The students of Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet danced The Nutcracker for the very first time at the Carlisle Senior High School Auditorium on December 29, 1967. (Although, back then we were not yet CPYB; we were still called the Marcia Dale School of Dance!) This production was choreographed and staged by Alexi Ramov; sets were designed by Robert Owen and Virginia Cullings and “Mrs. Yablonski,” whose first name was actually Regina. The program was a neatly folded 8.5×11 single sheet of paper, and contained little else besides the names of the dancers and a brief description of the first and second act of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker.
Through the decades, the way we’ve marketed the holiday tradition of The Nutcracker has changed, so today, we’re taking a look back through the archives at our performance programs — beginning in 1969!
The 1970s program book cover remained rather simple for the first half of the decade, with hand-drawn characters lovingly emblazoned on the front page. 1976, however, saw the first iteration of a marketing design that CPYB came to love, and used for a few years in a row! On this cover, a staunch red Nutcracker stands firmly in front of a decorated evergreen, quietly hinting at what’s to come as theatre-goers prepare to watch The Nutcracker! You’ll also see that 1975 was the first program to feature our new name — Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet!
In this decade, we embraced color in a big way! Printed on festive pink and green papers throughout the years, toy soldiers fiercely guarded the Christmas tree on the covers of our programs from 1980 to 1983. In 1986, we took a more direct and simplistic approach, featuring a lone Nutcracker, standing tall in a dusty pile of snow!
When the 90s rolled in, we began to embrace the art of photography in our marketing! Beginning in 1992, photographs of our dancers were featured prominently on our covers, giving theatre-goers a sneak peek into the experience they were about to have at the ballet.
In 1994, we were first granted the licensing to perform the esteemed George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker®, a fact that we were proud to present on the front cover of that year’s program! And in 1997, we took a new approach and created a seasonal program, rather than focusing on specific performances.
The seasonal programs continued until halfway through the decade, when we once again began to create performance-specific programs once again. It’s easy to capture stunning photographs of our talented dancers, so we were proud to feature snippets of the performances on the covers once more!
Throughout most of the 2010s, our program cover remained consistent. The Nutcracker himself looked down upon the party-goers in the Land of Sweets, and the cartoon drawing evoked the nostalgia of The Nutcracker for all who were in the audience!
This year, we are thrilled to feature a costumed dancing candy cane as the primary image of our 2019 performance of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker®!
We hope you’ll join us this year as the brilliant dancers of Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet bring Balanchine’s winter classic to life with larger-than-life sets and dazzling costumes set to the magical music of Tchaikovsky. As the clock strikes twelve, you’ll happen upon a battle between toy soldiers and mischievous mice as a blizzard of ballerinas reveal a wonderful world of confection. To purchase tickets, please click here.