Canton Ballet’s The Nutcracker Returns to the Canton Palace Theatre

CANTON – Canton Ballet today announced details of its holiday performances of The Nutcracker, a part of its 2023-24 Imagine. Inspire. Ignite season. A Northeast Ohio holiday tradition for over 50 years, The Nutcracker takes the Canton Palace Theatre stage December 8–10. It features the Canton Symphony Orchestra playing alongside the Ballet during the Friday and Saturday evening performances, under the baton of Music Director Designate Matthew Jenkins Jaroszewicz — marking a momentous reunion after 25 years!

“The remarkable collaboration between Canton Ballet and the Canton Symphony Orchestra in our timeless production of The Nutcracker is nothing short of magical, and it’s truly a heartwarming reunion for the two organizations after 25 years. This season, we invite our audiences to share in the enchantment of this cherished tradition, where the art of dance and the power of live music truly ignite the spirit of the season,” said Joy L. Raub, Executive Director for Canton Ballet.

“I am delighted for the opportunity to conduct Tchaikovsky’s full Nutcracker score for the first time, especially alongside the talented dancers of Canton Ballet,” said Matthew Jenkins Jaroszewicz, Music Director Designate for the Canton Symphony Orchestra. “This timeless masterpiece holds a special place in the hearts of both musicians and audiences, and we can’t wait to immerse ourselves in this festive journey, sharing the joy of The Nutcracker with our Northeast Ohio community.”

Canton Ballet’s The Nutcracker stars Melissa Chapski of the Bayerisches Staatsballett (Bavarian State Ballet) dancing the iconic role of the Sugar Plum Fairy and Zachary Catazaro, former principal dancer with New York City Ballet and Canton Ballet alumnus, as the Sugar Plum Cavalier.

The Nutcracker season is such an exciting time of year for our dancers. And with professional guest artists, Melissa Chapski and Zachary Catazaro, leading the cast, it offers audiences an opportunity to experience dance at its highest level. Pair that experience with the timeless story of young Clara and the exceptional sounds of the Canton Symphony Orchestra, and this iconic ballet should be an essential part of everyone’s holiday plans,” added Jennifer Catazaro Hayward, Artistic Director for Canton Ballet.

Performances are scheduled for Friday, December 8 at 7:00PM; Saturday, December 9 at 2:00PM; Saturday, December 9 at 7:00PM; and Sunday, December 10 at 2:00PM at the historic Canton Palace Theatre, located at 605 Market Avenue North in the downtown Canton Arts District. The Friday and Saturday evening performances feature the Canton Symphony Orchestra.

Live music is supported by the William L. and Sharon K. Luntz Family Philanthropic Fund, Visit Canton, and The Leibensperger Family Foundation — in loving memory of Donna Leibensperger.

Performances of The Nutcracker are supported by ArtsinStark, Visit Canton, Ohio Arts Council, The National Endowment for the Arts, and Pellegrino Music & Lesson Center.

Tickets for Canton Ballet performances are available exclusively through, using their trusted ticket service provider, Etix. Patrons who need assistance or have inquiries about the online ticket purchase process can contact Canton Ballet’s offices directly at 330.455.7220.

Canton Ballet has fostered an appreciation of the art of dance throughout the region for nearly 60 years. Under the artistic direction of Jennifer Catazaro Hayward and executive direction of Joy L. Raub, the Ballet is regarded as one of the most admired pre-professional dance companies in Ohio, and its School provides the highest quality of instruction for all ages and skill levels, from toddlers to adults. Each year, Canton Ballet performs public and school performances at the Canton Palace Theatre for audiences to enjoy.



Friday, December 8, 2023, at 7:00 PM
Saturday, December 9, 2023, at 2:00 PM
Saturday, December 9, 2023, at 7:00 PM
Sunday, December 10, 2023, at 2:00 PM
Canton Palace Theatre

A Canton Ballet tradition that has enchanted families for generations. This season features the Canton Symphony Orchestra playing live.


Media Contact:

Michael Ritzert

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