Family Holiday Performances at Marin Center

November 2, 2017

Stapleton Ballet Nutcracker at Marin Center in San RafaelSee Stapleton Ballet's Nutcracker at Marin Center on December 2 and 3.

You can always count on finding a variety of wonderful holiday performances for the whole family at Marin Center in San Rafael, and the 2017 season is no exception. There’s definitely something for everyone, so bring the family to one of these Marin holiday classics. Many of these productions sell out early, so order your tickets soon to avoid disappointment.

Marin Center is located off Civic Center Drive at 10 Avenue of the Flags in San Rafael, adjacent to the Marin County Civic Center. It comprises two of Marin County's premier performance venues: the 1,960-seat Marin Veterans Memorial Auditorium, which hosts major concerts, performances, and events, and the smaller, more intimate 315-seat Showcase Theater.

Get Your Tickets for San Francisco Ballet's Nutcracker

October 30, 2017

San Francisco Ballet NutcrackerPhoto courtesy San Francisco Ballet © Erik Tomasson

December is almost here, and for many families, the holidays won't be complete without attending a performance of San Francisco Ballet's Nutcracker. Experience 200 costumed characters, dazzling scenery, Tchaikovsky's beautiful score performed live by the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, and the opulence of the War Memorial Opera House decorated for Christmas. Tickets to this time-honored holiday tradition are going fast!

Many different performances of Nutcracker take place in the Bay Area during the holiday season, but San Francisco Ballet's is the one that sets the standard. Did you know that San Francisco Ballet was the first ballet company to bring Nutcracker to America, way back in 1944?

Marin Ballet Spring Showcase Tickets for Marin Mommies Readers!

May 19, 2016

Marin Ballet Spring ShowcaseJoin Marin Ballet for its 2016 Spring Showcase performances this weekend! Come support and applaud dancers from level 1 through 9 (ages 7 to 18). Performances showcase students from levels 1 to 4 (ages 7 to 10) and include a student choreography piece from a level 9 student, a piece from our beginning boys class, as well as solo excerpts from two graduating seniors.

Performances are recommended for families and children ages 3 to 8 years old and are approximately 30 minutes long, with no intermission. Information about summer classes will also be available at the performances.

Marin Ballet has reserved 20 complimentary tickets for Marin Mommies readers for their Spring Showcase performances Saturday, May 21 at 1 pm and 20 tickets for the Sunday, May 22 performance at 1 pm. We'll give away the tickets on a first-come, first-served basis until they run out! To claim your tickets, send an email to with "Marin Ballet" as the subject along with your name, the number of tickets you'd like (maximum 4 per person), and which performance you'd like to attend in the body. Ticket winners will be notified via email by Friday, May 20.

Stapleton Ballet's Nutcracker: A Marin Holiday Tradition

November 30, 2015

Stapleton Ballet NutcrackerThe Stapleton Ballet's annual production of the Nutcracker has been a Marin County tradition for 27 years, and it returns to Marin Center in San Rafael this holiday season for performances on Saturday, December 5 and Sunday, December 6 only.

With over 250 talented dancers from San Anselmo's Stapleton School of the Performing Arts as well as professional guest stars, a visit to this production marks the start of the holiday season for many Marin families.This production features inspired dancing, stunning imagery and beautifully crafted sets and costumes. The timeless tale of Clara and her wondrous adventure with the Nutcracker opens with the lavish Victorian holiday party, featuring exquisite, period-authentic costumes created in 2013. The captivating, mysterious Uncle Drosselmeyer makes a grand entrance, weaving his magic into the festivities and placing a spell on Clara’s wooden toy.

ODC/Dance's The Velveteen Rabbit is a Holiday Family Favorite. Win Tickets!

November 24, 2015

ODC/Dance Velveteen RabbitODC/Dance's adaptation of the classic children's story The Velveteen Rabbit has been a holiday tradition in the Bay Area for 29 years. With music, dance, and powerful narrative, ODC/Dance tells this classic tale of a well-worn stuffed rabbit who become real, and the little boy who loves him.

This popular production brims with wit, festive costumes, colorful characters—including the 10-foot-tall Nana, a skin-horse, toy soldiers, a crocodile, dolls, and a pack of "real" rabbits, and, of course, plenty of holiday cheer. The Velveteen Rabbit features ODC's renowned company of dancers, 10 young dancers from the ODC school, a score by Benjamin Britten. This production is suitable for children ages 3 and up. Running time is 90 minutes, including one intermission.

