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The Nutcracker

Thank you, Austin! All 15 shows SOLD OUT!

We are thrilled to announce that for the first time in the history of Ballet Austin’s production of The Nutcracker, tickets for all 15 performances have sold out. This unprecedented response to this time-honored Austin holiday tradition make this year’s production both the top-selling and top-attended run of all time.

Ballet Austin extends a wholehearted THANK YOU to those across Central Texas supporting this production for six decades, making this 60th Anniversary year one for the record books.

The 60th Anniversary Production includes a cast of over 150 people, ranging from Ballet Austin’s professional company dancers to students of Ballet Austin Academy. By the time this year’s run closes on December 23, The Nutcracker will have been performed on the stage at The Long Center for the Performing Arts a total of 18 times for over 33,000 audience members.

As the longest-running production of The Nutcracker in Texas, Ballet Austin looks forward to continuing to bring this cherished holiday tradition to audiences for many more years to come.


Ballet Austin continues the 2022/23 season with three more upcoming productions. Sarah’s Songs, a collection of three extraordinary dance works in celebration of Austin philanthropist Sarah Butler, will premiere at The Long Center with three performances beginning on February 10 and ending February 12. Following this, Light / The Holocaust and Humanity Project will be performed at The Long Center from March 31-April 2. Light is a full-length contemporary ballet and Holocaust education partnership that promotes the protection of human rights against bigotry and hate through arts, education, and public dialogue. The season will end with the treasured fairy tale, Cinderella, being performed at The Long Center May 12-14.

We invite you to join us for the rest of our season!




The Nutcracker


From the scrumptious sets and costumes to the colorful characters you adore, Ballet Austin’s annual production of THE NUTCRACKER is Austin’s favorite holiday tradition! Hundreds of dancers perform Stephen Mills’ enchanting choreography to Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s magical score with live accompaniment from Austin Symphony Orchestra. Share this sweet treat with your favorite people and celebrate the season with Ballet Austin.

MUSIC: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
LIVE ACCOMPANIMENT: Austin Symphony Orchestra



Photography by Anne Marie Bloodgood


Live Accompaniment


Known for his innovative and collaborative choreographic projects, Stephen Mills has works in the repertoires of dance companies across the United States and around the world.

His international career began in 1998 after being chosen Prix d’Auteur at les Rencontres Chorégraphiques Internationales de Seine-Saint-Denis in Paris.  In his inaugural season as Artistic Director of Ballet Austin in 2000, Mills attracted national attention with Hamlet, hailed by Dance Magazine as “…sleek and sophisticated.”

Mills’ works showcased at The Kennedy Center include A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Taming of the Shrew, and performances at the Ballet Across America Festival in collaboration with The Suzanne Farrell Ballet.

In 2005 Mills developed a community-wide human rights collaborative dialogue culminating in his signature work Light/The Holocaust & Humanity Project for which he received the Audrey and Raymond Maislin Humanitarian Award from The Anti-Defamation League. Mills contributed a podcast about Light to the Voices on Anti-Semitism series at The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and was invited to speak about the work at The United Nations in 2014.  Light has been performed in five U.S. cities, in three cities in Israel, and was recently featured in an Emmy Award-winning PBS documentary, Sharing Light.


Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky


Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky is widely considered the most popular Russian composer in history. His work includes the ‘The Sleeping Beauty’ and ‘The Nutcracker.’

Who Was Tchaikovsky?

Composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s work was first publicly performed in 1865. In 1868, his First Symphony was well-received. In 1874, he established himself with Piano Concerto No.1 in B-flat Minor. Tchaikovsky resigned from the Moscow Conservatory in 1878 and spent the rest of his career composing yet more prolifically. Tchaikovsky is most celebrated for his ballets, specifically Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker. He died in St. Petersburg on November 6, 1893.

Early Life

Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky was born on May 7, 1840, in Kamsko-Votkinsk, Vyatka, Russia. He was the second eldest of his parents’ six surviving offspring. Tchaikovsky’s father, Ilya, worked as a mine inspector and metal works manager.

