MANSFIELD – Blending classical ballet with contemporary dance and putting a new spin on a holiday classic, Neos Dance Theatre will present A 1940s Nutcracker at the Renaissance Theatre on December 12, 2015 at 2:30 and 8:00 PM.

Christine Boner of Mt. Gilead is among the cast. Set in 1940s Mansfield, the innovative retelling of the classic Nutcracker story dances through scenes that would have taken place in World War II-era Mansfield, featuring locations such as the Women’s Club, Kingwood Center, Malabar Farm, the Ohio (Renaissance) Theatre, and more, while still maintaining the integrity of the original plot line and Tchaikovsky score. The show features professional and student dancers from eight counties: Richland, Lorain, Hancock, Summit, Stark, Ashland, Wood, and Morrow.

Neos Artistic Director Bobby Wesner commented, “This is much larger than just The Nutcracker. This is about Mansfield, Richland County, and our entire region. We’ve seen the value these annual productions bring to communities both culturally and economically and I feel wholeheartedly that Mansfield is deserving of its own unique retelling of this story. Entire families develop traditions surrounding The Nutcracker, it’s a holiday favorite! It’s an honor to bring the first-ever professional production of The Nutcracker to Mansfield and begin a new tradition where Neos Dance Theatre got its start!

“It is very important for us to connect the original story and the use of the original Tchaikovsky score to what was relevant in the 1940’s in the Mansfield area. Not only are we working to preserve the art form, but we’re making every effort to make it relevant to our community and create a broader audience for what we’re so passionate about: dance and theatre. Ballet plays a role in that because we’re all classically trained in ballet technique, but the most important aspect of this production is why we’re doing it – and that is to serve our community with a production that we are confident will spur growth and excitement about who we are as Mansfielders!”

The Renaissance Theatre lobby will feature actors and nostalgic memorabilia from the Mansfield Museum stationed throughout with “1940s Reflections,” which will include a vintage car, a flashbulb “selfie station,” and more. Additionally, a VIP reception will be held in the Renaissance Theatre Ballroom at 6:45 PM before the evening performance and is available to individuals purchasing a VIP ticket at $50.00. The VIP reception is sponsored by Charles Hahn, Cleveland Financial Group.

Neos Dance Theatre’s A 1940s Nutcracker will perform at the Renaissance Theatre on Saturday, December 12, 2015 at 2:30 PM and 8:00 PM. Tickets range from $19 to $30 and are on sale now at the Renaissance Box Office, by calling (419) 522-2726, or at Group rates are available for groups of 10 or more.