ENGAGE DANCE THEATRE brings dazzling production of “THE NUTCRACKER” to Life!

ENGAGE DANCE THEATRE brings dazzling production of “THE NUTCRACKER” to Life!

CRYSTAL LAKE, IL – Raue Center For The Arts is pleased to welcome Engage Dance Theatre for a co-production as they present “The Nutcracker” on December 16 and 17, 2023 at 1 p.m. and 5 pm with a special sensory-friendly performance on December 20 at 6 pm. 


“From dancing to acting and even tumbling, Engage’s ‘Nutcracker’ has something for everyone! This year, the production includes the addition of several new elements to keep the show fresh and exciting for our audience,” says Courtney Petrocci, Artistic Director of Engage Dance Theatre. “As Milwaukee Ballet company prepares for a brand new Nutcracker of their own this year, we have gratefully purchased multiple costumes and stage sets from their previous production, designed by Zak Brown. These additions will continue to take our production to new heights with its professionalism and majesty.”  Engage Dance Theatre’s ‘The Nutcracker’ is an annual holiday tradition at Raue Center, featuring guest artist Elijah Richardson (one of Dance Magazines 2022 top 25 dancers to watch) as Arabian and Spanish Cavalier, guest artist Annia Hidalgo (former leading Artist Milwaukee Ballet) as Sugar Plum and Pedro Lapetra Miñana (former dancer with English National Ballet) as Cavalier. ,” says Courtney Petrocci, Artistic Director of Engage Dance Theatre.


Join Clara at her annual Christmas Eve party at the Staulbaum house enjoying a night full of celebration, dancing, and magic! As the party comes to a close Clara sneaks downstairs to find her precious new Nutcracker doll and falls asleep dreaming of her wonderful evening. She is startled awake by a group of mischievous mice and taken on an exciting journey with Drosselmeyer and her precious Nutcracker. Battling a life-size mouse Queen, slipping & sliding with snowmen & dazzling Snow Queen, and then flying off on an enchanted crystal sleigh to meet the Queen of the Angels and her herald of Angles at the gates of the Land of Sweets. Spanish Chocolate, Arabian Coffee, Chinese Tea, Russian Taffy, Marzipan Candy, Merry & her sweet Mini Mints, Dew Drop with her carousel of flowers, and the elegant Sugar Plum Fairy & her Cavalier all dance for Clara in an adventure not to be missed this holiday season! 


Audience members will be moved to leap from their seats to battle the Mouse Queen and her horde of mice, have a snowball fight alongside Clara and a family of snowmen in the Land of Snow and Ice, and, of course, dance along with the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier.


This beautifully reimagined production of “The Nutcracker” features over 100 performers, as well as guest artists from renowned dance and theatre companies throughout the United States. 


The new sensory-friendly performance will be a special one-hour presentation of the Nutcracker with open seating in a reduced house size with softer lighting and sound effects, to support a comfortable sensory-friendly experience. Please call Engage for further details and help answer any questions regarding this inclusive performance.


Performance times are 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. on December 16th and 17th. Tickets are $30 ( $18 for students 17 and under and Seniors). Tickets for the sensory-friendly performance are $20 ($15 for students). Tickets can be purchased online at rauecenter.org or via the Box Office at 815.356.9212 or at 26 N. Williams Street in downtown Crystal Lake. 


About Engage Dance Theatre 

Engage Dance Academy is a premiere dance academy owned & operated by Courtney & Marc Petrucci, former professional dancers at the Milwaukee Ballet, bringing professional caliber dance training to McHenry County for dancers ages 18 months-Adult. Engage is a triple-track dance studio offering dance classes for all levels; Engage Dance Theatre, a year-round pre-professional dance company for the more serious dancers ages 5-18, training includes partnering classes with professional dancers from the Milwaukee Ballet and three performances a year including a full-length production of The Nutcracker; an award-winning competition team for those dancers looking to compete in Chicago based competitions; and an Open Division for dancers looking for a wide variety of weekly classes ranging from baby ballet, jazz, hip hop, and Aerial Silks & Tumbling. 


About Raue Center For The Arts

Raue Center is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to enriching the lives of all through the arts. For 20 years, they have provided quality programming – striving to make it pertinent, available, and affordable to all. As a painstakingly restored, 1920s regional showcase theatre named for its benefactor—Lucile Raue—Raue Center has attracted the finest stars, Broadway shows, musicians and artists. Named on the League of Historic American Theatres, Raue Center is one of the finest examples of restored art and decor in the nation. The 750-seat theatre, located in historic downtown Crystal Lake, Illinois, is a gathering place for our region’s citizens and has become a true destination. 


For additional information, visit rauecenter.org, facebook.com/RaueCenter, and twitter.com/RaueCenter.