Executive Director’s Notes: George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker 2020

Dear Friends,

For many years I spent a lot of afternoons and evenings standing just inside the north door of McCaw Hall as Nutcracker audiences arrived for their show. Knowing that Nutcracker revenue supports everything we do at PNB, and the role it plays in how Seattle celebrates the holidays, it has felt important to greet you and thank you for coming. I answer a lot of questions about the location of the ticket office, the nearest bathroom, the bar with the shortest line, and the gift shop. I’m handed many phones for photo opps, a lot of small coats and purses, and some very sweet treasures from the craft table. Occasionally I redirect someone to Seattle Rep. As the years have gone by, our Nutcracker audience has changed. It is more diverse, and more representative of our greater community and every wonderful definition of family. This evolution brings us such joy. Traditions like The Nutcracker are so important, and we love them. But as you’ll read in Peter Boal’s director’s notes, our hearts are in the evolution.

If you walk past McCaw Hall today, you’ll see a very dark, still venue. This building was never meant for such quietude. But last week, we covered five big windows with a message to anyone walking past. “We miss you, Seattle.” And we do. I can’t wait to return to my spot inside the north doors and hold your child’s fuzzy jacket while they pose for photos with the Mouse King or Mother Ginger. I can’t wait to retrieve the shiny new shoe that flies off the five year old making a run for the stairs, or greet the family matriarch in her wheelchair, smilingly entering the space we’ve created with lights, greenery, color, and warmth. In the meantime, wherever you are, thank you for joining us for The Nutcracker. Your support is meaningful to every one of us at PNB, and we’re delighted to be part of your December festivities.

Warmest regards,  

Ellen Walker

Featured photo: © Lindsay Thomas.