Devon Energy Puts a New Shine on The Nutcracker for Oklahoma City Ballet



Oklahoma City – April 3, 2014 – One of Oklahoma City’s most cherished holiday experiences will be transformed, thanks to a $500,000 contribution from Devon Energy. The gift will allow the Oklahoma City Ballet to completely renovate The Nutcracker and provide a fresh holiday experience for families across the state.

The gift, announced today inside the Devon Energy Center, comes on the heels of the ballet breaking a 50-year record in 2013 for most tickets ever sold to The Nutcracker in Oklahoma City. Devon’s gift ensures that Oklahoma City will continue to provide a fantastic experience that transports families to a wonderful world of imagination, year after year.

Shane Jewell, executive director of the Oklahoma City Ballet, made the announcement. “We are pleased and proud to accept this generous gift – this investment – that will make our presentation of The Nutcracker better than it has ever been,” Jewell said. “Today, all we can do is thank Devon and our patrons. But come December, we pledge to bring you The Nutcracker as you’ve never seen it before.”

Devon’s gift will provide new sets and costumes that promise to offer Oklahoma City a production that matches the quality of the city. The new sets will be designed by Emmy Award-winning set designer, Gregory Crane. Exciting new costumes will come from Susanne Hubbs, known in the performing arts community as “The Costume Lady,” who has been designing and sewing costumes for dancers, figure skaters, and synchronized swimmers for 35 years.

Dave Hager, chief operating officer at Devon, said the gift is part of Devon’s ongoing commitment to downtown Oklahoma City. “As downtown continues to gain momentum, you can see the signs of growth and progress everywhere you look,” Hager said. “We believe that a thriving arts and cultural community will be part of our ongoing success. That’s why we are glad to be able to make investments like this. We are really looking forward to the ‘new Nutcracker’ this Christmas.”

Past years of strong attendance at The Nutcracker prove that this seasonal production is an important cultural tradition in Oklahoma City. It is also an extremely important production for the budget of Oklahoma City Ballet. It provides the single greatest revenue stream on an annual basis and makes up more than 15 percent of the budgeted income each year. This year, the ballet will increase the number of performances from eight to 10 so more patrons can join in the tradition.

About Oklahoma City Ballet: Founded in 1972 by Ballet Russe dancers Yvonne Chouteau and Miguel Terekhov, Oklahoma City Ballet has been the city’s professional ballet company for more than 40 years. It is the resident dance company of the Civic Center Music Hall and currently boasts 30 dancers from around the world. Led by Artistic Director Robert Mills, the company produces four main stage productions per season in Oklahoma City and tours across Oklahoma and the surrounding states. It is the only ballet company of its size to regularly debut world premiere story ballets with original commissioned scores and also commissions new works from the industry’s leading choreographers.

About Devon Energy: Based in Oklahoma City, Devon (NYSE: DVN) is a leading independent oil and gas producer. The company is committed to supporting communities where it operates by investing in youth and education, the arts, civic initiatives, the environment and emergency response agencies. Devon is the only independent oil and gas producer included in the Civic 50 list, which recognizes America’s most community-minded companies. For additional information, visit www.devonenergy.com.

For media inquiries to Oklahoma City Ballet please email Rachel Robb at rachel@okcballet.com or call (405) 843-9898. For media inquiries to Devon Energy please email Tim Hartley at tim.hartley@dvn.com or call (405) 552-4994.

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Rachel Robb
Public Relations and Marketing Director
Oklahoma City Ballet