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'The Nutcracker' opens at Averitt Center Thursday

Holiday favorite offers five performances through Sunday

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            "The Nutcracker" is back to usher in the holiday season in Statesboro.

            One of the most well-attended and anticipated shows of the season returns to the Emma Kelly Theater for four nights beginning Thursday. It is performed by the Statesboro Youth Ballet and directed by Shay Morgan.

            In its fourth year, the 2007 performance features new scenes, costumes and choreography. The entire performance is cast with more than 100 local youth and adult performers with the exception of the two principal dancers. Based on the book, "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King," written by E.T.A. Hoffman, the annual ballet continues to grow into a holiday tradition that is beloved by community members. 

            “The casts have all been working very hard since August,” Morgan said.  “Because this year has included more young cast members than ever, we have two casts of dancers. Everyone is also really excited, looking good and everything is coming together.”   

            Morgan also said that she is excited about the Ballet’s Rudolph performance. "Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer," part of the School Matinee Series, will have two sold-out performances Nov. 16. 

            Shay Morgan was asked to direct the Statesboro Youth Ballet in 2004 and has been choreographing the Nutcracker performance at the Emma Kelly ever since.  She has also directed the Youth Ballet in  "Les Sylphides and  Four Seasons"as a part of the Statesboro’s Finest Performing Youth Concert.

            “I think the children will really enjoy the show,” Morgan adds.  “The Nutcracker is holiday tradition not to be missed!”

            A program of the Averitt Center for the Arts, the Statesboro Youth Ballet is designed to promote the art of dance in Statesboro and its surrounding areas.  The program is audition based and allows young aspiring dancers the opportunity to take part in dance productions, master classes, and events in a variety of dance genre.

           The Nutcracker will be shown on Nov. 15, 16, 17 and 18.  The performance begin at 7 p.m. Nov 15-17 and 2 p.m. Nov 17 and 18. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for youth 12 and under.            

       For more information, contact the Averitt Center for the Arts at (912) 212-ARTS.

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