As we prepare for the farewell season of PNB’s Stowell/Sendak Nutcracker, here’s a look back in pictures at how this cherished holiday tradition got its start.

Maurice Sendak’s original illustrations of Clara and the Prince.
Maurice Sendak’s original illustration for PNB’s Stowell/Sendak Nutcracker.
Maurice Sendak and Kent Stowell during Nutcracker rehearsals.
Costume Shop Manager Larae Hascall helps out backstage.
The famous growing Christmas tree backstage at Seattle’s old Opera House.
The rebuilt Christmas tree in a Boeing hangar.
Maurice Sendak, Patricia Barker, Alaina Albertson, Wade Walthall, and Kent Stowell on opening night of Nutcracker in December 1983.

For more photos, be sure to open your Nutcracker program to the centerfold for a special commemorative feature! If you’d like to read more about our beloved Stowell/Sendak Nutcracker, check out our archived blog posts:

30 Magical Nutcracker Moments

Just How Big is PNB’s Nutcracker

Blog by Kristen Ramer Liang