“‘Nutcracker’ is such an important part of Torrington. I mean it’s a tradition for a lot of families,” said Vicky Mazzarelli, Nutmeg’s artistic director. “And this is a big deal that we’re doing a new one. You know, we’re putting ourselves out there, so if the community could be a part of that, it would be so wonderful.”

She said it’s easy to support the building of a new set – which is already designed and under construction – and the purchase of new costumes by calling the Nutmeg Ballet Conservatory or donating on their secure website.

“And they could even contact us if they wanted to donate to a particular piece of the set,” Mazzarelli said. “Call the Conservatory if you’d like to donate the star drop or the little pieces of the set or in honor of someone. Maybe someone would say, ‘Wow, I’d love to do that in honor of my mom!’ Or the snowflakes’ costumes … or the costumes of the mice.”

Since 1996, Nutmeg has used a set designed by Campbell Baird.

The new set was designed by Roger LaVoie, a renowned scenic designer from Boston. The public got a sneak peek at it during a Business After Hours networking event sponsored by Northwest Connecticut Chamber of Commerce in November 2018. Now it is being built by the scenic shop at American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Mass.

“We are looking to the future,” said founder Sharon E. Dante. “The ‘NEW Nutcracker 2019’ brings in fresh new and breathtaking scenery, lighting and special stage effects that could not have been realized back in 1996. This new production will carry Victoria’s artistic vision into the ’20s and ’30s and maybe even up to the 75th-year celebration of Nutmeg. And, by the way, I fully intend to be here cheering the current and future staff and students on.”

“By the time Thanksgiving rolls around and we move into the Warner Theatre, and then The Bushnell, the set will be done,” Mazzarelli said. “It will be really great to have a big reveal.”

Dress a snowflake, or dress a mouse, or point to that colorful new backdrop when you attend “The Nutcracker” this year and say, “I helped make that happen.”


To donate from the secure website, go to www.nutmegconservatory.org/support-us, or call the Nutmeg at 860-482-4413. is a big deal that we’re doing a new one. You know, we’re putting ourselves out there, so if the community could be a part of that, it would be so wonderful.


Averie Brooks, 12, and her mom, Amy Brooks, of New Hartford, pose at the Nutmeg Conservatory June 15 during orientation for the 2019 Professional Summer Programs. Averie has studied with Nutmeg for six years and will take part in two summer sessions totaling six weeks. A total of 260 students have signed up for the three summer sessions, running now through Aug. 10. For information, call the Nutmeg Ballet Conservatory at 860-482-4413.