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President Trauth to cameo in Ballet Austin’s The Nutcracker as Mother Ginger

Campus Community

Staff Contributor | November 27, 2019

Mother Ginger and Bon Bons

Ballet Austin welcomes guests from around the country to celebrate Austin’s holiday tradition, The Nutcracker, Dec. 7-23 at the Long Center for the Performing Arts, as this audience favorite returns for its 57th season.

Ballet Austin’s special tradition is to invite “celebrities and local VIPs” to play the high-profile part of Mother Ginger. President Denise Trauth of Texas State University is among the 15 notable people chosen this year to play Mother Ginger, “the comical character with big hair, a big skirt, and an over-the-top personality.” 

President Trauth as Mother Ginger, and her bevy of “Bon Bons,” will steal the show in Act II of The Nutcracker at the Dec. 7, 7:30 p.m. performance.

 A cast of more than 200 dancers will perform Artistic Director Stephen Mills’ delightful choreography during 15 performances, including evenings, weekend and weekday matinees. The Austin Symphony Orchestra provides live accompaniment of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s famous score. Read more about the show

Actor and director Tate Donovan is headlining the Mother Ginger cast. Donovan is well known for popular films, such as Space Camp, Love Potion No. 9, and Argo, and for TV programs, such as Friends, 24: Live Another Day, and The Man in the High Castle. He also starred as the voice of Disney’s “Hercules” in both the film and TV adaptations.

Also among this year’s cast of Mother Gingers is Quita Culpepper, anchor/reporter at KVUE TV (ABC), a Texas State graduate. She earned her degree in mass communications in 1992, and has since gone on to become one of Austin’s most celebrated and trusted TV journalists.

She’ll star at Mother Ginger in the Dec. 14, 7:30 p.m. performance.


Tickets are available online at


For more information, contact University Communications:

Jayme Blaschke, 512-245-2555

Sandy Pantlik, 512-245-2922