American Repertory Ballet’s magical production of The Nutcracker returns to three Central New Jersey performing arts venues this holiday season. The curtain lifts at McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton, November 25-27; performances continue at the Patriots Theater at the War Memorial in Trenton on December 11; and the grand finale will be at State Theatre New Jersey in New Brunswick, December 16-18.

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.

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 performancesat 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.

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.

“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. For tickets, visit arballet.org.

McCarter Theatre Center | 91 University Place | Princeton, NJ
Friday, November 25       2:00 PM
Friday, November 25      7:30 PM
Saturday, November 26  2:00 PM
Saturday, November 26  7:30 PM
Sunday, November 27    1:00 PM

Patriots Theater at the War Memorial | 1 Memorial Dr. | Trenton, NJ
with Capital Philharmonic of New Jersey and Trenton Children’s Chorus 
Saturday, December 11 3:00 PM

State Theatre New Jersey | 15 Livingston Ave. | New Brunswick, NJ
with the ARB Orchestra and Princeton Girlchoir
Friday, December 16      7:30 PM
Saturday, December 17  2:00 PM
Saturday, December 17  7:00 PM
Sunday, December 18     1:00 PM
Sunday, December 18     5:00 PM

Please Note: For all three venues, masks are strongly encouraged but not required.  


Led by Artistic Director Ethan Stiefel, American Repertory Ballet (ARB) is New Jersey’s preeminent ballet company, presenting classical repertory alongside new and existing contemporary work. ARB is a founding resident company of the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center while also performing in major venues across New Jersey and beyond. Founded in 1954 as the Princeton Ballet Society, ARB has been designated a “Major Arts Institution” by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts consistently for the past two decades and has repeatedly been awarded a Citation of Excellence by the Council. The company has been recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts and other major foundations and leaders in the field as a prominent force in the field of dance. Princeton Ballet School, ARB’s official school, attracts talent from around the world while providing opportunities for local students of all ages, such as through its award-winning DANCE POWER and Dance for Parkinson’s programs. 

 Find ARB online at
 arballet.org; on facebook at facebook.com/americanrepertoryballet; and on Instagram at instagram.com/arballet.