By Sophia McDonald Bennett

Whether it’s holiday fun for the whole family, a Valentine’s Day treat for mom and dad, or a chance for kids to learn to love the stage, local performing arts organizations have much to offer this season.

Eugene Ballet Company

The Nutcracker is always a highlight in December, and this year’s show will be no exception. The Eugene Ballet Company’s production will be in town Dec. 18-20. Families have four opportunities to watch Clara and her prince battle the Mouse King and journey to the Land of Sweets, including two evening shows and two matinees. As always, local children will be involved in the performance.

Live music for The Nutcracker will come from the Festival Singers and Orchestra Next, the Eugene Ballet Company’s resident music ensemble. Orchestra Next is a training company that provides experience to young people looking to become professional musicians.

“We received a lot of good feedback about Orchestra Next last year,” says Kylie Keppler, Eugene Ballet Company’s public relations coordinator. “It’s always great to have live music for The Nutcracker. It’s a wonderful opportunity for the musicians as well.”

Dance lovers are getting a real treat this Valentine’s Day with the return of Carmina Burana. The Eugene Ballet Company will perform this powerful ballet on Feb. 13 and 14. It features bold dances set to a familiar score by German composer Carl Orff.

“It’s one of the most requested performances, so we’re really excited to have it back,” Keppler says. Orchestra Next and the Eugene Concert Choir will collaborate on the performance. They will be joined by guest vocalists Zulimar López-Hernández, Joelle Harvey, Paul Karaitis, and Anton Belov.

Immediately following Carmina Burana is a dance and interactive media performance called White Noise. This fascinating piece was choreographed by Amy Seiwert and first performed in 2010.

All shows will take place at the Hult Center for the Performing Arts.

 1590 Willamette St. • 541/485-3992 •


Rose Children’s Theatre

Rose Children’s Theatre will bring joy to the holidays with I’m Dreaming of an A Capella Christmas on Dec. 18-20. Young singers will perform holiday classics sans accompaniment to raise money for the nonprofit theater company, which has been empowering children and entertaining families since 1978.

From Feb. 12 to 14, Rose Children’s Theatre will feature The Reluctant Dragon. The play tells the story of a dragon who would rather write poetry than breathe fire or fight with knights. The play is loosely based on the popular book and movie series How to Train Your Dragon, says board president Monique Ripley.

All these shows will be performed at the Wildish Theater in Springfield.

Parents hoping to give young children a taste of theater are encouraged to check out Adventures in Acting, a week-long camp for kids in kindergarten through 2nd grade. This year’s theme is “Superheroes Rock!” The campers will participate in a series of workshops on movement, music, and drama. “The idea is to get them comfortable being onstage and introduce them to the world of musical theater,” Ripley says. The camp will take place in late February or early March. Classes are in the evenings so school-aged children can participate.

Although Rose Children’s Theatre charges a fee to participate in productions or workshops, Ripley emphasizes that they offer scholarships and don’t turn anyone away due to inability to pay. In addition, she says, “we try to keep the tickets very reasonably priced so families can attend. This is theater by children, for children.”

 1574 Coburg Rd., Suite 257 • 541/431-0444 •