Nashville's Nutcracker Youth Cast: General Parent Information

This information was distributed and discussed at the parent meeting on September 29.


We have moved to communicating through email for all Youth Cast information. Please be sure that you check your spam filters and allow Nashville Ballet and Youth Cast into your inbox. 

Sign up for text alert: Please sign up for text alerts which will be used to remind you of upcoming deadlines or when important information might be headed to your email.  We would also use text communication during any possible weather issues. 

Website: The youth cast page is your first resource for information. It will be updated with current rehearsal schedules and any information we have sent through an email. 

Email and phone: If you still cannot find an answer to a question you have, please email  or call (615) 297-0287. Please add the phone number to your contacts. When we move to the theater, this is the number you would call if you are running late or have a sick child that cannot perform. 

In person: Sara Delahaya will be here on Saturdays during rehearsal hours. She is also in the building on Monday and Friday evenings. Hannah Bishop will also be at the front desk on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings.  Both are an excellent point of contact to get you an answer to a question. 


Roles vs. Casts

Now that your child has a role in Nashville’s Nutcracker, the next step will be for them to be placed in a cast. Each role will have several children learning the same part. These children will be placed into separate casts by color. The color of the cast will be your map to follow through the final rehearsals and performances. At the first rehearsal, the stagers will separate the children into these casts. You will receive notification of your child’s cast, final rehearsal schedule and performance assignments on Friday October 28th in an email.


Number of Performances and Siblings

There are typically three to four casts for each children’s part. You child can expect to perform in at least 3 to up to 5 of the 14 performances. We will keep siblings in the same cast.  However depending on how many casts are in a particular siblings' role, one child might perform more often than another.   


Rehearsal attendance

Rehearsal attendance is mandatory and very necessary. This is the first year we have a shortened rehearsal period for the children before they join the company. Repetition is crucial to a child’s comfort level which ensures great performances. Please do not accept your role without knowing you can commit to your child’s attendance at all rehearsals.  



Should your child become sick, please let us know by calling the Youth Cast Hotline. You should keep your child home if they are sick so we do not spread illness through the youth cast or the company dancers.  Your child is excused from a rehearsal or performance if they are sick. It is best to let us know as soon as possible, in case an alternate needs to be secured.


Video and Photography

Due to our contracts with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra and our copyright licenses, we do not sell videos of our production. During the performance dress rehearsals, our professional photographers will take photos. They make every effort to get as many youth cast member shots as possible. Following the performances, you will be sent a link to those pictures and information on ordering prints if you would like. Youth cast members are encouraged to take their own photos in the dressing rooms, throw away cameras are a great thing to tuck in their dance bag for the theater.



A portion of the fee that you pay to accept your role in Nashville’s Nutcracker helps to defray the costs of consistent staff at the theater in the dressing rooms, at the stage door and runners to take children up to the stage level.  We ask that parents still volunteer just once at the theater. You can volunteer during a rehearsal or performance. This year we will be using Sign Up Genius to handle the scheduling for the youth cast chaperones. If you are willing or would like to chaperone more than once, please feel free.


Drop off and Pick up for rehearsals and at the Theater

At the studio: 
You can feel free to drop off and pick your child up at the end of rehearsals. You do not need to wait in the lobby. Rehearsal is almost never dismissed early. If you are running late at the studio, the building is open with staff at the front desk. Your child will be asked to remain in the building to wait.  n Saturdays, the youth cast rehearsals will be the last thing in the building. We ask that you are prompt to pick your child up from those rehearsals as we will have to have staff wait with your child.

Only parents that are chaperoning are allowed to enter backstage. Otherwise, you will drop your child off and pick them up at the stage door entrance to TPAC. This entrance is located on Union Ave between 5th and 6th Ave.  

Each youth cast role has a specific time they are to be dropped off at the theater and when they will be released. You will receive this schedule in your theater information on Friday, October 28. Please do not drop off your child before their time unless you are going to see the performance. Siblings in different roles should be dropped off according to the earliest arrival time and picked up at the latest departure time. All children must come and go through the TPAC stage door and check in or out with the staff member at the door.


Watching the Performance

If you are watching the performance and your child will remain backstage until the performance is over, just send a note that day to the stage door staff member. Your child will be watched backstage until the performance is over. Children that are cast in Act I of the ballet (Party children, Mice, Calvary, Soldiers) can be picked up at intermission and join their families in the audience to watch Act II of the ballet. They will need a ticket. Children performing in Act II will not be able to watch a performance with their families.


Important Dates to Remember

  • October 7: Email to confirm the spelling of your child’s name and an appointment for county photo
  • October 16: Deadline to order Nutcracker Youth Cast T-Shirt
  • October 16: County photographs (you will attend at your appointed time). Posters, come-see-me cards and yards signs will be available to pick up that day. Yard signs will be on a first come first serve basis.
  • October 28: Casting and performance assignments emailed
  • November 5: Youth cast t-shirts ready for pick up during rehearsal from 3:30 - 5:30