Milwaukee Ballet
Press Release

The Nutcracker leaps back onto the stage this holiday season


By - Nov 19th, 2021 03:29 pm

MILWAUKEE – Nov 19, 2021 - Milwaukee Ballet brings its celebrated classic, The Nutcracker, back to the stage this holiday season. Widely anticipated year-after-year as the premiere, family-friendly festive production in Milwaukee, The Nutcracker will ring in the holiday season December 10 at the Marcus Performing Arts Center and run through December 26, 2021.

Last season Milwaukee Ballet offered an original abbreviated adaptation, The Nutcracker: Short & Sweet, to limited audiences in-person in its Baumgartner Center for Dance and a digital presentation On Demand.

“I’m so pleased we’re able to provide Milwaukee with their annual holiday tradition once again. I’m proud of the resiliency and creativity we demonstrated being the first local arts organization to return to in-person performances with our adaptation last year. It provided the perfect footing knowing our COVID-19 protocols could successfully keep our audiences and artists safe and healthy, and still provide an inspiring, quality experience at the theater,” said Artistic Director Michael Pink.

“Now we can confidently present the full production at Marcus Performing Arts Center, and I invite everyone to join us for this heartfelt story that honors everything we love about this wonderful time of year: family, friends, good cheer, and a little magic,” he added.

As a measure to prioritize health and safety, Milwaukee Ballet joined its fellow resident groups of Marcus Performing Arts Center and organizations and venues around the city in instituting new Audience Entry Protocols that require patrons ages 12 and older to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 or a negative test result taken within 72 hours of the performance start time. All patrons ages 3 and older must be masked in the facility.

“These enhanced protocols have helped everyone feel safe without diminishing the excitement of live performances,” said Pink. “I can still tell how many people are smiling behind their masks, and I’ve received more notes than ever from grateful patrons telling me how much they enjoyed the shows. The protocols shouldn’t dissuade anyone from coming and enjoying a night at the theater.”

The Nutcracker is the city’s largest annual holiday spectacle, featuring exquisite set pieces, period costumes, special effects, live music, and a cast of nearly 150 dancers, including students from Milwaukee Ballet School & Academy who will be joining the professional dancers of Milwaukee Ballet on stage for the first time since The Nutcracker in 2019.

Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra also returns for their first performance in two years to play Tchaikovsky’s signature score under the baton of Associate Conductor Pasquale Laurino.

This year’s production will feature new dancers in principal roles for the very first time. “One of the delights of performing The Nutcracker every year is you get to watch the dancers grow into new challenges and responsibilities. A few of them will shine in their new roles this year, and the audience will enjoy their take on characters they know and love,” said Pink.

Milwaukee Ballet’s talented artists perform a variety of different roles in The Nutcracker, ensuring the experience feels new every time the audience comes to the theater.

Pink’s interpretation of The Nutcracker is highly regarded for its lavish production design and intricate storytelling, which includes plenty of action to keep the audience enchanted whether they are seeing it for the first or fiftieth time.


Ticket Information

The Nutcracker runs December 10-26, 2021 at the Marcus Performing Arts Center, 929 N Water Street in Milwaukee, Wis.

Tickets range from $44-$132 and are available online at or through Milwaukee Ballet’s box office at 414-902-2103.

The schedule is as follows:

  • Friday, December 10, 2021 – 7:30 PM
  • Saturday, December 11, 2021 – 2:00 PM
  • Saturday, December 11, 2021 – 7:30 PM
  • Sunday, December 12, 2021 – 12:00 PM
  • Sunday, December 12, 2021 – 6:00 PM
  • Thursday, December 16, 2021 – 6:00 PM – Sensory Friendly Performance
  • Friday, December 17, 2021 – 7:30 PM
  • SaturdayDecember 18, 2021 – 2:00 PM
  • Saturday, December 18, 2021 – 7:30 PM
  • Sunday, December 19, 2021 – 12:00 PM
  • Sunday, December 19, 2021 – 6:00 PM
  • Wednesday, December 22, 2021 – 7:30 PM
  • Thursday, December 23, 2021 – 7:30 PM
  • Friday, December 24, 2021 – 12:00 PM
  • Sunday, December 26, 2021 – 12:00 PM
  • Sunday, December 26, 2021 – 6:00 PM

Sensory Friendly Performance

Milwaukee Ballet will perform its sixth annual sensory friendly version of The Nutcracker for those with autism or sensory processing disorders. This adapted performance of the holiday classic, presented in partnership with Marcus Performing Arts Center and United Performing Arts Fund, takes center stage Thursday, December 16 at 6:00 PM.

Tickets are available through Milwaukee Ballet’s box office at 414-902-2103.

Questions about the adaptations can be directed to Milwaukee Ballet’s Community Engagement Department at


About Milwaukee Ballet

Milwaukee Ballet was founded in 1970. Led by Artistic Director Michael Pink, Milwaukee Ballet creates a rich and diverse community through its inspiring dance performance, education, and outreach. Milwaukee Ballet hosts an international company of dancers and maintains its own Orchestra. Milwaukee Ballet School & Academy is the only professional dance school in the Midwest accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance, teaching beginner through pre-professional levels in three locations: Third Ward, Fox Point, and Brookfield. Milwaukee Ballet’s award-winning Community Engagement department serves nearly 30,000 people in Southeastern Wisconsin each year through original, interactive programs. Milwaukee Ballet is a proud cornerstone member of United Performing Arts Fund and holds a four-star rating from Charity Navigator.

Recent Press Releases by Milwaukee Ballet

Milwaukee Ballet Dances Back to the Big Stage with Connect

Dance Company returns to Marcus Performing Arts Center October 28-31

Milwaukee Ballet dances back into the community with free activities and performances all month long

-In-person Ballet Beat program led by new Director of Community Engagement Samantha Martinson-

Milwaukee Ballet Returns to Marcus Performing Arts Center for 2021/22 Season of Inspiration

Program to include Beauty and the Beast and seven world premieres

Leave a Reply

You must be an Urban Milwaukee member to leave a comment. Membership, which includes a host of perks, including an ad-free website, tickets to marquee events like Summerfest, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Florentine Opera, a better photo browser and access to members-only, behind-the-scenes tours, starts at $9/month. Learn more.

Join now and cancel anytime.

If you are an existing member, sign-in to leave a comment.

Have questions? Need to report an error? Contact Us