When he was just five years old, Tchaikovsky began taking piano lessons. Although he displayed an early passion for music, his parents hoped that he would grow up to work in the civil service. At the age of 10, Tchaikovsky began attending the Imperial School of Jurisprudence, a boarding school in St. Petersburg. His mother, Alexandra, died of cholera in 1854, when he was 14 years old. In 1859, Tchaikovsky honored his parents’ wishes by taking up a bureau clerk post with the Ministry of Justice — a post he would hold for four years, during which time he became increasingly fascinated with music.

When he was 21, Tchaikovsky decided to take music lessons at the Russian Musical Society. A few months later, he enrolled at the newly founded St. Petersburg Conservatory, becoming one of the school’s first composition students. In addition to learning while at the conservatory, Tchaikovsky gave private lessons to other students. In 1863, he moved to Moscow, where he became a professor of harmony at the Moscow Conservatory.

Tchaikovsky’s Compositions


Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s work was first publicly performed in 1865, with Johann Strauss the Younger conducting Tchaikovsky’s Characteristic Dances at a Pavlovsk concert. In 1868, Tchaikovsky’s First Symphony was well-received when it was publicly performed in Moscow. The following year, his first opera, The Voyevoda, made its way to the stage — with little fanfare.

After scrapping The Voyevoda, Tchaikovsky repurposed some of its material to compose his next opera, Oprichnik, which achieved some acclaim when it was performed at the Maryinsky in St. Petersburg in 1874. By this time, Tchaikovsky had also earned praise for his Second Symphony. Also in 1874, his opera, Vakula the Smith, received harsh critical reviews, yet Tchaikovsky still managed to establish himself as a talented composer of instrumental pieces with his Piano Concerto No.1 in B-flat Minor.

From ‘Swan Lake’ to ‘The Nutcracker’ Ballets

Acclaim came readily for Tchaikovsky in 1875, with his composition Symphony No. 3 in D Major. At the end of that year, the composer embarked on a tour of Europe. In 1876, he completed the ballet Swan Lake as well as the fantasy Francesca da Rimini. While the former has come to be one of the most frequently performed ballets of all time, Tchaikovsky again endured the ire of critics, who at its premiere panned it as too complex and too “noisy.”

Tchaikovsky resigned from the Moscow Conservatory in 1878 to focus his efforts entirely on composing. As a result, he spent the remainder of his career composing more prolifically than ever. His collective body of work constitutes 169 pieces, including symphonies, operas, ballets, concertos, cantatas and songs. Among his most famed late works are the ballets The Sleeping Beauty (1890) and The Nutcracker (1892).

Personal Life

Struggling with societal pressures to repress his homosexuality, in 1877, Tchaikovsky married a young music student named Antonina Milyukova. The marriage was a catastrophe, with Tchaikovsky abandoning his wife within weeks of the wedding. During a nervous breakdown, he unsuccessfully attempted to commit suicide, and eventually fled abroad.

Tchaikovsky could afford to resign from the Moscow Conservatory in 1878, thanks to the patronage of a wealthy widow named Nadezhda von Meck. She provided him with a monthly allowance until 1890; oddly, their arrangement stipulated that they would never meet.


Tchaikovsky died in St. Petersburg on November 6, 1893. While the cause of his death was officially declared as cholera, some of his biographers believe that he committed suicide after the humiliation of a sex scandal trial. However, only oral (no written) documentation exists to support this theory.

Biography courtesy of

About the Austin Symphony Orchestra

The mission of the Austin Symphony Orchestra Society, Inc. is to enhance the cultural quality of life for the adults and young people of Austin and Central Texas by providing excellence in music performance and educational programming.”

Founded in 1911, the Austin Symphony Orchestra is Austin’s oldest performing arts group. The ASO offers a complete season of musical and educational programming. Masterworks concerts include a series of eight concert pairs running monthly September through May in the state-of-the-art Joe R. & Teresa Lozano Long Center for the Performing Arts. Our season also features the Sarah & Ernest Butler Pops Series: October & February Pops at the Long Center and December & June Pops at Palmer Events Center. Programming for the entire family includes the Halloween Children’s Concert, and the Christmas in the Community, as well as the popular James C. Armstrong Youth Educations Programs, which include Children’s Day Art ParkYoung People’s ConcertsHigh School Concert Tour and a variety of other school programs.

