Ballet Theatre of Ohio brings its celebrated live performance of The Nutcracker back to Akron’s much-beloved Civic Theatre

Drosselmyer 1021
Begin the holiday season by enjoying Joshua Isley’s magical interpretation of Drosselmeyer.

By Bill Yurgen

That old cliché “absence makes the heart grow fonder” certainly holds true when planning to attend Ballet Theatre of Ohio’s upcoming 29th anniversary performance of The Nutcracker. After an unexpected hiatus from performances in 2020, Ballet Theatre of Ohio—widely known as BTO—is back to doing what they do best: delighting audiences of all ages with spectacular sets, gorgeous costumes, dazzling choreography, and the magical music of Tchaikovsky that so many consider synonymous with the Christmas holiday season.

For 29 Years, Ballet Theatre of Ohio has been the Akron Civic Theatre’s top draw. Yes, for nearly three decades BTO’s Nutcracker has been Akron’s #1 holiday show. Fans across the area have made it a part of their holiday plans. Because of this, we strongly urge you to purchase your tickets early.

What’s New and Exciting?
The Nutcracker’s famed venue. In April 2021 the Akron Civic Theatre revealed its most recent renovation project—a detailed return to the original grandeur of the lobby at the Main Street entrance. Akron’s “Jewel on Main Street” is the perfect atmosphere to mesmerize attendees as they are transported to a magical world.

The Akron Civic Theatre’s restored lobby.

Christine Meneer, founder of Ballet Theatre of Ohio and executive artistic director since 1993, will be turning over the artistic director title to her daughter, Kelly Meneer. Christine will continue her involvement as executive director. Both assure us that all performances and choreography will be as professional, creative, humorous and memorable as any previous performances. According to Christine, “There’s no one more capable of taking over this position than Kelly. Her exquisite creativity and attention to detail will continue to be our benchmark for every ballet moving forward.”

An Experience Not To Be Missed
As in past years, an immense Christmas tree will be positioned in the grande lobby, decorated with one-of-a-kind Nutcracker pointe shoes representing the ballet’s characters. It will be an ideal place to take a photo to remember the day. In addition, Santa’s Workshop will be open with vignettes of elves preparing for this year’s toys to be delivered. After a visit with Santa, make your way to the Nutcracker Boutique to be enthralled by the impressive display of over 100 nutcrackers. Be sure to receive a free candy treat from the life-size Nutcracker in attendance.

Delight the children in your life with the spectacle of BTO’s Nutcracker.

Drosselmeyer & the Mouse King
To me, what also separates Ballet Theatre of Ohio’s version of The Nutcracker from others are the roles performed by Joshua Isley (Drosselmeyer) and his brother Jeremiah Isley (the Mouse King). The Isley brothers have reprised their roles every year since BTO’s very first performance. The brothers make these central characters not only come alive but personify the very magic of the season.

*Best holiday ever? A bit presumptuous perhaps, but once you attend this company’s production, you will understand.

Added Value!
When ordering tickets by phone, use the code MM21 to receive a 25% discount now through November 1 or 40% off when you add tickets for The Wizard of Oz, April 30 – May 1, 2022.

BTO will be performing The Nutcracker at the iconic Akron Civic Theatre, 182 S. Main Street, in Akron. Performance times and dates are: Saturday November 27, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Sunday November 28, at 2 p.m.; Saturday, December 4 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.; and Sunday, December 5 at 2pm. Regular ticket prices are $50 and $40. For tickets, call BTO at 330-688-6065 or visit