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Nutcracker FAQs


What are the requirements to participate?

Any dancer ages 5 through adult can participate. You must attend auditions to be cast in a role. You will have to sign a “contract” (given after auditions) agreeing to be on time and in attendance of all rehearsals and performances. All dancers auditioning/participating are required to be enrolled in a dance technique class for the same school year. We highly recommend a Ballet class, but the genres of ballet, modern, and jazz are all considered dance technique class. If you are not enrolled at MPA, a registration confirmation of your classes is required to be included with your audition form. Dancers en pointe are required to have at least one full year of pointe training to audition.


Do you have to be a student at Midwest Performing Arts to participate?

NO!!! We encourage all the students from our school to audition and we welcome any dancer in the community to audition. If you are not enrolled at MPA, a registration confirmation of your classes is required to be included with your audition form.


How many dancers will you accept?

We will try to cast as many dancers as we have costumes for! This is a continuing work in progress. If you are not cast this year, try again next year and ask us how you can prepare. We will try to help you meet your goals.


Do we have to pre-register to audition?

Pre-registration is not required, but it will speed up the check in process if you fill out the Nutcracker Audition Form ahead of time and bring it with you to the audition or during Nutcracker Prep Classes. This form is available online and at the front desk. You can also be pre-measured during the week of Nutcracker Prep Classes. Completed form, measurements and audition fee payment all need to be handed in at the same time. Please arrive 30 minutes prior to your audition time to check in.


What should I wear to auditions?

Girls: black leotard, pink tights, pink ballet shoes, and hair secured in a bun.

*Younger dancers from the Pre-Dance Division may wear their pink leotards.

Boys: white t-shirt, black pants, and black ballet shoes.


Are the auditions open to be watched?

No, this is a “closed” audition. We want to take the pressure off our brave dancers!


How much does it cost to participate?

There is a $30 per dancer audition fee that is due at registration.  There is also a MPA dancer or non-MPA dancer participation fee that covers the maintenance and tailoring of the costumes and teacher/choreographer expenses. We try to make this an affordable option for all families.


How will we be notified after auditions?

You will be notified by an email to the address you put on your audition form. This message will be sent no later than two weeks after auditions. It will include your schedule and participant contract. Please contact the studio if you do not receive an email after two weeks or if you have any questions about the schedule.


When is my contract and participation fee due?

The deadline to turn in your contract, including participation fee is on the Tuesday before we begin rehearsals that Saturday. If we have not received your contract by then, we will assume you have decided not to participate. Keep an eye out on the main Nutcracker page for specific dates and times.


When will I be given my “role?”

A dancer's role(s) will be included in the contract email sent.


What if I don’t get the “part” I was hoping for?

All the roles in our ballet are “good parts” and essential to the magic of the production. There are many different factors we must consider when casting roles: age, ability, the size of the costume, and the style of choreography best suited for a dancer. If you had your heart set on a part, remember that there will be future opportunities. Please trust our casting, we know you will have a great time onstage!


Are rehearsals mandatory?

Yes! Absolutely! Each group has a limited number of rehearsals before we begin to run the entire show, so be sure you can commit to all Saturday rehearsals beginning mid September through early December before turning in your contract (please read over the specific dates on your contract). This includes the Tech Rehearsal and Dress Rehearsal on stage. If you have conflicts with rehearsals this year, try out next year, this an annual production!


What if I am unavailable to rehearse during a certain time on Saturdays?

Rehearsals take place on Saturdays 9AM - 6PM. Each part will rehearse for 30 - 90 minutes. Please indicate on your audition form if there is a time within this that you are unavailable to rehearse.  Any missed rehearsals must be indicated on the audition form and then approved ahead of time by the School Director.


What do I wear at rehearsals?

To all rehearsals, dress rehearsals, costume fittings, etc. you should wear pink tights, solid color leotard, ballet shoes, and your hair in a neat, secure bun. Boys need to wear white t-shirts, black tights, and black shoes.


Do I get to keep my costume?

No. The cost of the elaborate Nutcracker costumes is far too much to ask parents to purchase costumes year after year. Instead, we are assembling a set of high quality costumes that will be carefully cleaned and stored for the following year.  Each dancer is responsible for providing their tights, shoes and undergarments that their role requires.


Where will the shows be held?

The Nutcracker is scheduled to perform at the Waunakee High School Performing Arts Center: 301 Community Dr. Waunakee, WI.


How many shows will there be?

There will be three shows: Saturday at 2:00 pm & 6:00 pm and Sunday at 3:00 pm.


Is volunteering required?

YES! We have made available volunteer opportunities that require time but not money, commitments that can be done far before the show, commitments that require time during the show, and opportunities that definitely put your talents to work! We’re sure everyone will find a way to help us put on such a massive production in a way that is fun and comfortable. We require that each dancer is represented by at least one volunteer position. If you are not able to volunteer for a position there is an opt out fee of $100.00 available to you. Sign up for volunteer positions by using the link on the Nutcracker home page.


How will tickets be sold?

Tickets will be sold online and will be available for purchase for cast members at 10:00 AM on a Saturday, in mid-October.  We request that each family purchase a minimum of 4 tickets to the show of their choice. There will be no limit on the amount of tickets you can purchase this year. Tickets will be sold on a first come first serve basis. The sooner you purchase your tickets, the more choice you will have as to where your seating will be.


Will any professional photographs or videos be available?

We will have professional photography taking in studio photos. Picture day is usually early November. Order forms for photos will be available in the Nutcracker packet.

A professional videographer will be recording at the performances. All Nutcracker families will be receiving a DVD and a digital copy of the performances! The fee for this is included in your Nutcracker participation fee and there will be no additional video charges. For the safety of the dancers and comfort of other patrons, absolutely no photography or videotaping is allowed, with or without flash during the performances.


Will Nutcracker apparel be offered?

Yes, T-shirts, sweatshirts, sweatpants, and more! Samples sizes will be available in the MPA lobby for dancers to try on for sizing. You will be notified when to place your order online.


Will we be having a cast party?

Yes. The cast party will be held on the Sunday immediately after the 3:00PM Nutcracker performance. Please save the date! The cost of this party is included in your participation fee. Each additional guest you bring will cost $5 per person. This fee helps cover food and beverage as well as the facility rental and janitorial services. Please fill out the form found in your Nutcracker Information Packet for any guest you plan on having attend the cast party.


I know someone who likes to donate to the Arts. Do you accept donations?

Absolutely! The Nutcracker is a huge production with tremendous expenses. We will gladly accept any donations to help offset the costs of costuming and production. You can also donate by placing an ad in our Nutcracker program. For more information on the program ads, please contact the director at


Have a question that wasn't on this list?

Please contact the director with your questions:

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