Setting the Stage

Setting the Stage

Rocky Mountain Dance Theatre 501(c)3

RMDT is continually upgrading and changing the Nutcracker production and in 2019, we took a BIG leap of faith!

For 22 years, RMDT rented all 5 backdrops used in the Nutcracker but it has always been a dream of Executive Director, Elizabeth Fernandez, for RMDT to have their own unique backdrops and scenery.  In 2019 at the 22nd Annual Production, RMDT took the first step in moving toward this goal with the unveiling of part of the new design by Casey Kearns. This was an ongoing project over the next few years with the project being fully realized by our 25th Anniversary Production in 2022 but it still is not fully funded.


Become Part of the Nutcracker Dream

As a community, we all benefit from the continual progression of the arts and we would love for you to share in this 756 square foot dream!

 Become a permanent part of the Cody Nutcracker legacy and

“purchase” a square(s) to a RMDT's Land of Sweets Nutcracker Backdrop

Each 12x12 square $50.00*

*Donors must purchase squares in increments of $50.00 for names to be added to the back of the backdrop AND for names to be added to the backdrop print display in the lobby. When purchasing online, please leave a comment of who's name should be on the square(s).

*All donations are tax deductible.


Nutcracker Backdrop Fund a square


Rocky Mountain Dance Theatre's Nutcracker Ballet has been a holiday tradition for Cody and the surrounding area for over 25 consecutive years. Throughout this time, the production has changed in many ways including lighting, costumes, choreography, and so much more. 2019 the changes were drastic, as a new reimagined look began to take hold and on our 25th Anniversary in 2022, the project was fully realized, although still not fully funded.

Executive Director, Elizabeth Fernandez, wanted an intricate, sophisticated, clean look, and that’s exactly what the RMDT team has created. The entire set from the opening to closing has been redesigned by Scenic Designer, Casey Kearns. Our Lighting Designer, of twenty-two years, Charles Houghton, has enhanced the quality of The Nutcracker incrementally, with his unyielding support and contribution of artistic lighting choices. Giving the Nutcracker a sophistication through his lighting vision, the new canvas highlights the artistry of the entire RMDT team. As Elizabeth, Charles, and Casey collectively explored the future of RMDT’s Nutcracker, and its ideation, the new look and feel is more contemporary, a modernized version, if you will, of an old classic.

The design Casey has created is simple but elegant; a new approach to traditional painted scenery used in former productions. This new look provides more emphasis on lighting and the dancers, enhancing their movement, but also provides the necessary background to tell the story.  Because ballet’s have no script, they rely on stage sets, choreography, lighting, and pantomime to carry the storyline.  This means there must be a precise balance between the technical possibilities and the aesthetic choices to support the choreography of each piece.  Casey’s new design highlights lighting and choreography choices, creating a perfect balance.

Although it took several years to fully implement the new design, audience members saw part of the transformation in 2019 with new backdrops for Snow and Land of Sweets, along with new scenery in the Party scene. RMDT is excited about investing into the next twenty-five years of Nutcracker and the Cody Community.

RMDT's new backdrops are Laser Cut which a specific type of backdrop constructed differently than any backdrops RMDT Nutcracker rented. This an image of RMDT's laser cut design of our very own Land of Sweets Backdrop done by Casey Kearns.

Cody Nutcracker

Land of Sweets Backdrop Names:

Keely Bell & Kristy Gambill

Meg Burkhart

Gab Crum

Maddie Dallman

Rebekah Dallman

Chris Dunning

Ellie Dunning

Jack Dunning

Krista Dunning

Thomas Etter

Tiffin Etter

Imani Etter

Anesa Etter

Alexa Etter

Mercedez Fernandez

Hunter Fernandez

Boston Fernandez

Willow Fernandez

Flores Family

Dan & Natalie Graumann

Brynley Graumann

Maycie Graumann

Charles Houghton

Catherine Houghton

Dr. Bo Johnson

Emily Johnson

Katie Johnson

Paula Johnson

Cynthia Kaelberer

Daelyn Kaelberer

Devyn Kaelberer

Erich & Jenni Kaelberer

Charley Kirk

Alexandria Kirk

Lord Family

Sienna May

Nancy McDonald

Daisy McNeil

Jessica McNeil

Joshua McNeil

Joy McNeil

Alissa Miller

Emmalyn Miller

Tyra Morris

Tim O’Leary

Sharyn Polley

Dr. Scott Polley

Radakovich Family

Andrew Rossi

Brittany Schneider

Jackson Tatum

Scarlett Tatum

Colleen Vanaman

Emma Vizcaino

Lark Wages

Mercedes Wages


Land of Sweets Backdrop during Flowers 2019


Snow Backdrop during Snow 2020