In the meantime…


After 30 years of enchanting Baton Rouge audiences with the nationally-acclaimed holiday classic The Nutcracker A Tale From the Bayou, the show’s creators and original choreographers Molly Buchmann and Sharon Mathews have taken their final bow on The Nutcracker – A Tale From the Bayou set as Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre (BRBT) Artistic Directors.

Nearly 6,000 patrons gathered at the Baton Rouge River Center Theatre to watch 243 cast members perform the magical production Buchmann and Mathews created for Baton Rouge in 1992. With the exception of one year due to the pandemic, the BRBT company has performed the holiday treasure annually for three decades and has included professional guest artists, the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra playing the original Tchaikovsky Nutcracker score (under the guidance of Conductor David Torns since 2010), and thousands of local children.

“It’s amazing that this choreography is still being performed and that audiences have enjoyed this show for 3 decades,” said Buchmann. “I have choreographed a lot of shows, and it is very unique for the same choreography to be passed down for this long. We’re so proud of that, and we’re so happy that this production has been so special for this community.”

“It’s a tradition for a lot of people to come each year and to buy Nutcrackers,” added Mathews. “We sell nutcrackers, different ones every year, with a sticker on the back for each year.”

The Nutcracker – A Tale From the Bayou is undoubtedly the most impactful creation by Buchmann and Mathews. “It’s not just important for a ballet company but it’s also important for a community,” according to Buchmann. “This is sometimes the first exposure to the arts that kids will get. You’re getting classical music, ballet, visual art, and live theater, so that’s how you expose generations of people to what can hopefully be a lifelong love.”

Having served as Artistic Directors for nearly five decades, and on the verge of retirement at the end of this season, Mathews and Buchmann have two more shows to present to Baton Rouge this season under their artistic direction. BRBT, in partnership with the Manship Theatre at Shaw Center for the Arts, is presenting the guest company Pilobolus in its production of re:Creation March 10. BRBT will close out its season, and Buchmann and Mathews will end their careers, with the production of Cinderella (choreographed by Mathews) April 20-21 at the River Center Theatre for the Performing Arts.

The non-profit BRBT has served Greater Baton Rouge for more than half of a century nurturing and training hundreds of award-winning dancers and choreographers under the artistic direction of Molly Buchmann and Sharon Mathews. With help from the community, BRBT continues to bring world-class professional touring companies to the Baton Rouge stage in addition to presenting Baton Rouge’s own professional dancers through multiple performances a year.

The BRBT 2023-2024 season is supported by a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council and administered by the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge. Funding has also been provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.

BRBT has been proud to offer The Nutcracker – A Tale from the Bayou for the 30th year and all of our other productions thanks to the generous support from our sponsors. Major sponsors include the Irene W and CB Pennington Foundation, The NeuroMedical Center and Dr. Richard Stanger, and Dancers’ Workshop (The official school of the Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre). Our Premier Media Sponsor is The Advocate. Our Major Media Sponsor is 225 Magazine. Supporting Sponsors include: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, iHeartMedia Inc., Louisiana Office of Cultural Development, Baton Rouge Parents, Visit Baton Rouge, Lamar Advertising Company, National Endowment for the Arts, Geaux Studio, Baton Rouge River Center Theatre, Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge

Information for Cast Members

Everything you need to know as a 2023 cast member
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Clear Bag Policy at River Center

for all attendees

Clear bags for all River Center performances

All bags brought into the River Center Theatre must be clear plastic not to exceed 12″ x 6″ x 12″ or  a one gallon clear plastic freezer bag (like a Ziploc).  Exceptions will be made for medically necessary supplies in a bag appropriate to the size of the medical supplies.  The River Center strongly encourages patrons to not bring any type of bag to events.