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Help Me Occupy Hands and Mind during The Nutcracker Ballet

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In about two weeks, I may have to go to The Nutcracker for work, but I very strongly dislike professional ballet and don't care for the symphonic music of the 1890s. Help me find ways to make this experience less excruciating for myself! I may have to go sit in a dark theater and be subjected to the Nutcracker ballet for work, and I need something to do with my hands or mind to avoid wasting two hours in mind-numbing boredom. Here are further complicating details:

  • I work as a mental health skills trainer and will working in a team of two to support approximately 10 clients while in the community.
  • My work team consists of 1 manager, myself, and another woman, so it would be for all intents and purposes impossible for another person to step in, if my manager needs to remain at our facility.
  • I loathe professional ballet for the appalling, patriarchal, and misogynistic violence it does to the bodies and minds of women. I am not looking to rethink this position.
  • I do not care for the symphonic music of the period, so 'enjoying the music' is not much of an option.
  • I have an extraordinary difficulty in sitting in the dark during the day for movies or concerts--I will not see a movie in a theater for this reason.

Some mitigating factors:

  • I can knit and crochet, but it is hard to do in the dark, and can be challenging to put away quickly if someone needs assistance in a hurry.
  • Although I don't really get on a gut level why why people want to go to this event, I also want to facilitate participation for folks who don't necessarily have easy access to this type of event.
  • I am a percussionist so I suppose failing all else, I could sit and count measures endlessly.
  • I do understand that sometimes you have to suck it up and make peace with the idea that 'if it doesn't get better, at least it gets over'.

At any rate, if anyone has any suggestions for productive or fun things to keep my hands (or mind) busy during the parts of the event where folks are sitting quietly and watching the ballet, I would love to hear them. Also, if you've had to go to a ballet or another such event featuring an activity that offends you, what strategies did you use to make it thought?

Although I might not have to go, I do want to be prepared just in case.

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