Design Process

This production was my second Nutcracker and my second opportunity to indulge in romantic transformation, spectacle and fantasy.

When conceiving the design the choreographers and I decided to expand the Act 1 scenario and scenically enlarge the battle sequence between the Mouse King and the Nutcracker and the pas de deux between Clara and her Prince during the scene shift between “Battle” and “Snow”. For this shift we added a painted silk kabuki-style curtain that swooshed in with the ascending music, gently undulated as Clara and her Prince danced downstage and then, on a musical crescendo, the silk kabuki curtain dramatically fluttered to the stage floor, disappeared into the wings, to reveal a tableau vivant of the snow maidens in the snow covered forest, all bathed in cool moon light.

Cobalt Studios, expertly and masterfully, painted the ballet.



By: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Venue: The Toledo Ballet, Toledo OH
Choreographer: Gen Horiuchi
Additional Choreography: Lisa Mayer & Marie Vogt
Scenic Design: Thomas C. Umfrid    Design Assistant: James Horban
Lighting Design: Timothy Durham
Costume Design: Doris Piercefiled & Casey Koenig
Stage Manager: Robert Koenig
Painted By: Cobalt Studios, White Lake NY
Photographer: Bruce Works