Symphony Square at 11th and Red River is home to the ASO’s administrative offices. This complex of four historic Austin buildings (two of which are owned by the ASO and Waterloo Greenway) is also home to the Women’s Symphony League of Austin.

Please Note: As of January, 2021 our new temporary administration office is located at 1806 Rio Grande St., Austin, TX 78701.

Music Director, Maestro Peter Bay:

Austin Symphony Orchestra Musicians:

The Nutcracker Cast

Act I

Frau Silberhaus
Elise Pekarek                         Dec 3 (2:00), 4, 9, 10 (7:30), 16, 17 (7:30), 20, 22, 23
Chelsea Marie Renner            Dec 3 (7:30), 10 (2:00), 11, 17 (2:00), 18, 21

Herr Silberhaus
James Fuller               Dec 3 (2:00), 4, 9, 10 (7:30), 16, 17 (7:30), 20, 22, 23
Colin Canavan            Dec 3 (7:30), 10 (2:00), 11, 17 (2:00), 18, 21

Katie Alice Chong       Dec. 3 (2:00), 9, 11, 17 (7:30), 21
Ella K. Fallon               Dec. 4, 10 (7:30), 17 (2:00), 20, 23
Madolyn Siela             Dec. 3 (7:30), 10 (2:00), 16, 18, 22

Zephaniah Brinton      Dec. 3, 4, 9, 10, 11
Marshall Thompson    Dec. 16, 17, 18, 20, 21, 22, 23

Edward Carr

Daniel Estrada                        Dec 3 (2:00), 4, 9, 10 (7:30), 16, 17 (7:30), 20, 22
Emiliano Rivera-Patton           Dec 3 (7:30), 10 (2:00), 11, 17 (2:00), 18, 21, 23

Lexi Eicher                  Dec 3 (2:00), 4, 9, 10 (7:30), 16, 17 (7:30), 20, 22
Meg Kataoka              Dec 3 (7:30), 10 (2:00), 11, 17 (2:00), 18, 21, 23

Katherine Deuitch, Murray McCormack, Sahel Flora Pascual, Daisy Ye
Ian J. Bethany, Andrew Buckley, Arnaldo Hernandez, Paul Martin, Leighton Taylor

Party Girls
Ella Donaldson, Paloma Fuentes, Phoebe Herbert, Miriam Hultgren, Chloe Hunter,Audrey Marie Johnson, Anya Loo, Isabela Peña, Liliana Romriell, Sadie Sarrat, Kyla Scott, Saki Takahashi         

Party Boys
Christopher Chapa, Ethan Fallon, August Gupton, Eli Hwang

Dresden Doll
Alyssa Manguiat         Dec 3 (2:00), 4, 9, 10 (7:30), 16, 17 (7:30), 20, 22
Dianetzy Rojas            Dec 3 (7:30), 10 (2:00), 11, 17 (2:00), 18, 21, 23

Pierrot Doll
Paul Martin                  Dec 3 (2:00), 4, 9, 10 (7:30), 16, 17 (7:30), 20, 22
Andrew Buckley         Dec 3 (7:30), 10 (2:00), 11, 17 (2:00), 18, 21, 23

Carla Ames-Corral, Leyna Black, Ming Boebel, Lilah Holland, Ellis Lowry, Emma Roth, Madeline Scheib, Caroline Seach, Katelyn Shopp, Asa Sundstrom, LylaGrace Weldon-Carroll, Genevieve Zigler

Teresa Angulo, Dahlia Bekanich, Anna Bentley, Sophia Bergara, Pierce Bynum, Klara Campbell, Liza Coury, Posey Crossley, Ellie Ford, Amelia James, Ximena Jimenez, Marie Esther Johnson, Valentina Litchfield, Elizabeth Meade, Vesper Moreno, Paola Quintana, Hera Robichaux, Rosy Royo, Stella Scroggins, Gemariah “Peach” Smith, Catherine Teten, Lulu West, Karis Wu, Emily Zou

