OBT Asks Staff & Dancers:

What’s your favorite holiday tradition or memory?


“We open presents on Christmas Eve because when we lived in Germany my Dad would drive around all night to the different American military bases there, delivering cookies and hot chocolate to all the soldiers that had to work on Christmas.  We spent the weeks leading up to Christmas baking all the goodies.  Other families did the same, so he was loaded down with treats.”

–Artistic Associate Anne Mueller

Marabeth Passannante (left); Claire Willett (right)

“Last year Marabeth [Passannante, Audience Services Manager) gave me her grandmother’s nativity set for Christmas.  But she did it SUPER sneakily and I didn’t know it was her until after.  I would come in to work and another piece would just have magically appeared on my desk.   We called it ‘The Nativity Fairy’ and every day I would post an update on Facebook about what I got.  This year it’s a scavenger hunt! Every day I get a new clue to find another piece.  Joseph was in Christopher Stowell’s office, I found an angel pinned to the back of a seat at the Keller, and the donkey was sitting by the cash register of the coffee shop down the street.  A few of the clues have been REALLY hard, but everyone in the office gets into it and we all run around hunting together.  It’s the most amazing thing anyone’s ever done for me.”

–Manager of Communications, Grants & Social Media Claire Willett


“The Christmas Season begins with setting up the manger scene on the mantel.  The Nativity box contains a hodge-podge of pieces collected over the years.  Various angels and dogs augment the shepherds, wise men, camels, and stable animals, giving the scene a personal touch.  The nativity scene is the first thing out (the Sunday after Thanksgiving) and the last thing away on Epiphany when we take down the tree.”

–Executive Director Diane Syrcle


“When I was a kid, the rule was that on Christmas morning, my brother and sister and I could not wake my parents up until 6 a.m.  We’d be so excited, we would all wake up around 4 a.m. and play until it was time to awake our parents.  Then, at 6 a.m., my brother would bang on his drum set to awaken our parents and set off the festivities.”

–Principal Dancer Kathi Martuza

Historian Linda Besant

Resident Lighting Designer Michael Mazzola (in the high chair)

“Cheese fondue, every Christmas Eve.”

–Principal Dancer Alison Roper

Soloist Lucas Threefoot

Principal Dancer Brett Bauer

“Eggnog.  Makino [Company Artist Makino Hayashi, his wife] makes freakin’ amazing eggnog.”

–Principal Dancer Chauncey Parsons

Company Artist Olga Krochik (left)

“We watch football.  That’s about it.”

–Company Artist Ashley Dawn

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