Last updated: May 11, 2022

Prairie Nutcracker Featured Artists

Betsie Andrews Betsie Andrews (Executive Director of Prairie Nutcracker Foundation, Inc. & Director of Prairie Nutcracker) was raised in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and trained with Christine DeLazzaro White and Ronn Daniels in ballet, pointe, tap, and jazz from the age of six. In her teens, she was a charter performing member of the Ft. Lauderdale Civic Ballet Company. After graduating from Principia College in Elsah, Illinois, she danced professionally as a Rockette in New York's Radio City Music Hall, flew for Eastern airlines, and taught school in Boston and Rome (Italy). Marriage brought her to Kansas in 1975 where she taught fourth grade, initiated "ArtWorks" for schools, choreographed for local theatre groups, directed Toddler Tree Preschool and Studio 3100. In 1998, she founded ArtisTree to further integration of the arts in business, schools and community life. She volunteers as Fox Theatre's Arts & Education Coordinator, designing and directing their By the Bus Informance series for surrounding school districts. Betsie is eternally grateful to George Andrews, her husband of forty-three years, for his love and support of Prairie Nutcracker. George, a native Californian, always felt at home here on the expansive prairies of Kansas, rolling wheat fields echoing the waves he loved so much. His support in the early days of Prairie Nutcracker, was vital to its success. Betsie is the proud mother of two adult daughters who lend their incredible talents to the mission of Prairie Nutcracker Foundation, Inc.
Rick Kuethe Rick Kuethe, 1946-2021 (pronounced Keeth-ee) (Composer of the original music for Prairie Nutcracker) grew up in Omaha, Nebraska and was competing in international piano competitions by the age of 12. An Emmy-nominated composer, Kuethe has 10 CDs of original music to his credit, drawing on his memories of growing up on the great plains. After graduating from Grinnell College in Iowa, and Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA, he embarked on a rewarding musical career including performing throughout the US and abroad and scoring for film and television.
Josh Davies Josh Davies (Technical Director of Prairie Nutcracker and Hutchinson's Historic Fox Theatre) entered the world of theatre at a young age in his home town of Hutchinson, Kansas, which eventually led to his love for production work. Currently the Technical Director of Hutchinson's Historic Fox Theatre, he has worked professionally in the entertainment industry for over a decade, taking on several different roles including Executive Director of Fox Theatre, Sound Engineer, Lighting Designer, Set Designer, Producer, Promoter, Projection Technician, Musician, Radio Voice Talent, System Designer, Equipment Installer and a myriad of other roles both on and back stage. Josh has been the technical director for Prairie Nutcracker since its debut in 2000 and was one of its creative collaborators. The director and dancers owe a huge debt of gratitude for the golden warmth and glow which Josh continues to create each season for Prairie Nutcracker.
Kathy Zongker Kathy Zongker (Costume Mistress/Assistant to the Director) began sewing at the age of seven. After completing a degree in Home Economics at Panhandle State University, she taught high school home economics at Cunningham, KS. She has spent the last twenty years doing what she considers her most important work; raising her and her husband's six children. She continues sewing almost daily and teaches sewing in the 4-H program. Kathy has been on both sides of the stage for Prairie Nutcracker - dancing as an officer's wife and being parent to four Prairie Nutcracker dancers. In addition to maintaining over 100 costumes in performance condition, she lends her many talents to the many tasks of administration and production work for both ArtisTree and Prairie Nutcracker.

Also featuring:

  • Cast of 68 from 15 Kansas communities, Colorado, & Canada
    • Abbyville
    • Arlington
    • Buhler
    • Derby
    • Ellinwood
    • Great Bend
    • Halstead
    • Hutchinson
    • McPherson
    • Partridge
    • Plevna
    • Salina
    • Sterling
    • Turon
    • Wichita
  • 48 area dancers ages 7-70
  • 20 Community Adult Dignitaries
  • Live Musicians
    • Ray Nicodemus, Wichita, balladeer, guitar & fife
    • Lisa Mitchell, Hutchinson, violin
    • Doug Mitchell, Hutchinson, guitar
    • Brad Wingert, Hutchinson, mandolin