PETER Celebrates 20 Years of Dance

May 28, 2013

PETER performers from RoCo DanceIn this article, guest contributor Gabrielle Cullen previews PETER, the 20th-anniversary production from RoCo Dance, taking place at Marin Center this weekend.

Second star and straight on till morning! Grab your pixie dust and get ready for an adventure with that mischievous boy from Never Never Land. From RoCo Dance comes an all new and all original performance, PETER. A surreal fantasy revolving around the tale of Peter Pan, this version of the story is a blend of old times, new times, and times yet to occur, while each chapter showcases dancing of all genres, including ballet, tap, jazz, modern, hip hop, and breakdancing. It’s a very collaborative effort and most of the performers are part of RoCo’s upper level youth program.

Parents and kids alike will get a kick out of the twirling and whirling, especially seeing boys dancing to the beat. RoCo Dance founder Annie Rosenthal-Par says this production, which is a 20th anniversary celebration of her company, is also part spotlight on the over 100 or so boys dancing at RoCo. There is an original score accompanying the movement across the stage, costumes and light design finish off the show. PETER will take audience members to the place where childhood rules, at least for an hour or so.

Marin Ballet Celebrates Its 50th Anniversary This Saturday

April 8, 2013

Marin BalletThis Saturday, April 13, Marin Ballet presents its 50th Anniversary Reunion Performance, featuring current Marin Ballet students performing alongside professional dancers who studied at Marin Ballet. The evening’s program features new works by established choreographers and the return of some favorite works from Marin Ballet’s archives.

Since its founding in 1963, Marin Ballet has been a leader in promoting the art of dance, in providing exceptional dance training, and in nurturing career-aspiring and recreational dancers alike.

This Saturday's program includes Trois Gymnopedies, Ronn Guidi’s work set to music by Erik Satie, first performed by Marin Ballet in 1967, when it was performed by Marin Ballet’s current artistic director Cynthia Lucas. This performance will feature alumnae Mila Lavoie of the Sacramento Ballet and Jessica Wagner, who dances with the dawson/wallace DANCE project, as well as Travis Bradley of Memphis Ballet.

Students from Marin Ballet will also perform new works by Robert Dekkers and Casey Thorne, a remount of Amy London’s Pardoname Signore Green, and an excerpt from George Balanchine’s Raymonda.

Win Tickets to See San Francisco Ballet's Don Quixote

April 24, 2012

SF Ballet Don QuixoteSan Francisco Ballet's 2012 season draws to a close soon, and their final production is the colorful and family friendly three-act story ballet Don Quixote. With spectacular all-new scenery and costumes and a vibrant score by Léon Minkus, it's a lively and exciting interpretation of Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes' famous novel.

Music for Don Quixote is by Léon Minkus, and the production and staging is by Helgi Tomasson and Yuri Possokhov. Approximate program time is two hours and 30 minutes, so this ballet is probably best suited to older children who can suit through the production and appreciate the artistry on stage.

We're giving away a pair of tickets to the Saturday, May 5 2 pm matinee performance of Don Quixote. Simply send an email to with "Don Q" in the subject line by 11:59 pm PST on Friday, April 27, 2012. We'll choose a random winner on Saturday. Many thanks to San Francisco Ballet for sponsoring this giveaway. Read our contest and giveaway rules here.

Experience the Magic of Sophie and The Enchanted Toyshop

December 7, 2011

Sophie and the Enchanted ToyshopThis holiday season, don’t miss Marin Dance Theatre’s magical production of Sophie and The Enchanted Toyshop at the Marin Veteran’s Memorial Auditorium in San Rafael. Performances take place on Saturday, December 17, only with two shows at 1 and 5 pm.

Presented by Marin Dance Theatre, an internationally recognized dance training center, Sophie and the Enchanted Toyshop is a delightful and festive full-length two-act children's ballet, featuring over 130 dancers plus guest professional artists. We had an opportunity to attend last year with our kids and everyone had a great time.

This production is a fantastic introduction to ballet for the entire family. In fact it was my then four-year-old daughter's first experience with live ballet. With colorful sets and costumes and whimsical characters, Sophie and the Enchanted Toyshop makes a great addition or alternative to the Nutcracker in the holiday entertainment repertoire.

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