Berks Ballet Theatre will be presenting the annual holiday classic "The Nutcracker."

This is Berks Ballet’s 42nd production of "The Nutcracker" and it’s sure to delight audiences young and old with the brilliant dancers, vibrant costumes and larger than life set pieces.

According to Artistic Director Kelly Barber, she and Ballet Master/Resident Choreographer Nathan Bland are especially excited about this year’s production. Joining the 67 cast members are five guest professional dancers, two of which are from the Dance Theatre of Harlem.

“Ingrid Silva and Dylan Santos will be returning to dance the Sugar Plum Fairy and Cavalier and we couldn’t be happier,” said Barber. “It’s always inspiring for our dancers to share the stage with professionals and interact with them. It’s a great learning experience.”

The soloist roles are filled by dancers in the 15-member company including the Snow Queen danced by Gretchen Kimmel of Fleetwood and the Dew Drop Fairy danced by Amber Warchol of Exeter Township. Jessica Bealer of Reading and Ellie Folga of Wyomissing will be sharing the coveted role of Clara. And reprising his role of Herr Drosselmeyer is Berks County resident Mark Shanaman.

"The Nutcracker" is a staple of Berks Ballet’s repertoire and for the second time the Reading Pops Orchestra will provide live music for the three performances.

“It’s a wonderful holiday tradition and to have two Berks County organizations collaborate to bring it to fruition is very special,” said Barber.

"The Nutcracker" will be presented for three performances only at the Scottish Rite Cathedral in West Reading, Dec. 15 at 1 and 6 p.m. and Dec. 16 at 2 p.m. For tickets visit BerksBalletTheatre.com/tickets.

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