Join us in 2023 for Huntington’s favorite holiday tradition, a night out on the town to watch The Huntington Nutcracker presented by the students of Huntington Dance Theatre, our student ballet company, and members of the Huntington dance community.

We welcome you back-in-time to the incredible holiday shopping traditions of the 1950s in downtown Huntington at the Anderson-Newcomb Department store.

Read on to learn more about our unique show!

Opening Night!








What makes our Nutcracker unique?

Rather than being set in a traditional 1800s Victorian era household, HDT’s Nutcracker offers a twist on the classic holiday story.

The first act is set in historic downtown Huntington in the 1950’s in the Anderson-Newcomb Department Store while the second act transports Clara into the Candy Counter, complete with period-specific candies and treats.

Our sets were custom designed by Marshall University’s School of Theatre and Dance under the direction of Jamez Morris-Smith after much research into the time period. To read more about the creation of the story and the sets, click here.

The Huntington Nutcracker

The scene opens to the department store staff frantically preparing for a night time opening, as it is Santa’s arrival to the store for the holiday season. There are many activities for kids and their parents, gifts from Santa and his elves for the children, and lavish decorations.

Following the excitement of the evening, Clara falls asleep and is accidentally locked in the store; her parents wrapped up in all the holiday excitement have left. Clara is then awaken by the mice living in the store. The tree in the department store continues to grow and grow as the mice surround her! They are wearing blue and gold colors and are led by a King Rat. All of a sudden, her gifted Nutcracker from Santa comes to life, ushering in soldiers dressed in green and white.  A battle ensues and the Nutcracker is injured, but Clara comes to the Nutcracker’s rescue, helping the soldiers defeat the army of mice.

Following the battle, Clara is suddenly surrounded by a wintry scene with snowflakes all around, almost as if she was transported into a snowglobe. The Nutcracker Prince helps Clara into a sleigh, and they journey into the Candy Counter together.

Within the Candy Counter, Clara is greeted by a variety of sweet treats who all dance for her in thanks for saving the Nutcracker’s life. Around this time, Clara’s parents, who have been frantic, realize she must be in the store. They run into a Floorwalker, locking up, who lets them in to wake Clara up.

Upon awaking, Clara is left wondering if it was all a dream? Or a bit of holiday magic?