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'It's impacting everything' | Supply chain delays keep one Houston Ballet production waiting in the wings

After coping with Hurricane Harvey and the pandemic, the executive director says the supply chain issues are more of a headache than a crisis.

HOUSTON, Texas — Houston Ballet dancers are busy preparing to take the stage in a variety of productions, including holiday classic "The Nutcracker" beginning the day after Thanksgiving.

But the ongoing supply chain crisis will keep "Madame Butterfly" waiting in the wings a while longer.

"People are always surprised when I tell them, 'Oh yeah, we’re having supply chain issues as well,'” Executive Director James Nelson said. "It's impacting everything."

Scenery and costumes for "Madame Butterfly" were purchased from the Australian Ballet and were originally set to arrive in Houston next month. But they're stuck due to various port and shipping delays.

"That little window of time of getting it here and having all the things to do in advance of the curtain going up," Nelson said. "It's just too risky.”

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The ballet decided to shift "Madame Butterfly" from March to June and swap place places with a production called "Sylvia."

"If you think of all the sets and costumes, a lot of the things, they’re not made here," Nelson said. "A lot of the things, they’re not stored here.”

The ballet does have its own costume shop and keeps items needed for "The Nutcracker," for example, in a nearby warehouse.

It just so happens that "Madame Butterfly" got caught up in an issue impacting a multitude of other industries, businesses and the arts.

"Compared to Harvey, compared to the pandemic, you know, this is an operational challenge," said Nelson. "Not a crisis.”

Click here to find out more about the Houston Ballet's schedule.

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