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Troy Schumacher’s BalletCollective presents COVID-19 compliant ‘Nutcracker’

Troy Schumacher and BalletCollective. Photo by Kyle Froman.
Troy Schumacher and BalletCollective. Photo by Kyle Froman.

With every major Nutcracker production in America cancelled due to the pandemic, BalletCollective and the Wethersfield Estate are pleased to announce The Nutcracker at Wethersfield, choreographed and directed by Troy Schumacher, this holiday season, from December 4-23, at the Wethersfield Estate in Amenia, NY (a two-hour drive north of Times Square). 

Troy Schumacher. Photo by Ike Edeani.
Troy Schumacher. Photo by Ike Edeani.

This watershed production will provide a guided immersive experience in a historical site. It will keep this beloved holiday tradition alive in a re-imagined, safety-compliant way. The Nutcracker at Wethersfield is the first full-length ballet to be presented during the pandemic in the United States.

The Nutcracker at Wethersfield will feature a roster of internationally acclaimed dancers, currently furloughed from the New York City Ballet, including Sara Mearns, Tyler Angle, Ashley Laracey and Taylor Stanley, among others.  

When guests arrive at the Wethersfield Estate, they will be immediately immersed in a magical world, as if they were attending the ballet’s famous party scene. The event will guide guests through all of the quintessential moments of the ballet, including the battle scene, the snow ballet and the Land of the Sweets, as they traverse the beauty of the historic manor house and the impeccably kept grounds and gardens of Wethersfield.

Each event will be completely compliant with New York’s COVID-19 regulations, supervised by a team of medical professionals to ensure the safety of guests and artists. All of the dancers will quarantine for four weeks beginning in early November, and maintain social distance from all guests. 

Guests will be limited to seven to eight socially distanced groups of two to six attendees in each group in order to ensure that the house never exceeds 25 percent capacity, and that no more than 50 people, including dancers, are together in any space at any time. Guests must wear masks throughout the experience. As the event progresses, guests will be taken through a range of indoor, heated outdoor and tented locations.

The production will provide a range of experiences, including a Nutcracker Party Scene themed tour through the manor house, an outdoor snow ballet and a tented land of sweets, featuring creative direction and food design by Elizabeth Mayhew of The Dutchy.

Troy Schumacher. Photo by Kathryn Wirsing.
Troy Schumacher. Photo by Kathryn Wirsing.

“The moment I entered the house at Wethersfield, I immediately imagined arriving at a holiday party inside the magnificent manor house, magically transported back in time to become a part of The Nutcracker,” noted Schumacher. “We are so pleased to create, to continue this holiday tradition, and to express joy again. BalletCollective is currently in discussions with streaming and film distribution partners.”

The Nutcracker at Wethersfield is being underwritten by members of the Hudson Valley community and national arts lovers, to provide work for more than 50 dancers, designers, crew and arts workers who have seen their livelihoods and purpose disappear this year. With theaters closed well into 2021, this unique opportunity provides each of these artists a lifeline and a chance to return to their craft.

Invitations to attend this production are limited and will be open only to underwriters of The Nutcracker at Wethersfield. In addition to underwriters and their guests, a limited number of invitations will be provided to families hard hit by the pandemic. Due to current regulations, The Nutcracker at Wethersfield, as of now, will only be available to the public as a streaming event and subsequently as a filmed production. Details to follow. 

BalletCollective’s The Nutcracker at Wethersfield will be presented at Wethersfield Estate in Amenia, NY, from December 4-23. For more information, visit www.nutcrackeratwethersfield.com.

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