2017 Auditions for The Nutcracker

Nutcracker Auditions: Saturday, August 26, 2017

Check your audition time below.

Please pay fee and turn in paperwork by FRIDAY, August 25, 2017

Audition Fee (for Non-company members): $130

Nutcracker performances are December 8-10, 2017 at Von Braun Center in Huntsville, AL.  Please mark your calendar now!  

Audition Schedule

Ballet Level               Check in time    –   Pick up time      Minimum Technique

Ballet I/Ix:                 Check in at 11:30 – 12:00                   2 per week                  

Ballet II/IIx:                Check in at 12:15 – 1:00                     2 per week

Ballet III/IIIx:             Check in at   1:15 – 2:00                     2 per week

Ballet IV/IVx  :          Check in at   2:30 – 3:15                     3 per week

Ballet V/Vx:              During Class 10:00-11:30                   4 per week

Ballet VI/Co.:             During Class 10:00-11:30                   4 per week


Huntsville Ballet’s 2017 The Nutcracker

Audition and Rehearsal Booklet

What You Need to Know

Phillip Otto, Artistic Director

Rachel Butler, Ballet Mistress


One must travel more than 80 miles to see a Nutcracker production on a professional stage with a live symphony orchestra.  This, among other things, makes participation in HBC’s production of The Nutcracker a privilege.

In accepting a role in HBC’s The Nutcracker, it is agreed that your dancer will attend all rehearsals and appear in every performance for which he or she is scheduled.  

Requirements for Auditions:  All participants are required to maintain their respective minimum level of classes required for their level.  The Audition fee of $130 needs to be paid before the audition time/date.


Performance Information: A parent meeting will be scheduled in November where we will go over and discuss MUCH needed additional information.  We ask for at least one parent to attend.

Important Dates:  Stage rehearsals are MANDATORY

Tech Week starts December 4: All Rehearsals will be held at the VBC unless otherwise stated

School Shows are December 7 & 8 @ 9:00AM: School shows are performed for local area 3rd graders.

Military Show December 7 @ 7:00 PM: Free show to Military

Public Performances Dec 8-10: Friday and Saturday Evening, Saturday and Sunday Matinees



We do our best to be efficient with our scheduling.  We take into consideration when most cast members are here for class, rehearse in small groups, complete rehearsals by 8:00 pm, and we try to keep Sunday rehearsals to a minimum.  Please do your best to attend your scheduled rehearsals.

First Rehearsal is Mandatory: Students cannot be given their places unless every dancer is present. In the past, we have had to change a student’s place in a scene more than once due to absences early in the rehearsal process. One student changes the placement of all. As a result, more rehearsal time for you, and every dancer involved in that scene is necessary to maintain the quality of a performance worthy of the CBA and Huntsville Ballet Company.  Check for rehearsal updates on the company board and/or subscribe to wordpress through the company webpage.

Absences:  Absences make it necessary to repeat information which uses valuable time and the quality of our production will not be compromised. Missing rehearsals will result in added rehearsals and more of your time will be required. You may be asked not to perform if more than one rehearsal is missed. Illness and family emergencies are the ONLY acceptable excuses and must be explained in writing via email to Mr. Otto, Ms. Butler, and the Office.  Phil@huntsvilleballet.org, rachel@huntsvilleballetschool.org, schoolmanager@huntsvilleballetschool.org

Be on time: It is the responsibility of each cast member to check the rehearsal and performance schedule frequently.  Arrive properly dressed and ready to dance for every rehearsal you are scheduled.  Girls must wear their hair in a bun and short hair must be pinned securely away from the eyes and face. Be properly attired for the part you are rehearsing (flat shoes, pointe shoes or character shoes). No jewelry.

Plan ahead: Plan on how, where and when you will be dropped off and picked up for rehearsals and performances.  Remember, all rehearsals will start promptly, and the studio closes after rehearsals are finished. Call a friend if you will be late or need to get a ride to a rehearsal.  This will be strongly enforced.

Warm Up: Do not stand or sit in front/near studio doors while waiting for rehearsal/class to begin. This is very disturbing to the work in progress. Be courteous! Stretch or warm up on the carpeted areas.  Please allow the previous group out of the studio before entering.

Behavior: All dancers are expected to behave in a professional and responsible manner during all rehearsals, performances and while observing.  There will be no running around the building!  Dancers agree to follow directions of those conducting rehearsals.

Make-Up Classes: Chances are that due to rehearsals and shows for The Nutcracker you will miss a few classes. You may make-up missed classes at your current level or below at any time. Come to the front desk before class and obtain a make-up slip. Make-up classes are not transferrable between family members.





Roles: Casting is done at the discretion of the Artistic Director and is based on many factors.  Please look through the entire cast list for your name regardless of your age or level. It is possible for you to be cast in more than one role.

