The Washington Ballet Announces The Nutcracker FAMILY DAY

The Washington Ballet Announces The Nutcracker FAMILY DAY

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 8 at the Warner Theatre


WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Washington Ballet (TWB) presents FAMILY DAY, a ballet experience custom-built for family fun where children of all ages discover what it takes to create everyone’s favorite The Nutcracker. TWB’s Artistic Director and The Nutcracker choreographer, Septime Webre leads a fun-filled event on Sunday, December 8 at the historic Warner Theatre prior to the 1PM performance.

“Family Day at The Nutcracker provides families an extraordinary behind-the-scenes glimpse at our glorious production and a chance to interact with Clara, Drosselmeyer, the Sugar Plum Fairy and many other beloved characters,” said Septime Webre, TWB’s Artistic Director.

Starting at 11:30AM, the doors will open and families will be greeted by Revolutionary War Soldiers. Activities include crafts, a pointe shoe and tutu factory, ballet class demonstrations, getting a  photo taken with costumed Nutcracker characters, including the Sugar Plum Fairy or browsing the beautifully displayed nutcrackers, books and ornaments that abound at the Sugar Plum Shoppe.

At Noon the theatre doors will open and Drosselmeyer and Clara will command the stage  reading from The Nutcracker. Guests will get an up-close and personal view of behind-the-scenes arrangements for the upcoming performance.  See the magic of theatre come alive as the sets are rolled out from backstage and constructed and be amazed by the athleticism and grace of the Washington Ballet dancers as they warm up. Plus, they’ll see choreographer Septime Webre lead the Revolutionary Soldiers, small and large, through their precise marching steps in preparation for the performance.

At 12:45PM families will be asked to take their seats for Septime Webre’s critically acclaimed The Nutcracker which will transport everyone back in time to 1882 Georgetown. Starring George Washington as the heroic Nutcracker, King George III as the villainous Rat King, Betsy Ross, John Paul Jones, Frederick Douglass, Anacostia Indians, frontiersmen, and many other all-American delights.

Following the performance, families will be invited to the front stage area to ask questions and get dancer autographs, ending a very special Family Day at The Nutcracker.

The Washington Ballet’s The Nutcracker features lively choreography by Septime Webre, iconic music by Pytor Ilych Tchaikovsky, gorgeous scenic designs by Peter Horne, lavish costume designs by Judanna Lynn and dazzling lighting design by Tony Tucci.

In addition to the Company and Studio Company dancers, the stage will be filled with hundreds of dancers from the acclaimed Washington School of Ballet. Student roles include Revolutionary War Soldiers, Snow Angels, Clowns and more. 

The Washington Ballet’s The Nutcracker Story

Christmas Eve, 1882 Georgetown, Clara and her family prepare for a holiday celebration. As the guests arrive, Clara’s mysterious godfather, Mr. Drosselmeyer, enters with his handsome young nephew, who greets Clara with a kiss on her hand. Drosselmeyer entertains the guests with a puppet show and dancing dolls and presents Clara with a special gift—a nutcracker. Jealous of his sister’s present, Fritz seizes the nutcracker and breaks it. As the party ends, Clara sadly places the nutcracker under the Christmas tree.

Later that night, after everyone has gone to bed, Clara tiptoes downstairs to retrieve her nutcracker. Suddenly, the room fills with scurrying mice. Eventually, Clara falls asleep and begins to dream. When the clock strikes midnight, Drosselmeyer’s magic begins. The Christmas tree grows and a battle ensues between a brigade of toy soldiers led by a life-sized nutcracker (George Washington) against the Rat King (King George III) and his menacing rats. As the Rat King nears victory, Clara distracts him, enabling the nutcracker to kill him. Suddenly, the nutcracker is turned into a handsome prince. He leads Clara through the enchanted winter to a glorious springtime.

