SCRANTON — The Ballet Theatre of Scranton and Marywood University will present their 40th annual free performances of “The Nutcracker Ballet” at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 26, 27 and 28 at Marywood’s Sette LaVerghetta theater.
While there is no charge, reserved seat tickets are available to the general public, on a first-come, first-served basis, at the Marywood box office, 2300 Adams Ave., Scranton, two hours prior to each performance.
The original Scranton production was first conceived by the company’s late founder Constance Reynolds, a native of Scotland, to thank the NEPA community for its welcoming hospitality. In return, since 1976, her company has given back to the community through the gift of “The Nutcracker” during the holiday season. The tradition continues under the direction of Reynolds’ chosen successor, Joanne Arduino, current artistic director.
Since its first presentation, the production has attracted over 350,000 people from within a 60-mile radius who make it a part of their holiday traditions. Over 150 people are involved in the annual event, including professional designers, technicians and guest artists.
To date , the production has been staged 270 times as a free gift, 4,800 regional dancers have performed and hundreds of volunteers — from the artistic staff to technicians to designers and dancers — have donated their time and talents.
A few highlights of Ballet Theatre of Scranton’s Nutcracker gift are toys coming to life, snow falling on dancing snowflakes, a traveling angel who transports Clara and her prince on their magical journey and a 20-foot growing Christmas tree.
For more information, call 570-347-2867.