In My First Nutcracker, we focus on Clara-Marie’s adventures – her spirit, curiosity, bravery, and of course: dancing!
– Melissa Riker | Director & Choreographer
The Nutcracker is such a delightful and iconic holiday show, I’ve seen it many times. But since the story is told through dance and gesture, each time I have to read the synopsis to really understand it. I wanted to create a version that kids of all ages would immediately be able to connect with, so I wrote it as a play with music and dance. The main characters and events are all there. I hope it will serve as an introduction to The Nutcracker ballet that will inspire many future visits.
– Barbara Zinn Krieger | NYCCT’s Artistic Director & Founder; Playwright
Examples of watercolors that inspired My First Nutcracker.
When Melissa, Carolyn, Sheryl, and I first started chatting about broad concepts for My First Nutcracker, we were really drawn to the work of a few abstract watercolor artists and the idea of ombres. The idea of a fictional world in a gradient really spoke to me. We also really wanted to modernize the story of The Nutcracker and show Clara Marie as a more astute and independent woman— to highlight her feminism and the power that she has in that. I think it makes her a much more modernly accessible protagonist.
– Heather McDevitt Barton | Costume Designer
I find inspiration for My First Nutcracker in the memories of the Nutcrackers of my youth: seeing very classic version presented by the San Francisco Ballet, and the irreverent ones like Mark Morris’s The Hard Nut. Both serve as a reminder that the Nutcracker story is both timeless and malleable, and we can delight in the perspective shift, whether it is reframing the story in a different era or presenting it to a younger audience.
– Carolyn Wong | Lighting Designer
The inspiration for My First Nutcracker scenic design came from a very colorful watercolor painting of Christmas trees. We made the tree into a magical, central piece that goes on the journey with Clara Marie.
– Sheryl Liu | Scenic Design
See their inspiration come to life on stage!
My First Nutcracker plays at Theatre Row from November 23rd – December 22nd!