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The Nutcracker Ballet returns to Emma Kelly stage
Spotlighted non-profit community partner is Safe Haven
Nutcracker Trio
Ana Grace Evans, Anna Kate Croft and Madelyn Wolfe will dance in this year's "The Nutcracker," on stage Dec. 13-15 at the Emma Kelly Theater.

The beauty, grace and athleticism of dance will be spotlighted on Dec. 13-15 when a magical holiday classic comes to life in the Emma Kelly Theater.

Delighting the Statesboro community for over a decade, "The Nutcracker: ballet has become one of the most anticipated events of the holiday season. Under the direction and choreography of Averitt Ballet Director Taylor Ellen, the ballet features members from all age groups and skill levels of the Statesboro Youth Ballet and professional guest artists Buse Babadag and Leo Clarke as well as members of the Statesboro STARS as party guests. The magic of one of the most beloved holiday classics truly signals the Christmas season.

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. on the 13th and 14th and 3 p.m. on the 15th. Reserved seating is $20 for adults ($18 for ACA members) and $10 for students with ID. To purchase tickets, visit the box office at the Averitt Center main gallery (open 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Friday), call 912-212-2787 or go online at www. Morris Bank is the exclusive sponsor of this fantastic event.

The three local principal dancers in this timeless tale are Anna Kate Croft, Madelyn Wolfe and Ana Grace Evans.

Anna Kate Croft portrays Clara, the little girl at the heart of the story. Anna is a 10-year-old fifth grader at Pinewood Christian Academy. The Evans County native began dancing at the age of 3, training in tap, jazz and ballet. She fell in love with ballet and began dancing with Statesboro Youth Ballet in 2017. She performed in SYB’s production of "Cinderella" in 2018 and in "An Averitt Christmas Carol" last year.  When she isn’t dancing, she enjoys participating in pageants, playing soccer, boating and cheering as a junior varsity cheerleader for the PCA Patriots.

Madelyn Wolfe is the elegant Snow Queen. She is an 18-year-old senior at Statesboro High School who has been dancing since the age of 2. She currently trains with the Statesboro Youth Ballet under the direction of Taylor Ellen. She is also involved in the Statesboro High School Theatre Department where she has played roles such as Peter in "Peter Pan," Fern in "Charlotte's Web," the title-role in the production of "Mulan" and Nala in "The Lion King." 

She has also been in numerous productions at The Averitt Center for the Arts including "Annie," "The King and I," "The Music Man," "Oliver," "Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat," "Dracula," "Coppélia," "An Averitt Christmas Carol" and "The Nutcracker" including the roles of Clara, The Rat Queen and The Dew Drop Fairy. She danced the role of Cinderella in Statesboro Youth Ballet’s production of "Cinderella" last fall. 

In 2017, Madelyn attended the Rock School for Dance Education summer intensive in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Last year, she attended Nashville Ballet’s summer intensive, and most recently attended the University of South Carolina‘s dance conservatory intensive. 

Ana Grace Evans is the beautiful Dewdrop Fairy. She is a 15-year-old homeschooled sophomore in high school. She has been dancing since age 3 and currently trains in ballet, pointe, contemporary ballet and modern dance with the Statesboro Youth Ballet under the director of Ellen. She has performed in many shows such as "The Nutcracker," "An Averitt Christmas Carol," "An Evening of Modern Dance," and "Cinderella." 

Other local dancers include Analisa Harter, Caroline Boykin, Eden Evans, Armistead Thackston, Ashley Casstevens, John Parcels, Sydney Stephens, Nichole Deal, India Carr, Leon Carr, Loralei Cox, Emily Noel, Tessa Salter, Maria Yanochik, Raegan Green, Jason Evans, Emmaline Deal, Laural Boyles, Marley Thomas, Gayle Hammett, Coraline Wallace, Emily Anne Broucek, Asiyih Goldstein , Hannah Burke, Christina Zheng, Annie O’Neill, Liam Miles, Chloe Weaver, Casyn Grace   Sikes, Isabella Peterson, Iley Ries Simonin, Sydney Strickland, Hannah Burke, Brielle Mizeski and Elizabeth McCooey. 

As is customary with performance, many dancers have two, three or even four roles in this beautiful poetry of motion. 

At the end of each performance, the Averitt Center for the Arts will call for donations. The contributions will be split between the Averitt youth scholarship fund and Safe Haven of Statesboro, to help in its mission to serve, strengthen and support adult and child victims of domestic violence through the provision of emergency shelter and community-based services.

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