Alameda Civic Ballet Cancels 2016 Nutcracker

File photo  A scene from a past year’s Nutcracker performed by the Alameda Civic Ballet. It appears the ballet won’t be performed in 2016 for the first time in 11 years.

Alameda Civic Ballet Cancels 2016 Nutcracker


Alameda Civic Ballet (ACB) announced recently will be taking a one-year sabbatical from its annual Nutcracker ballet production, due to last minute problems with Kofman Auditorium. The Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) manages the facility and announced their inability to provide basic building functions too late for ACB to arrange an alternative venue.

The theater is adjacent to buildings that will be under major renovation in December, while preliminary construction tasks have already begun. AUSD announced in September that, while the theater would still be available in December, there would be no heat or restrooms. The ACB board of directors ultimately decided that a sabbatical from Nutcracker productions was the most prudent course of action, and planning is already underway for 2017.

“I am heartbroken that we have to pause this Alameda holiday tradition,” said Artistic Director Abra Rudisill. “We know that our dancers feel the same, as this is the highlight of the year for many young people.” 

The board tried, but was unable to find another venue, as theaters are typically booked well in advance. “Our board tried to brainstorm creative solutions,” explained Marty Beene, ACB’s business director. “Ultimately, however, there were two problems: AUSD was not willing to pay to provide these basic building functions; and there was too much uncertainty about what the overall state of the theater would be in December for us to take that risk without a guarantee from AUSD.” 

Rudisill considers an even bigger issue to be the lack of a viable performing arts venue in Alameda. “With all the development happening on the Island someone needs to address the fact that we lack a key component of a healthy sustainable community,” she stated.

Alameda Civic Ballet, a non-profit dance company founded in 2003 by Rudisill, strives to create and present high quality, community-accessible ballet performances. It also provides young dancers with valuable experience performing alongside professional dancers. Rudisill draws upon her 20 years of experience as a Prima Ballerina and Ballet Mistress with Oakland Ballet, and she seeks to carry on her artistic lineage through the education of Bay Area youth.

For further information write to Beene at, call 517-7271, or visit