The sumptuous, holiday classic, The Nutcracker, returns to South Florida State College’s Alan Jay Wildstein Center for the Performing Arts on Dec. 7, 7 p.m., for one performance. Auditions for children and youth on Saturday, Aug. 26, begin at 9 a.m.

South Carolina Ballet produces what critics have described as “some of the highest quality cultural entertainment in the Southeast.” It attracts not only audiences from all over the southeast, but also quality dancers from all over the country. Entering its 57th season, South Carolina Ballet travels to 15 cities in three states performing a full ballet season. 

William Starrett, artistic director of Columbia City Ballet, will conduct local auditions at SFSC Panther Gym, Highlands Campus on Saturday, Aug. 26. Many roles are available for both boys and girls, from mice to soldiers to candy canes and more. Dance and gymnastics experience is not required, although it is preferred, and children must have completed kindergarten. 

“This is a wonderful opportunity for local children to perform onstage with a respected, professional company in a beautiful production,” said Cindy Garren, director, SFSC Cultural Programs.

Children ages 5 and 6 who have completed kindergarten audition at 9 a.m. Children ages 7 to 10 audition at 10 a.m., and youth 11 years and older audition at noon.

Children should wear a leotards, tights, and ballet shoes or shorts and a plain white T-shirt with comfortable shoes. Sandals or flip flops are not permitted.  No audition fee is required, but all children cast in the production are required to pay a small costume rental fee which covers cleaning and repairs.

Rehearsals will be held on Saturday mornings beginning Oct. 21. The final rehearsal schedule will be presented at the auditions.  Costume fittings and a dress rehearsal will be held during the day on Tuesday, Dec. 7, and all children are required to attend.  The Nutcracker will be performed at 7 p.m.

Children under the age of 16 without a parent or adult chaperone in attendance will not be permitted to audition. Parents are not allowed to attend the audition, and all casting decisions are made by artistic director, William Starrett.  Nancy McDuffee is the local dance instructor.

This performance is funded in part by a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Florida Department of Cultural Affairs. Sponsors are Dr. Catherine Cornelius, Joan Hartt, Dr. Andrew and Beth Kulick, and Carol Emery. 

For more information or to get an audition form, go to sfscarts.org/auditions.   If you have any questions, email culturalperformances@southflorida.edu.   Please do not call the SFSC Box Office which is closed for the summer.