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Nutcracker auditions begin Saturday
NUTCRACKER photo
Norbert Nirewicz dances the part of the toy soldier doll during a 2008 rehearsal of "The Nutcracker" at the Averitt Center. Auditions for the 2009 shows are set for Saturday and Aug. 22. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/Herald File
    It's audition time for the Averitt Center's annual production of the holiday classic “The Nutcracker.”
    The regional production is presented by the Statesboro Youth Ballet, a group of regional dancers who audition for roles in the group's productions. Children and adults, ages 3 an up, are welcome to audition for Nutcracker roles.
    “Of course, it's helpful for younger children to have taken dance classes before,” said ballet director Shay Morgan, “but, especially for children under age 7, it isn't necessary.”
    For older children, some familiarity with ballet movement, terms and technique is highly desired.
     “In our ‘Nutcracker’ production nearly all roles are danced by area dancers,” said Tim Chapman, Averitt Center executive director. “We do hire professionals for the roles of Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier, but every other part is performed by an area dancer.”
    Chapman explained that the opportunity to dance major solos and roles is one of the most unique things about the Averitt Center production.
     “A lot of cities bring in a professional company that will use local dancers for minor parts — but here we use our dancers for those roles, providing them a performance opportunity that some dancers don't get until they graduate from high school,” Chapman said.
    Adults are welcome to audition for the opening scene — the Christmas party. A dance background is not required, although one should be comfortable with movement similar to ballroom dance.
     Auditions are Saturday, Aug. 15 and Aug. 22. Dancers are asked to arrive 15 minutes before the scheduled time to fill out the information sheet for each child who auditions. Children ages 3- 1st grade will begin their group audition at 8 a.m.  Children in second to fifth grade will begin their group audition at 8:45 a.m. Children only need to audition one time, either Saturday or Aug. 22.
     Dancers in the 6th grade and older should audition only on August 22. Their group audition begins at 10:15 a.m.  
     Adults interested in performing in the Christmas Party Scene do not have to audition, only fill out the information form and you will be contacted by the director.     
     There is an audition fee of $5. A $90 performance fee, payable at the first rehearsal, covers costume rental, a performance DVD and a t-shirt. Performances are schedule the weekend prior to Thanksgiving. A complete rehearsal and performance schedule will be distributed once the cast is determined.
   For more information, contact the Averitt Center at (912) 212-2787

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