Frequently Asked Questions: Nashville’s Nutcracker Youth Cast

Rehearsals and Performances

When do rehearsals begin and what is the schedule?

Rehearsals begin the weekend of October 3 - 4. Rehearsals continue for the next four Saturdays until November 7.

After November 7, children cast in Act I will rehearse on weekdays with the company. Children cast in Act II will rehearse on weekdays with the company, plus an additional rehearsal November 14.

Not all of the youth cast roles or groups are called every day of the week during these rehearsals. These rehearsals are always from 4 to 6 p.m., no earlier and no later. Studio rehearsals with the company will continue until the production goes to theater.

Starting November 30, all youth casts will move to the Tennessee Performing Arts Center (TPAC) for final rehearsals and performances.

How long to rehearsals last?

Rehearsals will last anywhere from 1 to 3 hours, depending on the role your child is cast in.

When are the performances of this year’s Nashville’s Nutcracker?

This year’s Nashville’s Nutcracker has 13 performances:

Saturday, December 5 at 2 p.m.
Sunday, December 6 at 2 p.m.
Saturday, December 12 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Sunday, December 13 at 2 p.m.
Friday, December 18 at 7 p.m.
Saturday, December 19 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Sunday, December 20 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Monday, December 21 at 2 p.m.
Tuesday, December 22 at 2 p.m.
Wednesday, December 23 at 2 p.m.

Please keep all of these dates in mind when making holiday or travel plans.

Will my child be in all 13 performances of Nashville’s Nutcracker?

Not all youth cast members appear in every performance.

What should parents and children expect at the audition?

At the audition, children will be taught sequences of steps from various age appropriate Youth Cast roles. The children will be evaluated on their ability to learn and execute these steps. The atmosphere of our audition is light and fun, because we know children are usually nervous. The steps they are required to execute are not difficult.

What is the appropriate audition attire and behavior?

Girls should audition in a solid color leotard and pink tights. Boys may wear a t-shirt (not oversized) and shorts. Girls should have their hair neatly secured in a bun. Ballet slippers are preferred; however, children who do not own ballet slippers may audition in sock or another style of dance shoe. Pointe shoes are not required for any Youth Cast roles. Dance sneakers should not be worn for the audition. Children auditioning should be quiet and attentive during the entire audition. NO chewing gum will be allowed.

Why are photographs required for my child to audition?

The photographs will be attached to your child’s audition form to provide a quick reference point to help Nashville Ballet’s artistic staff remember your child. The photograph does not have to be professional.

My child is 9 years old and will turn 10 two days after the audition. Which age group should he/she audition with?

Your child should register and audition within the age group he or she falls under on the day of the audition.

How and when do we find out if my child has been cast?

All children will receive a letter of notification informing them of whether or not they received a role. Letters will be mailed on Friday, September 18. Please allow time for arrival, and then call if you have not received your letter by Wednesday, September 23.


The Roles

How many children will receive parts?

More than 150 youth will be cast in Nashville’s Nutcracker.

What are the Youth Cast roles like?

Youth cast members find this experience fun, rewarding and unlike any other! Some roles include more dancing than others, but they all incorporate movement, mime and emotion.

It is a great performance opportunity to see behind the scenes, work closely with a professional company, including dancers, choreographers, production members and other staff.

What about Thanksgiving? Are there any free weekends?

The Thanksgiving break will be Wednesday, November 25 through Sunday, November 29. Please keep this in mind when making holiday and travel plans.

How much of a time commitment will the Nashville’s Nutcracker be for our family?

All rehearsals and performances are mandatory. There are no conflicts allowed and absences will result in dismissal from the production. Illness is the only excused absence.

Should your child receive a role, one parent will be required to attend a mandatory parent meeting on:

Friday, September 25 at 6:30 p.m. or Saturday, September 26 at 2 p.m. at The Martin Center for Nashville Ballet, 3630 Redmon Street, Nashville, TN 37209.

Your child cannot accept an offered role without a parent attending one of the mandatory meetings. Please note that parents can send a proxy to the meeting and children need not attend.

We are planning a family trip that would fall on the same day as a rehearsal or performance. Can my child still participate?

NO. If you have a family conflict (wedding, anniversary, reunion, etc.) with a Nashville’s Nutcracker rehearsal, you should consider NOT auditioning for the youth cast. If you do decide to audition, be prepared to arrange for your child to attend rehearsal. Remember, Illness is the only allowable absence.

More Questions?

If you have any more questions that were not answered above, please contact Allison Zamorski at (615) 297-2966 x103 or