American Repertory Ballet announces “Nutcracker” performances at Union County PAC

For Information/Interviews Contact:
Alexis Branagan, Marketing and Digital Media Specialist, American Repertory Ballet and Princeton Ballet School;

Additional Photos/images available upon request


November 3, 2015

RAHWAY, NJ – American Repertory Ballet (ARB) will open its annual Nutcracker season at Union County Performing Arts Center’s main stage in Rahway on Saturday, November 21 at 2 p.m., with the company’s first-ever “Sensory Friendly” performances on Sunday, November 22 at 2 p.m.

American Repertory Ballet’s Nutcracker is a holiday classic featuring Tchaikovsky’s score and a cast of more than 100 performers, featuring the professional, international dancers of American Repertory Ballet and select students from Princeton Ballet School, the official school of ARB. A holiday tradition since 1964, ARB’s Nutcracker is the longest-running production in New Jersey and one of the longest consecutively running in the United States.

The “Sensory Friendly” Nutcracker performance is part of UCPAC’s Sensory Friendly Theatre series. Brought to you by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders, Sensory Friendly Theatre (SFT) is a series of live performances specially designed and adapted for children with autism and similar sensory sensitivity. Additionally, Eden Autism Services is pleased to partner with the American Repertory Ballet in its efforts to make the thrill of professional ballet and live dance accessible for individuals with autism. For more information about Eden Autism Services visit or call (609) 987-0099.

To further connect with the Rahway community, American Repertory Ballet held auditions for local Rahway children in grades K-2 to perform alongside its professional dancers as mice in ARB’s Nutcracker at Union County PAC The mice take part in the famous battle scene in the ballet, where the main character Clara dreams that tiny mice in her living room grow giant and take on the army of toy soldiers and the Nutcracker prince. The six children who were selected to perform as this year’s Nutcracker Community Mice are: Madison Ferreira (1st Grade) and Elisha Mena (2nd Grade) from Franklin School, Raquelle Reinoso (K) from Madison School, Kyra Jones (K) and Evan Martin (2nd Grade) from Roosevelt School and Anastasia Rachinsky (1st Grade) from St. John Vianney.

Nutcracker sponsorships, partnership opportunities and playbill advertising opportunities are still available. For information about these opportunities, please contact Lisa de Ravel: , 609.921.7758, ext. 11.

Playbill ad artwork is due November 6, 2015.

American Repertory Ballet’s 2015 Nutcracker Season

Union County Performing Arts Center
1601 Irving Street
Rahway, NJ 07065
(732) 499-8226
November 21, 2015 at 2 p.m.
November 22, 2015 at 2 p.m. (Sensory Friendly performance)

McCarter Theatre
91 University Place
Princeton, NJ 08540
(609) 258-2787
November 25, 2015 at 7:30 p.m.
November 27, 2015 at 2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
November 28, 2015 at 2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

Patriots Theater at the War Memorial
1 Memorial Drive
Trenton, NJ 08608
(877) 987-6487
December 5, 2015 at 11 p.m.

South Orange Performing Arts Center
South Orange, NJ 07079
December 6, 2015 at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.

Algonquin Arts Theatre
60 Abe Voorhees Drive
Manasquan, NJ 08736
(732) 528-9211
December 12, 2015 at 1 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.
December 13, 2015 at 3 p.m.

State Theatre *Featuring Live Orchestra and Choir*
15 Livingston Avenue
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
(732) 246-7469
December 18, 2015 at 7:30 p.m.
December 19, 2015 at 1 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.
December 20, 2015 at 1 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.

About American Repertory Ballet and Princeton Ballet School

American Repertory Ballet’s mission is to bring the joy, beauty, artistry and discipline of classical and contemporary dance to New Jersey and nationwide audiences and to dance students through artistic and educational programs. The organization comprises: the preeminent professional classical and contemporary ballet company in the state; Princeton Ballet School, one of the largest and most respected non-profit dance schools in the nation; and ARB’s Access & Enrichment initiatives, including the long-running and acclaimed DANCE POWER program. The performing company is a classical and contemporary ballet company committed to presenting ballets from the 19th and 20th centuries alongside new and existing works by choreographers from today. Founded in 1963, the company is currently under the artistic leadership of Douglas Martin, former principal dancer with the Joffrey Ballet. Its rich history of repertory includes established masterpieces by distinguished American choreographers such as George Balanchine, Gerald Arpino, Alvin Ailey, Paul Taylor and Twyla Tharp; cutting edge works by choreographers such as Val Caniparoli, Kirk Peterson, Dominique Dumais, Harrison McEldowney, Amy Seiwert, Susan Shields, Melissa Barak, Patrick Corbin, Trinette Singleton, and ARB Resident Choreographer Mary Barton; and former Artistic Directors Dermot Burke, Marjorie Mussman, Septime Webre and Graham Lustig. ARB has been designated a “Major Arts Institution” by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts consistently for the past two decades, and has repeatedly been awarded a Citation of Excellence by the Council. ARB was voted the Jersey Arts People’s Choice for “Favorite Dance Company” in 2008, 2011, 2012, and 2015.

Princeton Ballet School has gained a national reputation for its excellent dance training since its founding in 1954 by Audrée Estey. Under the direction of Mary Pat Robertson, Princeton Ballet School currently serves approximately 1,200 students, starting at age three, and includes a large open enrollment division for adults. Princeton Ballet School has studios in Cranbury, New Brunswick, and Princeton and offers classes in ballet, modern dance, jazz, hip-hop, CardioBallet, and CoMBo – Conditioning for the Mind and Body. Students from the school have gone on to dance in professional ballet and contemporary dance companies in the US and abroad. Graduates have danced with such diverse organizations as New York City Ballet, Paul Taylor Dance Company, Miami City Ballet, Complexions, Mark Morris Dance Company, Twyla Tharp, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Ballet West and on Broadway.

The Access & Enrichment wing of American Repertory Ballet reaches out to the community not only through its DANCE POWER program and signature On Pointe series, but also with free programming, master classes, residencies, lecture demonstrations and School-time Matinees throughout the state. In 1985, American Repertory Ballet partnered with the New Brunswick Board of Education to create DANCE POWER. Today, it’s the longest-running uninterrupted arts/community partnership in New Jersey. The legendary Gregory Hines was DANCE POWER’s Honorary Chair for 18 years before his untimely passing in 2003. In 2001, Mr. Hines endowed a scholarship at Rutgers University that earmarks annual funds for a DANCE POWER student to attend the university.