AUDITION GUIDE

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1 AUDITION GUIDE FOR PARENTS AND STUDENTS

2 Dear Parents and Guardians, Welcome to a new Boston Ballet School year and I hope everyone has enjoyed a wonderful summer. We are already preparing for Boston Ballet s annual holiday classic, The Nutcracker. I am also pleased to welcome Miranda Weese to the organization, as our Children s Ballet Mistress. Our Nutcracker production, with beautiful sets and costumes by Robert Perdziola and re-envisioned choreography premiered in 2012 and continues to be a holiday highlight for the community and beyond. Our Boston Ballet School students participation is a major part of The Nutcracker and I am pleased you are considering having your child audition for the opportunity to take part this year. Each student performer and their family play a very significant role in this production, and we greatly value the time and energy of everyone involved in auditions, rehearsals and performances. Communication with you, the parents and guardians of these student performers is extremely important to the entire Nutcracker experience, beginning with registration for the auditions and continuing throughout all performances. This guide is designed to inform you and your child about the audition process and the experience of participating in a professional production. Auditioning for and performing in The Nutcracker is not necessarily for everyone. It is important to be aware of the substantial time commitment for your child and your entire family at a very busy time of year. Maturity and a sense of responsibility are essential and expected of all students. I ask that you review this guide with your child before deciding to audition. If your child would like to audition, please complete the online registration form and have a Studio Administrator at the Boston, Newton, or North Shore studios measure your child s height. Your registration must be completed by the end of the school day on Sunday, September 17. Please remember that we are not able to select all auditioning students to perform in The Nutcracker. The audition process is a learning experience in and of itself if you prepare your child in advance. Following the auditions, notification regarding selection for The Nutcracker will be sent by Saturday, October 10. I wish your son or daughter a happy and productive year of growth and progress in dance education, and thank you for choosing Boston Ballet School for your child. Sincerely, Mikko Nissinen Artistic Director, Boston Ballet and Boston Ballet School 2 The Nutcracker

3 THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE YOU AUDITION Performing in The Nutcracker is a tremendous commitment for students and their families. As a parent, it means bringing students to numerous rehearsals and performances during an already busy time of year. For students, it means learning and absorbing a great deal of choreography in a short period of time. Nonetheless, the experience of performing in a professional production is a unique opportunity and one your child will never forget. Please take the time to carefully read over the following considerations before you decide to audition for The Nutcracker: 1. All students cast in The Nutcracker must be available to rehearse and perform in any cast for all rehearsals and performances from Tuesday, October 10 through Sunday, December 31. No exceptions will be made for students who are unable to commit to the full rehearsal and performance schedule. This includes vacations, holiday plans, school activities, etc. Two or more unexcused absences may result in dismissal from the cast and may jeopardize a student s eligibility to audition for future Boston Ballet productions. Due to a limited amount of time, rehearsals and/or performances may be scheduled on Halloween, Veterans Day, the evening before Thanksgiving, the day after Thanksgiving (opening night), Christmas Eve, and New Year s Eve.* 2. Theatre rehearsals will begin Monday, November 20 and will run through to opening night with the exception of Thanksgiving Day. We do not anticipate that the students will have to miss their academic school, but please be aware it may be a possibility. 3. Students who audition must be prepared to accept the role and cast to which they are assigned. Each role is equally important to the production as a whole. If any student is not ready to accept the part that they are assigned, please consider not auditioning at all. Failure to accept a particular role or cast after your child has auditioned will result in ineligibility to audition for future Boston Ballet productions. 4. Parents should prepare their child for the possibility that they may not be assigned a role. If you feel your child will have difficulty with the audition process in any way, it is best not to audition at this time. 5. Student performers spend a fair amount of time waiting backstage to get into costume and for their turn on stage. If you anticipate your child having difficulty with this process, it is probably best that they do not audition this year. 6. Certain roles will require the purchase of new shoes and/or tights. These will be available for purchase through the company. *Please make note of the rehearsal commitment and performance schedule and list on your audition registration form any possible conflicts in the space provided. This is not to excuse your child from being cast but merely allows the Artistic Staff to plan ahead and utilize the limited amount of rehearsal time effectively. 3 The Nutcracker