Nutcracker Prince
Daniel Estrada                        Dec 3 (2:00), 4, 9, 10 (7:30), 16, 17 (7:30), 20, 22
Emiliano Rivera-Patton           Dec 3 (7:30), 10 (2:00), 11, 17 (2:00), 18, 21, 23

Rat King
Julius Taiber               Dec 3 (2:00), 4, 9, 10 (7:30), 16, 17 (7:30), 20, 22
Marlin Siegel               Dec 3 (7:30), 10 (2:00), 11, 17 (2:00), 18, 21, 23

Reagan Arenz, Carly Darnell, Daniel Estrada, Rhys Hudson, Abigail Lee, Jackson Rankin, Emiliano Rivera-Patton, Marlin Siegel, Julius Taiber

Toy Soldiers
Catherine Anne Bircher, Milana Burrow, Dylan Dougherty, Kylie Jo Garcia, Trea Hultgren, Lisa Lule, Natalia Lule, Katelyn Merritt, Sophia Reass, Qiu Li Tovo-Hurt, Amber Wang, Isabelle Wilwayco

Valentina Bernal, Leah Canchola, Hana Cornali, Addison Lynch, Gabriela Catalina McArthur, Brooke Montejano, Sophia Sanders, Hannah Vale

Snow Queen
Vivien Farrell                           Dec 3 (2:00), 10 (7:30), 17 (7:30), 23
Isabella Phillips Lynch            Dec 16, 18, 22
Courtney Holland                    Dec 4, 9, 11, 21
Grace Morton                          Dec 3 (7:30), 10 (2:00), 17 (2:00), 20

Snow King
Colin Canavan                        Dec 3 (2:00), 10 (7:30), 17 (7:30), 23
Ian J. Bethany                         Dec 16, 18, 22
Morgan Stillman                      Dec 4, 9, 11, 21
Arnaldo Hernandez                 Dec 3 (7:30), 10 (2:00), 17 (2:00), 20


Amelia Bednar, Daniela Bennetti, Lexi Eicher, Meg Kataoka, Ashley Krystkowiak, Alyssa Manguiat, Murray McCormack, Nya Mitchell, Alexandra Owens, Sahel Flora Pascual, Dianetzy Rojas, Isabella Salas, Daisy Ye

Act II

Sugar Plum Fairy
Chelsea Marie Renner            Dec 3 (2:00), 9, 11, 17 (7:30), 23
Elise Pekarek                         Dec 3 (7:30), 10 (2:00), 17 (2:00), 20, 22
Katherine Deuitch                   Dec 4, 10 (7:30), 16, 18, 21

Leighton Taylor                       Dec 3 (2:00), 9, 11, 17 (7:30), 23
Morgan Stillman                      Dec 3 (7:30), 10 (2:00), 17 (2:00), 20, 22
James Fuller                           Dec 4, 10 (7:30), 16, 18, 21

Katherine Deuitch, Colin Canavan     Dec 3 (2:00), 9, 11, 17 (7:30), 23
Sahel Flora Pascual, James Fuller     Dec 3 (7:30), 10 (2:00), 17 (2:00), 20, 22
Alyssa Manguiat, Leighton Taylor      Dec 4, 10 (7:30), 16, 18, 21

Elise Pekarek, Edward Carr               Dec 3 (2:00), 9, 11, 17 (7:30), 23
Chelsea Marie Renner, Edward Carr Dec 3 (7:30), 10 (2:00), 17 (2:00), 20, 22
Dianetzy Rojas, Paul Martin               Dec 4, 10 (7:30), 16, 18, 21

Paul Martin                 Dec 3 (2:00), 9, 11, 17 (7:30), 23
Andrew Buckley         Dec 3 (7:30), 10 (2:00), 17 (2:00), 20, 22
Ian J. Bethany             Dec 4, 10 (7:30), 16, 18, 21

Noelle Biven, Mia Campos, Selena Chock, Natalie Chun, Samantha Leon, Charlotte Prodel, Ruby Rosa, Katie Turner, Emma Urrutia, Elizabeth “Elle” Wiatrek, Lily Wilcox