Clara and her Nutcracker Prince travel to springtime, where the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. They are greeted by the Sugar Plum Fairy, her Cavalier and attendants: butterflies, mushrooms and other woodland creatures. When the Prince tells them how Clara saved his life, the Sugar Plum Fairy summons her subjects to entertain them with wonderful dances—Spanish and Chinese dances, a duet for an Anacostian brave and maiden, brilliant red cardinals; an American frontiersman dances with frontier girls; Mother Barnum dances with her circus clowns; and the waltz of the Cherry Blossoms is led by the Dew Drop Fairy. The celebration comes to a spectacular climax when the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier perform a grand pas de deux.

At each performance, theatre-goers will be able to purchase unique gifts from TWB’s renowned Sugar Plum Shoppe. Merchandise includes a large variety of signature The Washington Ballet nutcrackers, nesting dolls and apparel.

The Family Day activities are included as part of admission for all ticket holders for the Sunday, December 8, 1PM performance. Tickets for the Warner Theatre performances of The Washington Ballet’s The Nutcracker, priced from $32* to $112*, are now on sale and can be purchased online, 202.397.SEAT (7328) or the Warner Theatre Box Office. The Warner Theatre is located at 513 13th Street NW, Washington, DC. *Ticket prices include a $2 Warner Theatre preservation fee. 

The Nutcracker (2004)

Septime Webre’s critically acclaimed The Nutcracker transports us back in time to historic Washington, DC and stars George Washington as the heroic Nutcracker. Full of swirling snowflakes, magnificent sets and costumes and Tchaikovsky’s beloved score, the curtain rises and the stage bursts with waltzing cherry blossoms, dancing sugar plums and other enchanting adaptations that have made Webre’s Nutcracker a Washington tradition with raves from critics and sold-out crowds.

For the Sunday, December 8 at 1PM Family Day performance, the doors will open early at 11:30AM for a special behind-the-scenes look at The Washington Ballet’s The Nutcracker. Activities include meeting costumed characters, story-telling, the “magic” of theatre, photo opportunities and more.


Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 7:00PM (Preview)

Friday December 6, 2013 at 7:00PM (Opening)
Saturday December 7, 2013 at 2:00PM & 7:00PM
Sunday December 8, 2013 at 1:00PM (Family Day) & 5:30PM
Wednesday December 11, 2013 at 7:00PM
Thursday December 12, 2013 at 7:00PM
Friday December 13, 2013 at 7:00PM
Saturday December 14, 2013 at 2:00PM & 7:00PM
Sunday December 15, 2013 at 5:30PM
Thursday December 19, 2013 at 7:00PM
Friday December 20, 2013 at 7:00PM
Saturday December 21, 2013 at 2:00PM & 7:00PM
Sunday December 22, 2013 at 1:00PM & 5:30PM
Monday December 23, 2013 at 7:00PM
Tuesday December 24, 2013 at 1:00PM & 5:30PM
Friday December 27, 2013 at 2:00PM & 7:00PM
Saturday December 28, 2013 at 2:00PM & 7:00PM
Sunday December 29, 2013 at 1:00PM

Music by Pyotr Ilych Tchaikovsky

Choreography by Septime Webre

Scenic Design by Peter Horne

Costume Design by Judanna Lynn

Lighting Design by Tony Tucci

Performed at the Warner Theatre



Originally founded as The Washington School of Ballet in 1944 by legendary ballet pioneer Mary Day and incorporated as a professional company in 1976, The Washington Ballet (TWB) is one of the pre-eminent ballet organizations in the United States.  TWB built an international reputation presenting bold works by choreographers from around the world, including Choo-San Goh, Christopher Wheeldon, Mark Morris, Twyla Tharp and Nacho Duato, as well as Neoclassical masterworks and fresh stagings of 19th century classics. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Septime Webre, Director of The Washington School of Ballet, and Managing Director Arthur Espinoza, TWB embraces a three-part mission: ensuring excellence in its professional performance company; growing the next generation of dancers through its Washington School of Ballet; and serving the community in which it resides through robust community engagement programs.

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