4 AUDITION ELIGIBILITY Performing with Boston Ballet is a privilege extended only to current Boston Ballet School students. To be eligible to audition for The Nutcracker you must be enrolled in the Classical Ballet Division (excluding Flex students) or Pre-Professional Division of the Boston Ballet School. Students with accounts that are not up to date or are in arrears will not be allowed to audition. Participation is mandatory for Trainee students; however, these students are not required to audition. ARTISTIC DISCRETION The Nutcracker is a professional production, designed, managed and performed by Boston Ballet staff and artists. Decisions regarding casting of the professional dancers as well as of the children are made by the Company s experienced Artistic Staff and are final. Please note that the Artistic Staff may go outside the parameters of height, class level, cast size and/or number of casts selected in order to adequately cast our professional production. These exceptions shall be at the sole discretion of the Artistic Staff. In order to provide a professional experience for students and to work as quickly and efficiently as possible in the short time available, all auditions and rehearsals for The Nutcracker are conducted by Boston Ballet s Artistic Staff and are closed to parents. POST-AUDITIONS Notification This year s audition results will be available no later than Saturday, September 30. If you have not received notification by this date, please contact the Children s Theatre Manager. Rehearsal Schedules Nutcracker student rehearsals will begin the week of October 10, following the Columbus Day Holiday. Detailed schedules for each role will be provided along with casting notification. Most roles will rehearse twice weekly for 1 to 1.5 hours. Additional studio rehearsals at 19 Clarendon Street may be necessary during the performance run. Information regarding any additional rehearsals will be communicated to students and families as soon as possible. 4 The Nutcracker

5 2017 PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE M T W TH F SAT SUN NOV DEC pm 6 pm pm 6 pm am & 3 pm 7 pm AVAILABLE ROLES AND HEIGHT GUIDELINES Boston Ballet s The Nutcracker involves approximately 240 students each year to spread across 22 different designated roles. Students class level and height are critical factors in the roles for which they may be eligible. For your reference, the chart below lists all children s roles and outlines the basic parameters of assignment: Height Female Roles Eligible Class Levels Min Max Party Sibling Elementary 1 and Up n/a 51 Baby Mouse Elementary 1 and Up n/a 51 Lamb Elementary 1 and Up n/a 53 Urchin Elementary 1 and Up Page Elementary 1 and Up Lantern Bearer Elementary 1 and Up Gingerbread Elementary 1 and Up Polichinelle Elementary 2 and Up n/a 56 Little Mouse Elementary 2 and Up n/a 58 Reindeer Elementary 2 and Up Party Girl Intermediate 1 and Up Party Boy Intermediate 1 and Up Clara Intermediate 1 and Up Soldier Intermediate 2 and Up Tea Intermediate 2 and Up Bunny Intermediate 3 and Up Lead Reindeer Pre-Professional 3 and Up Sugar Plum Attendant Pre-Professional 3 and Up n/a n/a Shepherdess Pre-Professional 3 and Up The Nutcracker

6 Height Male Roles Eligible Class Levels Min Max Urchin Elementary 1 and Up Page Elementary 1 and Up Party Sibling Elementary 1 and Up n/a 51 Gingerbread Elementary 1 and Up Lantern Bearer Elementary 1 and Up Fritz Intermediate 1 and Up Party Boy Intermediate 1 and Up Soldier Intermediate 2 and Up Big Mouse Men s 1 and 2 n/a n/a HOW TO REGISTER Interested students must register for the auditions via the online registration form, the link to which is available via the sent to families in late August/early September or by clicking on the link provided on the Boston Ballet website. A unique code that is needed at the outset of the online registration is included in the to eligible families. As a student s height remains a critical component in role selection, registration must be completed in person. After submitting your online registration, your child s height needs to be measured by a studio administrator at the front desk of the Boston, Newton, or North Shore studio locations. Please note that the registration is only final when the student has been measured by a Studio Administrator. You will receive a confirmation once this step has been completed and height has been added to your child s registration record. Audition registrations must be completed including height measurement no later than the end of the school day on Sunday, September 17, No registrations will be accepted after this date nor will students be able to register during the audition weekend of September 23 24, Please note that Sunday hours for Boston Ballet School are: Boston 9 am 2 pm Newton 9 am 1 pm North Shore closed. 6 The Nutcracker

