A Christmas tradition has been reimagined for our time of social distancing by NYC’s BalletCollective (BC), with an exclusive safety-compliant live engagement of The Nutcracker at Wethersfield from December 4-23, in an historic estate in Amenia, NY (a two-hour drive north of Times Square). And with the free immersive streaming of the new production of Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece during Christmas week, directly following the in-person run, viewers everywhere can experience the joy of the beloved holiday classic from the comfort of home, while also enjoying virtual views of the historic neo-Georgian Hudson Valley mansion, formal garden, and carriage house at which it is being staged.
Produced in partnership with The Wethersfield Estate by BalletCollective – a non-profit organization founded in 2010 by Troy Schumacher (who created, choreographed, and directs the performance) to present “forward-thinking works that reflect the world we live in” – The Nutcracker at Wethersfield will feature a troupe of 20-25 internationally acclaimed dancers from the New York City Ballet (including Sara Mearns, Tyler Angle, Ashley Laracey, Taylor Stanley, Mira Nadon, Erica Pereira, Ralph Ippolito, Eliza Blutt, Gabriella Domini, Savannah Durham, Claire Von Enck, Emma Von Enck, Malorie Lundgren, Mary Thomas MacKinnon, Miriam Miller, Davide Riccardo, Kristen Segin, Mary Elizabeth Sell, Mimi Staker, KJ Takashi, and Cainan Weber), all available this year due to the pandemic cancellation of Lincoln Center’s annual production. With theaters closed well into 2021, and the artists furloughed indefinitely, the BC production provides them a welcome opportunity to return to their craft.
Each live performance at Wethersfield will follow pandemic protocol regulations, supervised by a team of medical professionals to ensure the well-being of guests and artists. All of the dancers, who quarantined for four weeks beginning in early November, will maintain appropriate distance from audience members, and attendance will be limited to 7-8 socially-distanced groups of 2-6 people (who must wear masks for the duration of the event), so that the house never exceeds 25% capacity.
Upon arrival, audiences (and subsequent viewers of the livestream) will be immersed in the magical world of the The Nutcracker‘s famous party scene, then guided through all of the show’s iconic sequences, including the battle scene, the outdoor snow ballet, and the Land of the Sweets, as they (or online viewers via the camera crew) traverse the house and grounds. The artistic design will feature party costumes by Oscar de la Renta (female) and Todd Snyder (male), Christmas trees and decorations by Balsam Hill, wallpaper and fabric by Schumacher Fabrics, and live music from The Metropolis Ensemble. In addition, acclaimed filmmaker Annie Sundberg (Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work; Surviving Jeffrey Epstein) is producing and directing a feature documentary about the unique production.
“We are pleased that the public will be able to experience this . . . online for free,” said Schumacher, “and we hope that The Nutcracker at Wethersfield will make this year’s holidays sparkle a bit brighter.”
BalletCollective’s The Nutcracker at Wethersfield plays December 4-23, 2020, at Wethersfield Estate, 257 Pugsley Hill Road, Amenia, NY. Admission for live audiences is strictly limited, by donation or invitation to essential frontline workers and families hit hard by the pandemic. A free stream will be available to watch on demand from 5 pm, Wednesday, December 23, to Saturday, December 26, 11:59 pm, on the show’s website.