December 7th at 7:30pm, December 8th & 9th at 3:00pm – Thalia Mara Hall

Ballet Mississippi brings E.T.A Hoffman’s classic holiday story The Nutcracker and the Mouse King (1816) to life this December with its annual holiday performance of The Nutcracker. Dazzling young and old alike with spectacular sets, costumes, music, & dancing, this performance has become a Mississippi tradition. Special guest artists include international ballet stars, Joseph Philips and Katherine Barkman.

The Friday, December 7th, 7:30pm performance is “Ballet, Blue Jeans, and Beer” night! It might seem like an unlikely combination – ballet, blue jeans, and beer, but on Friday, December 7th, Ballet Mississippi invites patrons to dress in casual attire to attend The Nutcracker. This “casual night at the ballet” will include a little jazz music pre-performance and a cash bar. Come as you are and kick-off the holiday season with Ballet Mississippi!

Ticket prices range from $15.00 – $40.00.
No Ticket Refunds or Exchanges.

Tickets will be available online at or at the door.

For more information, call 601.960.1560.


Friday, December 7, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, December 8, 2018 at 3:00 p.m.

Sunday, December 9, 2018 at 3:00 p.m.

Thalia Mara Hall

255 East Pascagoula Street

Jackson, MS 39201

Based upon E.T.A. Hoffmann’s Story
The Nutcracker and the Mouse King
Act I

It is Christmas Eve and Councillor Von Stahlbaum, a city official, and his wife are entertaining close friends and relatives. The Stahlbaum’s have two children, Fritz and Marie who are joined by their many friends and relatives. The children receive many gifts this Christmas when another guest arrives – an elderly man wearing a white wig and a patch over his right eye. This is the children’s Godfather Heir Drosselmeier.

Drosselmeier intrigues the children. Drosselmeier is a clock maker by trade, but he also produces wonderful mechanical toys for the children that come to life and dance. Drosselmeier gives Marie and Fritz a Nutcracker doll and shows Marie how to use the Nutcracker to crack nuts. Fritz is jealous and takes the Nutcracker from Marie and breaks the Nutcracker’s teeth when he tries to make the doll crack a very large nut. Drosselmeier and Marie attempt to repair the Nutcracker. As the party comes to an end, the guests dance “The Grandfather’s Dance” a traditional German folk dance.

After everyone has left Marie returns to the living room to search for her Nutcracker and she falls asleep on the couch. Drosselmeier appears and as the clock strikes twelve, Marie dreams that she sees many mice scampering through the living room. The living room transforms as the Christmas tree grows and life size toy soldiers and the Nutcracker battle the mice and Mouse King. The Nutcracker’s army retreats and the Nutcracker is over powered by the Mouse King. In an act of desperation, Marie throws her slipper at the Mouse King and the spell placed on the Nutcracker by the Mouse King’s family is finally broken. The Nutcracker is transformed into the prince he once was. He leads Marie through the Land of the Snowflakes on the way to the Land of the Sweets.

Act II

The second Act takes place in the Land of the Sweets at the Palace of the Sugarplum Kingdom. The Sugarplum Fairy arrives and introduces Marie and the Prince to her kingdom. The Prince tells how Marie saved him from the Mouse King. Marie and the Prince are then entertained by a host of dancing treats:

  • Spanish dancers (Chocolate),
  • Arabian dancers (Coffee),
  • Chinese (Tea),
  • Mirlitons (Marzipan),
  • Russian (Candy Canes),
  • Mother Ginger’s children the Polichinelles,
  • a magical Waltz of the Flowers,
  • and finally the Grand Pas de Deux of the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier.

As Act II comes to an end, so does Marie’s dream as her mother awakens her. But for Marie, this was no dream at all, it was all very real!

Nutcracker Fun Facts!!
  • In some productions, “Clara” is the name of the lead character and not “Marie.” However, in the original story, “Marie” is the name of the girl and “Clara” is the name of her doll.
  • Rehearsals for our production of The Nutcracker begin in early September.
  • This year’s production includes over 110 cast members and over 200 costumes.
  • Approximately thirty people work backstage to assist with music, lights, costume changes, and sets.
  • Marie has three dreams. The first dream begins when the jack-in-the-box awakens her. The second dream begins when the first group of mice enters until the end of the battle scene. The last one is when she gets back on the bed and goes back to sleep before waking up before the prince.
  • The Mouse King has 7 heads. There is one large one with six additional heads protruding from it.
  • In order for Marie’s bed to move, someone gets underneath to steer it. Usually it’s our Artistic Director!
  • Mother Ginger’s dress is in two pieces, the upper bodice that actually fits the Mother Ginger character and the skirt. The skirt fits over an oblong stage set made of wood that sits on top of the actual moving part which someone steers from underneath.
  • It takes about 10 hours to steam the wrinkles from Mother Ginger’s skirt.
  • The Sugar Plum Fairy’s costume has 32 pieces of beaded candy decorating the tutu.
  • The week of The Nutcracker, our dancers collectively go through about 2 pounds of bobby pins (hair pins).
  • In 2012, 3316 students from 26 Mississippi municipalities and 20 counties attended the school performances of Ballet Mississippi’s The Nutcracker.
  • Thalia Mara Hall, the auditorium where The Nutcracker is performed, is named for Ballet Mississippi’s first director, Thalia Mara. Later, she brought the International Ballet Competition to Jackson, which still occurs every four years. Jackson Auditorium became Thalia Mara Hall to honor her contribution
  • to Jackson’s cultural life.
  • Peter Illyitch Tschaikovsky is the composer who wrote the music for the ballet. The Nutcracker was first performed n Russia in 1892, and was considered a failure. Tschaikovsky died less than one year later; therefore, he never knew what a huge success and popular holiday tradition the ballet later became.