The 2016 creation of a new Joffrey Ballet production of the holiday classic “The Nutcracker” will be the focus of “Making a New American ‘Nutcracker,’ ” a 60-minute, behind-the-scenes documentary premiering at 8 p.m. Thursday on WTTW-Channel 11.
The film showcases the efforts of the Joffrey’s artistic director Ashley Wheater as he gathered a stellar group of theater artists to re-imagine the beloved tale about Clara’s Christmas Eve dream of holiday treats come to life. In this new “Nutcracker,” the little girl is Marie, the daughter of a 19th Century Polish immigrant sculptress — a single mother working on a statue for the World’s Fair. In Marie’s Christmas Eve dream, the fairground is completed and transformed from a European concept into a magical American inspiration.
Aiding Wheater is this monumental task were Tony-winning choreographer Christopher Wheeldon, “Hugo” author Brian Selznick, MacArthur “Genius Grant” recipient Basil Twist, famed puppeteer and scenic designer Julian Crouch and Tony Award-winning lighting designer Natasha Katz.
Actress Neve Campbell, who starred in and co-produced director Robert Altman’s 2003 film “The Company,” featuring the Joffrey Ballet, is the narrator of “Making a New American ‘Nutcracker.’ ”