Newton, NC – Tchaikovsky’s beautiful and timeless music never fails to enchant audiences as it brings to life the classic holiday story of The Nutcracker, in which young Clara falls asleep and dreams of a dashing Nutcracker Prince who battles the ferocious Rat King.

Hickory Ballet and Performing Arts (HBPA) students will present The Nutcracker ballet in both Newton and Morganton, including a sensory-friendly performance in Newton for children, adults and families who would appreciate a slower paced presentation with no abrupt changes in lighting or special effects.

“For so many people, the holidays traditionally include an outing to see The Nutcracker ballet, and we couldn’t be more pleased this year to add two performances at CoMMA in Morganton to our traditional playbill of four performances at The Old Post Office Playhouse in Newton, so that everyone has an opportunity to see this delightful ballet, experience its magic and create beautiful holiday memories,” says HBPA Executive Director Leanna Bodnar. “We are also very excited to offer a special sensory-friendly performance in Newton. Come on out and see the Sugar Plum Fairy, Snow Queen, mice, soldiers, and all of the delightful characters in this beloved ballet. We recommend you get your tickets early as the ballet always sells out.”

Show times at The Old Post Office Playhouse at the Old Post Office Playhouse in Newton are Friday, December 13, at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, December 14, at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, December 15, at 3 p.m. Tickets are available through the Green Room at or at the door. Early purchase is encouraged as the popular ballet always sells out.

Performances at The CoMMA theatre in Morganton are Friday, December 20, at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, December 21, at 3 p.m. Tickets may be purchased at or at the door.

The sensory-friendly version of The Nutcracker will be performed on Thursday, December 12, at 6 p.m. at The Old Post Office Playhouse in Newton. This performance is free; however, a voucher is needed to attend. See the HBPA website,, for resources and details.

HBPA offers a full schedule of classes. Visit or call (828) 328-3794 for additional information. The studios are located inside Foothills Gymnastics, 920 29th Ave NE, Hickory.