, Ivan Vargas

Summer Programs: American Ballet Theatre, Escuela Internacional de Flamenco Manolete

Jessica Lopes

Hometown: Lages, Brazil Training & Experience: Milwaukee Ballet II; Miami City Ballet School; Escola de Dança Alice Arja; performed with Companhia de Ballet do Rio de Janeiro Summer Programs: Miami City Ballet School, Milwaukee Ballet, Seminário de Dança de Minas




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On the program: Ann Reinking and Dylis Croman’s staging of Bob Fosse’s electrifying Trumpet Solo from ‘Sing, Sing, Sing’

It’s a glittering mix that showcases the exciting range of dance! Featuring live performances of favorites from our Going Solo film series – plus rousing large-group dances, including a new Tchaikovsky ballet by new company member Fredrick Davis!

Reserve now:


RAISE THE BARRE Omaha Steaks is proud to sponsor American Midwest Ballet and support the local arts.

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