Methuen Ballet Ensemble’s “The Nutcracker” Returns to the Firehouse on Saturday and Sunday, November 29th and 30th!  



What: Methuen Ballet Ensemble’s “The Nutcracker”

When: Saturday, November 29, 2014 at 3:00PM and 7:00PM with a Gala Reception at 6PM; and Sunday, November 30, 2014 at 3:00PM

Where: Firehouse Center for the Arts, Market Square, Newburyport MA

Tickets: $25.00 Evening show with Gala; $23.00 Matinees

For more info please call the Box Office at 978-462-7336 or visit online at

Long a traditional favorite, Methuen Ballet Ensemble brings the holiday classic to the Firehouse for their fifth year at this venue.

Methuen Ballet Ensemble, an established ballet company under the artistic direction of Vanessa Voter Shaheen, has staged “The Nutcracker” for over twenty-five years. All principal roles are performed by members of Methuen Ballet Ensemble, whose experience totals over 150 years of classical ballet training under Ms. Shaheen’s tutelage. Students of Voter’s School of Dance and North Shore Performing Arts Center perform all other roles. Dancers hail from Methuen, Lawrence, Haverhill, N. Andover, Georgetown, Groveland, Boxford, Ipswich, Rowley, Newbury, and West Newbury, MA, as well as Salem, Pelham, Plaistow, Windham, and Manchester, NH.

 Each year, the production has become more elaborate with stunning visual effects and custom-designed costumes by a well-known Canadian designer. All performances include a giant growing Christmas tree, a heavenly mist, and an abundance of snowfall. Note: No chemicals will be used during this production. The mist effect will be achieved with the lighting design.

History of the Methuen Ballet Ensemble:

Vanessa Rae Voter founded Methuen Ballet Ensemble in 1989 as a platform for promising students to showcase their talents, performing both classical and modern ballets for the public. Her inspiration came from her years as a dancer with Boston Ballet. During the audition process for “The Nutcracker”, those children not cast in roles touched her, by their disappointment and tears. She vowed that someday she would have a company of her own, where every child who auditioned would be guaranteed a part. She realized her dream and has been successfully staging “The Nutcracker” for eighteen years, never having rejected an auditioning dancer.

About Vanessa Rae Voter:

Vanessa Rae Voter is Artistic Director and Choreographer for Methuen Ballet Ensemble, a semi-professional ballet company. She is also Director of the Classical Ballet program at Voter’s School of Dance, founded by her mother, Pam Voter, in 1951.

Ms. Voter attended The Boston Conservatory. In addition to dancing with Boston Ballet, she also performed with Ballet Dance Theatre of Boston. Her extensive training includes instruction from Marina Svetlova, Madame Sulamith Messerer (former Prima Ballerina and teacher with the Bolshoi Ballet), E. Virginia Williams, Violet Verdi, Robert Pierce, and David Howard. She has been a guest teacher for Dance Teachers Club of Boston and Dance Teachers Club of Brockton, as well as serving on judge’s panels in both Boston and Brockton. She is a member of Dance Teachers Club of Boston and National Council of America.

In addition to teaching classical ballet on a full-time basis, Ms. Voter has also choreographed all ballets performed by Methuen Ballet Ensemble. Included in her portfolio are: Swan Lake, Peter and the Wolf, Peter Pan, Snow White, The Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland, The Fisherman & The Maiden, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Coppellia, The Magic Flute, Petrushka, La Petite Fantastique, and The Nutcracker.

Visit Methuen Ballet Ensemble online at:

Firehouse Center for the Arts is member-based 501(c)(3) non profit organization located on the waterfront at Market Square in Newburyport, MA home to the 191 seat Arakelian Theater and Firehouse Art Gallery. The Firehouse offers live theater, film, dance, music, children’s programming, arts education for youth and adults, our acclaimed New Works Festival, and a rotating art gallery which exhibits works by local and international artists. The Firehouse is handicap accessible. Membership and sponsorship opportunities are available at