Arnaldo Hernandez     Dec 3, 9, 10 (2:00), 11, 17, 20, 22, 23
Andrew Buckley         Dec 4, 10 (7:30), 16, 18, 21

Rhys Hudson, Jackson Rankin, Marlin Siegel, Julius Taiber

Alyssa Manguiat                     Dec 3 (2:00), 9, 11, 17 (7:30), 23
Grace Morton                          Dec 3 (7:30), 10 (2:00), 17 (2:00), 20, 22
Isabella Phillips Lynch            Dec 4, 10 (7:30), 16, 18, 21

Reagan Arenz, Amelia Bednar, Carly Darnell, Abigail Lee, Isabelle Wilwayco

Mother Ginger

Friday, December 2 at 7:30 p.m.: Dottie Watkins, Interim President/CEO, CapMetro
Saturday, December 3 at 2 p.m.: Allison Miller, Morning News Anchor & Meteorologist, CBS Austin
Saturday, December 3 at 7:30 p.m.: Catherine Leon-Parker, Moreland Properties
Sunday, December 4 at 2 p.m.: Tony Plohetski, Journalist, KVUE and the Austin American-Statesman
Friday, December 9 at 7:30 p.m.: Forrest Preece, Ballet Austin board member and consulting dilettante
Saturday, December 10 at 2 p.m.: Luis Patiño, President and CEO, Austin PBS
Saturday, December 10 at 7:30 p.m.: Fang Fang, President and CEO, Greater Austin Asian Chamber of Commerce
Sunday, December 11 at 2 p.m.: Amy Bailey, Actress and former ballet dancer
Friday, December 16 at 7:30 p.m.: Dr. Melva K. Williams, President, Huston-Tillotson University
Saturday, December 17 at 2 p.m.: Kendall Antonelli, Owner, Antonelli’s Cheese Shop
Saturday, December 17 at 7:30 p.m.: Dr. Cliff Croomes, Associate Director of Bands and Director of the Longhorn Band, The University of Texas at Austin
Sunday, December 18 at 2 p.m.: The Honorable Steve Adler, Mayor of the City of Austin
Tuesday, December 20 at 7:30 p.m.: Bobby Jenkins, Owner, ABC Home and Commercial Services
Wednesday, December 21 at 7:30 p.m.: Serena Hicks, Founder,
Thursday, December 22 at 2 p.m.: Rose Smith, CEO and Founder, Black Women in Business
Friday, December 23 at 2 p.m.: Heather Petruzzini, Interim Chief Academic Officer, Austin ISD

Madeline Adams, Phoebe Anderson, Lyla Barker, Gabrielle “Ella” Brinton, Charlotte Bynum, Ilex Chang, Lily Chen, Jayne Cooper, Penelope DuBois, Owen Fronk, Morrison Hewitt, Chloe Huffman-Phillips, Lucia Kugler, Isabella MacLeod, Iris Mak, Lilianna Marchese, Mia Naik, Mila Ostrovich, Cecelia Pellegrini, Alexia Rashidi, Emma Reiss, Davianna “Davi” Rondero, Morgan Rubine, Maria Sanchez, Jordan Sears, Georgia Siela, Emery Speer, Daphne Sun, Caroline Torres, Piper Uccello, Samrawit Waelbroeck, Margot West, Hannah Grace Wu, Carmyn Zoghby

Waltz of the Flowers
Courtney Holland        Dec 3 (2:00), 10 (7:30), 17 (7:30), 18, 23
Dianetzy Rojas            Dec 3 (7:30), 10 (2:00), 11, 17 (2:00), 20, 22
Vivien Farrell               Dec 4, 9, 16, 21

Daniela Bennetti, Lexi Eicher, Meg Kataoka, Ashley Krystkowiak, Murray McCormack, Nya Mitchell, Alexander Owens, Sahel Flora Pascual, Isabella Salas, Daisy Ye

(Casting Subject to Change)



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Endowed in part by the generosity of the Kuglen Foundation – Dr. & Mrs. Craig C. Kuglen – through the Ballet Austin Foundation


Supported in part by awards from the Texas Commission on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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