Mistakes: Nutcracker casting is a complicated process; there will be mistakes. Some names may not have made it from our master list to the one you see posted for reasons unrelated to the participant. If your name does not appear anywhere on the casting, please let the office know and we will get you the information you need.

Spelling: Check the spelling of your first and last names. We want to be sure that all names are spelled correctly and are printed as you would like to see your name printed in the Nutcracker Program. Make your corrections on the casting list at the front desk.

Understudies: vb. To study another’s role in order to substitute in an emergency. Called to Learn—is an opportunity to learn, rehearse and improve choreography, strengthen you physically, and introduce you to working with others in a corp de ballet and the demands that go along with it.  Understudies should attend all rehearsals for that part unless otherwise stated or in another rehearsal.

Stage Rehearsals: Cast members must attend all rehearsals at the VBC whether they are cast to rehearse or not.  Cast members who do not rehearse will have the opportunity to watch and learn.  This also ensures that you are present for any changes that may occur and to receive any information given.  

Costumes: You should have been measured during auditions. If you were not, or if you have not been back to see Lisa Ordway in Costuming by Mid-November and are not a member of the Company please contact Ms. Ordway. LisaOrdway@aol.com 256-539-0961

Signs & Posted Instructions:  Please observe all signs and information posted at the theater.  If you have access to the auditorium, please sit only where instructed.  We reserve the right to ask anyone not observing the rules to leave the auditorium.

Nutcracker Tickets: Individual Nutcracker tickets will be available for purchase only at the VBC box office and Ticketmaster.  The front office pulls the best orchestra and balcony tickets to sell out of the office for season ticket holders. Both season and individual tickets are currently on sale.  


PHOTOGRAPHY & VIDEOS: Strictly prohibited during rehearsals and performances.  Anyone not observing this request will be asked to leave the premises.


Text Alert Reminders: Sign up to receive text alerts for Nutcracker rehearsals. All names and numbers have been cleared from the system from last year. You will need to sign up again for 2016 Nutcracker. The texts are just a reminder! They will be sent approximately 12 –24 hours prior to rehearsal. DO NOT rely entirely on the text alert for your rehearsal schedule as this is just a tool to assist you. It is your responsibility to check the schedule for any possible changes.


For Act 1: Send the message @profballet by text message to the # 81010

For Act 2: Send the message @profballe2 by text message to the # 81010

For HBS: Send the message @hbstext by text message to the # 81010

To discontinue messages: Reply @LEAVE to the number you are receiving messages from.  Make sure you receive the welcome message to ensure that you have been added to the reminder alerts.


Reading the Rehearsal Schedule


Changes: The schedule is posted on studio bulletin boards and online at huntsvilleballetupdates.wordpress.com. Because we post schedules weeks in advance, changes occur. All changes will appear in italic print. Continuously check the bulletin board and subscribe to the huntsvilleballetupdates.wordpress.com site to receive email updates when we post schedules and changes.

Scenes: All Roles who appear in the Scene called to rehearse should be in attendance unless otherwise stated. (eg. “Act 2 Opening” would include Angels, Sugar Plum, Divertissements, Clara, Prince)

Complete: All involved unless otherwise stated on the schedule (Act I Complete includes everyone involved in Party Scene, Transition Scene, Fight Scene and Snow)

Breakdown: Below is a list of Roles and which Scene(s) and Act they appear. Know what Roll for which your child is cast.  Second, note which Scene(s) that Roll appears (eg. Large Mouse appears in both the Transition and Fight Scenes).  Finally, know in which Act your Scene appears (eg. The Transition Scene and the Fight Scene are both in Act 1)


Act 1:

Party Scene: Laura, Albert, Party Guests (Party Girls, Party Boys, Children/ Teens, Party Parents), Maids, Drosselmyer, Columbine Doll, Harlequin Doll, Soldier Doll

Transition Scene: Laura, Drosselmyer, Lieutenant, Large Mice, Small Mice, (Baby Mice will be called specifically when needed)

Fight Scene: Laura, Nutcracker, Sergeants, Soldiers, Mouse King, Lieutenant Mice, Large Mice, Small Mice, Baby Mice

Snow: Snow Queen, Snow Demis, Snow Corp

Act 2:

Opening: Sugar Plum Fairy*, Cavalier*, Falling Stars, Laura, Prince, Divertissements

Spanish*: Spanish Leads, Spanish Corps

Arabian*: Arabian Lead, Arabian Corp

Chinese*: Chinese, Lion

Russian*: Russian Lead, Russian Corp

Marzipan*: Shepardess, Wolf, Lambs, Lost Lamb

Clowns*: Aunt Eunice, Biscuits

Camilla's*: Watercress Fairy, Flowers Demis, Flowers

Grand Pas: Sugar Plum, Cavalier

Finale: All Divertissements, Laura, Prince

Divertissements are indicated by *

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