From the 1977 production

Performance Dates
3rd week of December
$15.00 per seat
Sales begin around December (six ticket maximum)
Purchase at Community Services office in City Hall, 23 Russell Blvd., Mon-Fri 8am-5pm

The Davis Children's Nutcracker started in 1977. It was the brainstorm of Bob Bowen, then head of Davis Parks and Recreation, as a Christmas/Winter holiday activity for children. It was advertised that everyone who auditioned would have a role in the show. Seventy-five children auditioned and a tradition was born. It was performed at the Veterans Memorial Theatre and continues in that venue to this day.

The show is now up to 250 children participating, and inclusion is by lottery held in early September. The theater is not large enough to hold all the family members who want to come, so now they are even selling tickets to the dress rehearsal. Eventually, there were too many children involved to take a photo of the entire cast on stage.

From the 1985 production

In 1980, tragedy struck The Davis Childrens' Nutcracker. John Riggins and Sabrina Gonsalves, who were part of the staff of that year's production, were kidnapped and ultimately murdered after the second and final show that year. The murder remained a cold case until 2004, when a suspect was finally arrested. 1 The trial was delayed many times. On November 5, 2012, Richard Joseph Hirschfield was found guilty of the first-degree murders. Two months later he was sentenced to death.

For a history of the Davis Children's Nutcracker, see the web site


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2004-12-12 11:11:31   My son and his wife met for the first time in 1977, in the first production of "The Nutcracker." They were both clowns. The theme of their wedding was "clowns" for that reason. - BevSykes

2006-08-04 02:01:49   that is awesome. —JoeRunnels

2011-08-05 12:45:52   I had the honor and privilege to be a group leader for several years. It was a lot of fun, great for kids, parents, community. There's still something very magical about the show... though I REALLY wish they would only use music from the Nutcracker ballet these days, as before. Just my take. I know there are a lot more kids in the production these days, but there are (at least) 21 pieces of music from the ballet that could be used, most all of them great. Thanks to the great Bob Bowen for starting a tremendous local tradition. —OldDavis73