7 2017 NUTCRACKER AUDITION SCHEDULE Students are expected to attend each audition session for which their level is called, including callbacks, unless otherwise instructed. Sunday of the audition weekend is designated for all callbacks and students so chosen must attend both days. Date Group Check-in time Audition Time Sat, Sept 23 Elem2&3: Girls Only 9 9:55 am 10 am 12 pm Elem1: Boys and Girls 11 11:45 am 12 1 pm Int 1: Girls Only 12 12:45 pm 1:15 2:15 pm Int 2&3: Girls only 1:30 2:15 pm 2:45 4 pm Adv 1 4, PrePro 1&2: Girls only 2:45 3:30 pm 4 5 pm PrePro 3&4: Girls Only 4 4:30 pm 5 6 pm Sun, Sept 24 All boys (no Elem 1) 8:25-8:55 am 9-10 am Blue Callbacks 9-9:45 am 10-11:15 am Orange Callbacks 10-10:45 am 11:15 am-12:30 pm Green Callbacks 12-12:30 pm 1-2:30 pm Red Callbacks 1:30-2:00 pm 2:30-3:30 pm THE AUDITION WEEKEND We continue to refine the audition process to make it as efficient and pleasant as possible for everyone involved. The following procedures and policies are outlined to provide you and your student with a better idea of what to expect at the auditions. Attire Students should wear their class dress code to the auditions. Please have your student arrive at the 19 Clarendon Street studios dressed in his or her uniform. Female PrePro students should bring both their ballet slippers as well as pointe shoes. Hair should be pulled neatly back from the face. No skirts or other accessories should be worn to the audition. Arrival and Check-in On Saturday, September 23, check-in will be located on the third floor of the Boston Studios at 19 Clarendon Street. Call times are set with the expectation that students should plan to arrive approximately 1 hour prior to the scheduled audition time as listed above. Students should check-in and pick-up his or her assigned number at the registration desk. Please keep the audition number and wear it again on Sunday if called back. Unfortunately, students who arrive after their scheduled check-in time will not be able to attend the audition and therefore will be ineligible for casting. Callbacks Some students auditioning on Saturday will receive a colored callback slip asking them to return on Sunday. A callback slip means the artistic staff needs to see a student again; it is not a guarantee of being cast in a role. Please make allowances for any callbacks. On Sunday, September 24, students should again plan to arrive approximately 1 hour to their slotted callback time in order to check-in. 7 The Nutcracker

8 Parents Parents who plan to wait at the studio while their child auditions must wait in the lobby or on the first floor or basement levels. The auditions themselves are closed events and restricted from observation. Parents who choose to leave and return should be available to meet their student promptly; we will adhere to the audition schedule strictly. Please Note: The Saturday class schedule for the Boston Studio is subject to change due to the audition weekend please check the school bulletin board and/or with a Studio Administrator for an schedule changes. As per Boston Ballet policy, we ask that you do not double park along Clarendon Street; cars may run the risk of being towed. 8 The Nutcracker

9 Thank you for your interest in Boston Ballet s The Nutcracker. We hope to see you at the auditions on Saturday Sunday, September 23 24! 9 The Nutcracker

10 BOSTON BALLET 19 CLARENDON STREET, BOSTON, MA TEL FAX bostonballet.org Front cover: Eris Nezha and students of Boston Ballet School in Mikko Nissinen s The Nutcracker by Liza Voll Photography

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