The Nutcracker

American Repertory Ballet’s magical production of The Nutcracker returns to three Central New Jersey performing arts venues this holiday season.

The Nutcracker tells the magical story of Clara and her Nutcracker Prince as they battle toy soldiers and larger-than-life mice, and travel through a whirlwind of dancing snowflakes to the Land of Sweets. Greeted by the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier, Clara enjoys a suite of brilliant and joyful dances before opening her eyes to the familiar sights of her own home, wondering if it was all a dream.

The Nutcracker

Location: McCarter Theatre Center | Princeton, NJ
Location: Patriots Theater at the War Memorial| Trenton, NJ


  • Sun, December 11 – 3:00 PM
Location: State Theatre New Jersey | New Brunswick, NJ


  • Fri, December 16 – 7:30 PM
  • Sat, December 17 – 2:00 PM
  • Sat, December 17 – 7:00 PM
  • Sun, December 18 – 1:00 PM
  • Sun, December 18 – 5:00 PM

The Nutcracker ballet is a local and national holiday custom for families and seasoned ballet fans alike.  It is no surprise that the charm, excitement, and wonder of the production continues to be a part of our communities’ annual holiday plans and an ideal way to celebrate the season,” says Artistic Director Ethan Stiefel.

American Repertory Ballet’s The Nutcracker is one of the longest, continuously running Nutcracker productions in the nation and features the professional company alongside a cast of over 100 Princeton Ballet School dancers.

For the first time, American Repertory Ballet (ARB) will collaborate with the Capital Philharmonic of New Jersey, led by conductor Daniel Spalding. These professional artists will be joined by the Trenton Children’s Chorus for one performance only at the Patriot’s Theater at the War Memorial.

Five performances at State Theatre New Jersey will feature live music played by the ARB Orchestra, this year led by Princeton Symphony Orchestra’s Georg and Joyce Albers-Schonberg Assistant Conductor Kenneth Bean, and accompanied by the Princeton Girlchoir.

“Each performance of The Nutcracker is unique, from the extraordinary dancing and scenic treats onstage, to the magical sounds of the orchestra and singers,” says Julie Diana Hench, Executive Director. Families can also take pictures with cast members in the lobby and visit The Nutcracker boutique for specialty gifts, maybe even enjoy some hot cocoa at intermission. “For almost 60 years, families have been delighted by this beloved production and making wonderful memories together,” says Hench. “We invite audiences of all ages to join in the fun!”

Whether it will be your first time seeing American Repertory Ballet’s The Nutcracker, or you have been enjoying it for years… the magic awaits.