Executive Director’s Notes – The Nutcracker 2021

Dear Friends,

From all of us at PNB, welcome to The Nutcracker! We are so wildly happy you’re here. The 2020 holiday season was simply not the same without you. You’ll see that our production and McCaw Hall’s festive atmosphere are adapted for the most up-to-date health and safety reasons. Regardless, our beautiful production is back onstage, our musicians have returned to the orchestra pit, and those mouse cookies you love are waiting for you at concessions. Your attendance here today is a celebration of the season, and it’s also a powerful expression of support for PNB and the performing arts community in Seattle. Thank you.

During our long absence from the stage, every arts and culture organization in Seattle mined its creative resources to engage with audiences in new ways. Outdoor concerts, Zoom gatherings, and filmed performances stood in for indoor events, and we did our best to offer solace, inspiration, education, and connection. Our PNB is Listening program is one such offering. This curated series of conversations features an array of voices from PNB’s large and diverse community, and it offers a great way to get to know PNB and its people better. Content curators Maris Antolin and Kristen Ramer Liang have designed a wide array of conversations, from a panel on the experience of Black ballet dancers; to a celebration of Pride Month; to ballet, mental health and mentorship; stories to honor Hispanic Heritage Month and Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month, and much more. Check out PNB is Listening at PNB.org, where you’ll also find our commitment to racial justice, our inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility priorities, and our anti-racist action steps.

Finally, I hope we’ll see you back here in 2022 for Roméo et Juliette, Swan Lake, Plot Points, a new children’s ballet of Beauty and the Beast, and an All Tharp program to cap off this historic season. We are still here because of audiences like you who love the performing arts and value all the ways they enhance your lives and the life of this city. I wish you a very happy holiday season!

Warm regards,

Ellen Walker


Sarah-Gabrielle Ryan as the Sugar Plum Fairy in George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker®, photo © Angela Sterling.

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