Toledo Ballet Announces 80th Anniversary Nutcracker in Honor of Marie Bollinger-Vogt, Founder

Published Monday, November 9, 2020 9:00 am

The Toledo Ballet announced this morning that this year’s 80th Nutcracker, the longest-running annual production in the nation, will pay tribute to Marie Bollinger-Vogt, Founder and Artistic Director Emeritus of Toledo Ballet. Presented with five performances on Friday, December 11, 2020, at 7PM, Saturday, December 12, 2020 at 2PM and 7PM, and Sunday, December 13, 2020 at 1PM and 5PM, Toledo Ballet is offering limited in-person and a livestreaming ticket option, now available to the general public.

“I am thrilled that we will be performing our 80th Nutcracker, both live in-person and on our new streaming platform this December,” says Lisa Mayer-Lang, Artistic Director for Toledo Ballet. “Though it will look a little different than our usual Nutcracker because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we feel it is important to continue our annual tradition in this monumental year and to celebrate our annual tradition by implementing masks as well as a smaller cast so that we can perform as safely as possible for our beloved Toledo region audience members.”

Toledo Ballet’s Nutcracker is a long-standing holiday tradition that tells the magical story of a young girl, her Nutcracker Prince, and their adventures with toy soldiers, mice, dancing snowflakes, and a Sugar Plum Fairy in the dazzling Land of Sweets. To honor the life and work of Marie Bollinger-Vogt, the lead role will be Marie, rather than the traditional Clara, in this year’s production.

“As our world seems evermore detached from familiar customs, we are proud to be one of the very few Nutcracker productions in the country this season,” says Zak Vassar, President & CEO of the Toledo Alliance for the Performing Arts. “In our 80th consecutive year of presenting this holiday gem, we know the impact that this delightful story has on our community. This will be the first Nutcracker that we stage without ‘Madame’ Marie Vogt, our beloved founder of Toledo Ballet who passed away in June. In presenting this year’s production, we celebrate Marie’s vision, hold her memory close, and celebrate the many generations of dancers whom she inspired.”

Guest appearances in this year’s production include BalletMet Principal dancers Caitlin Valentine-Ellis and Miguel Anaya as the Sugar Plum Fairy and Cavalier. Toledo Ballet will also pay tribute to local healthcare workers and first responders who have been on the front line throughout the coronavirus pandemic and invite them to star as Mother Ginger. The names of these healthcare workers will be announced at a later date.


What: Toledo Ballet’s 80th Anniversary Nutcracker: A Tribute to Marie Bollinger-Vogt
When: Friday, December 11 (7PM), Saturday, December 12 (2PM and 7PM), Sunday, December 13 (1PM and 5PM)
Where: Stranahan Theater
In-person tickets begin at $42. Livestreaming tickets (Dec. 12, 7PM & Dec. 13, 1PM) begin at $35.
More info:
Visit, stop by the TAPA Box Office located at 1838 Parkwood Avenue, or call 419.246.8000, Monday-Friday, 9-5 PM.

This year’s production will be choreographed to a previously recorded soundtrack that was performed in collaboration with the Toledo Symphony Orchestra led by Music Director Alain Trudel.

For more information about Toledo Ballet’s 80th Anniversary Nutcracker, please contact Vanessa Gardner, Director of Marketing & Communications for the Toledo Alliance for the Performing Arts at


Toledo Ballet is a pre-professional dance company that inspires the passions and spirit of the Toledo community through dance. Under the artistic leadership of Artistic Director Lisa Mayer-Lang and Resident Choreographer Michael Lang, the Toledo Ballet provides quality dance instruction and exceptional performance opportunities to over 250 students throughout northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan annually.

Founded in 1939 by Marie Bollinger Vogt, Toledo Ballet continues to offer quality dance education that span all ages and ability levels. Classes include ballet, contemporary, tap, tumbling, and Adaptive Dance, a unique class providing those with special needs an opportunity to learn to move in ways that come naturally to them. Acting, voice, musical theater, and conditioning (TRX, Pilates) are also offered at the school. In addition, Toledo Ballet brings in world-renowned, professional dancers each year to lead its summer intensive programs, drawing students from across the region seeking to advance their skills.

Toledo Ballet students have competed at the national and international level, including the Youth American Grand Prix (YAGP), the world’s largest international student ballet competition, and many have pursued dance professionally at some of the most prestigious ballet institutions in the nation, including New York City Ballet, Batsheva Dance Company in Tel Aviv, Dance Contemporary in Dayton, and Alonzo King Lines Ballet in San Francisco. Students have been admitted into distinguished programs such as the School of American Ballet, The Juilliard School, Boston Ballet, Ballet West, and many others.

On January 1, 2019, the Toledo Ballet and Toledo Symphony officially merged to form the Toledo Alliance for the Performing Arts (TAPA), a new non-profit organization dedicated to providing exceptional live music and dance performances and education for the region. Stemming from a decades-long partnership and presentation of the longest-running production of The Nutcracker in the nation, this merger is one of only a few in the nation and promises to create new and invigorating programs, provide cost and revenue synergies in operations, and integrate the arts through shared educational missions.

The Toledo Symphony Orchestra has events all year round. View our upcoming performance schedule now.

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