The Nutmeg Ballet Conservatory Presents THE NUTCRACKER at the Warner Theatre

It would not be the holiday season without the timeless joy of THE NUTCRACKER! The Nutmeg Ballet Conservatory will present the full-length version of the classic tale on the Warner Theatre's Main Stage December 15 and 16. All dance roles will feature trainees of The Nutmeg Ballet Conservatory, along with cameo roles performed by children from the Torrington School of Ballet. These budding artists come from all over the country to hone their craft and develop their artistry at The Nutmeg. The mysterious Dr. Drosselmeyer will once again be played by accomplished European stage actor Thomas Evertz.

Under the guidance of Artistic Director Victoria Mazzarelli and Ballet Master Tim Melady, THE NUTCRACKER features original choreography to Peter Tchaikovsky's musical masterpiece, which comes together with dazzling costumes (Susan Fazzino), sets (Campbell Baird) and lighting (Joe Gates), bringing the magic alive in a performance sure to become a treasured family tradition. Originally conceived by Sharon Dante, this production features choreography by Mazzarelli, Melady, Susan Szabo, Eleanor D'Antuono and Joan Kunsch. Special coaching for leading roles is provided by D'Antuono and Alexei Tchernichov.

This will be the last year audience members can see the current production's beautiful sets, as they will be retired after the last performance. The sets, designed in 1996 by Campbell Baird, have been lovingly cared for over two decades by a dedicated group of staff, volunteers drawn from the local artistic community, and parents of The Nutmeg Ballet and its children's program, TSOB. The Nutmeg Ballet Conservatory is undertaking a major new NUTCRACKER set design project that will be unveiled next year on the Warner Theatre's Main Stage and delight audiences of all ages.

Performances of THE NUTCRACKER at the Warner are Saturday, December 15 at 2 & 7 pm and Sunday, December 16 at 2 pm. Group discounts are available. To purchase tickets, call the Warner Box Office at 860-489-7180 or visit warnertheatre.org. Sponsored by Torrington Downtown Partners.

Built by Warner Brothers Studios and opened in 1931 as a movie palace (1,772 seats), the Warner Theatre was described then as "Connecticut's Most Beautiful Theatre." Damaged extensively in a flood, the Warner was slated for demolition in the early 1980s until the non-profit Northwest Connecticut Association for the Arts (NCAA) was founded and purchased the theatre. The Warner reopened as a performing arts center in 1983, and restoration of the main lobbies and auditorium was completed in November 2002. In 2008, the new 50,000 square foot Carole and Ray Neag Performing Arts Center, which houses a 300 seat Studio Theatre, 200 seat restaurant and expansive school for the arts, was completed. Today, the Warner is in operation year-round with more than 160 performances and 100,000 patrons passing through its doors each season. Over 10,000 students, pre K-adult, participate in arts education programs and classes. Together, with the support of the community, the Warner has raised close to $17 million to revitalize its facilities. NCAA's mission is to preserve the Warner Theatre as an historic landmark, enhance its reputation as a center of artistic excellence and a focal point of community involvement, and satisfy the diverse cultural needs of the region.

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