Nutcracker wasn’t always an American holiday tradition

Seventy-five years ago, SF Ballet Artistic Director Willam Christensen made it one with the first performance of a full-length Nutcracker in the United States, right here in San Francisco.

In celebration of that anniversary, join Nutcracker expert Jennifer Fisher, PhD, members of the original 1944 Nutcracker cast, and Claras from throughout the years for a one-day event diving into the history and legacy of this iconic ballet.


  • Hear from noted Nutcracker expert Jennifer Fisher, a professor at UC Irvine
  • Learn about what it was like to participate in that very first 1944 Nutcracker from Janet Sassoon and Joan Vickers, both original cast members
  • Get a taste of the current production’s Grandfather dance with SF Ballet School Faculty member Kristi DeCaminada
  • Find out what generations of "Clara's" have been up to since their days on the WMOH stage. Panelists include: Leslie Young (former SF Ballet dancer), Ariel Osterweis (faculty at CalArts), Margaret Bates (OB/GYN), Catherine Slavonia (former NYCB dancer), Marimba Gold-Watts (dance and Pilates instructor), and Caroline Hearst (MBA Candidate at Harvard Business School)
  • Have a glass of wine with the panelists following the event!

Subscribers and donors of $75 or more must login first to receive special pricing. Please note: we do not offer refunds. All programs are subject to cancellation in the event there is not adequate enrollment. All programs are subject to change. The information, views, and opinions expressed at all audience engagement programs are strictly those of the participants and do not necessarily represent or imply any official position of San Francisco Ballet Association.


If you have a question about a particular program please don't hesitate to contact us.

415 865 6670

Date: November 3

Time: 1:00 PM

Location: 455 Franklin Street, San Francisco

Price: $75 / $50 for subscribers & donors