Nutcracker History

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The Davis Children's Version of The Nutcracker

A Davis Tradition Since 1977

From its humble beginnings in 1977 with a cast of a few dozen children, sets made from cardboard boxes, and a single performance to today, with a cast of 250 children, many permanent set pieces, and six performances, the Davis Children's Version of The Nutcracker has always been about one thing — the magic of children presenting a classic Christmas tale on stage for an audience full of their friends and family.

We hope you will take a few moments to glance through the photo galleries from our many decades of productions, read some of the many newspaper articles written about the Davis Children's Version of The Nutcracker, look for names of friends or family in show programs, or maybe even watch video from a show or two. You can find links to specific years in the navigation menu on the right side of this page.

We're also always looking for more history, particularly photos from 1988, 1989, 1991, and 1997. If you have something you'd like to share, please contact Robert Schulz, Media Services Specialist at rschulz@cityofdavis.org


The story from the Davis Children's Version of the Nutcracker

Based on the tale by E.T.A. Hoffman

"The Nutcracker" is a fairy tale about a young girl, Clara, and a very unusual Christmas. Heir Drosselmeyer, the family friend, is a magical, mysterious character who attends the family Christmas party, bringing Clara a special gift — a beautiful Nutcracker doll. Very excited about the new doll, Clara wants to stay up all night with it, but her family sends her off to bed. After everyone has left the party and her family is sound asleep, Clara sneaks back downstairs to look at her new Nutcracker doll. She falls asleep and begins to dream.

She is suddenly awakened by a roomful of mice led by a frightening Mouse King that tries to kidnap her and take her to his kingdom. Clara searches for her Nutcracker, but he has disappeared. Suddenly, the Christmas tree begins to grow to an enormous height. Everything in the room is out of proportion. The Nutcracker appears with a band of soldiers. They have come to save Clara from the Mouse King. A battle ensues. The soldiers and the mice fight a vicious battle, and when the Mouse King threatens the Nutcracker, Clara throws her shoe at the Mouse King. Distracted, he is finally defeated by the Nutcracker.

The Nutcracker Prince appears to take her away to his palace. They travel through the enchanted land of the Snowflakes to the land of the Sweets. Here, they meet delights from around the world. They are entranced by the Sugar Plum Fairy and the beautiful waltzing flowers. Clara never wants to leave the Prince or the enchanted land, but she awakens from her fascinating dream to find herself under the Christmas tree with her family and friends around her. She still has the Nutcracker Doll to help her remember her wonderful, magical Christmas.