About 15 members of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees were hanging the lights and backdrops for Southwest Virginia Ballet’s 16th performance of the “The Nutcracker.”
Watching the ballet’s backdrops unfold from storage boxes to be pulled up into the stage’s fly loft, artistic director Pedro Szalay he feels like all the hard work is about to pay off. “This is my favorite part.”
Dirk Kuyk, the production’s lighting engineer and stage manager, directed the union workers, who hustled to finish by that afternoon, so Szalay’s dancers — who’ve been working on the show since August — could take the stage for rehearsals.
Kuyk’s been working with the ballet for 12 years making “Nutcracker” happen.
“Pedro and I think about it as a new show from scratch,” Kuyk said, “but all the ingredients are already measured out.”