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67 Nutcrackers…but who’s counting?

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Actually, we are.  Marin Ballet will  celebrate its 60th anniversary next year, but we were surprised to look through the files to discover that next month we will perform our 67th Nutcracker! The first Nutcracker, directed by Leona Norman, was presented in 1956 in San Rafael High School. The Marin Center wasn’t even built yet! Grace Doty danced the Sugar Plum fairy. Angelico Hall of Dominican University was the Nutcracker venue in 1958, 1962 and 1963. That was the year that the Marin Civic Ballet was formed. In 1965 Nancy Taverna (now Gallenson) was the first Marin Ballet student to perform in the lead role (pictured), and she danced it for three consecutive years until former Artistic Director Cynthia Lewis danced Sugar Plum in 1968. Performances shifted to the College of Marin, and finally, in 1971, the Veteran’s Memorial Auditorium, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, became home to Marin Ballet’s annual Nutcracker.  That year, Jane Thelen (now Greene) danced the role of Sugar Plum Fairy, with Roxander White as the Cavalier.

Marin Center became Marin Ballet’s Nutcracker performance venue annually until Covid broke the streak for one year in 2020. We are excited to be presenting our 67th Nutcracker performance there on Dec 10 and 11.

Nancy Thelen Rehkopf