About the production

For decades, The Nutcracker has been a fixture in Louisville and has become a beloved, holiday tradition for generations of families. Thanks to a generous gift from the Brown-Forman Corporation, in 2009 the Louisville Ballet was able to create a completely refreshed and new production and The Brown-Forman Nutcracker was born! Based on a concept from Artistic Director Bruce Simpson and realized through the imaginations of acclaimed choreographer Val Caniparoli and world-renowned designer Peter Cazalet, this version of The Nutcracker has a decidedly Louisville feel – drawing images like the St. James Fountain and Derby Jockeys into the production. Magic elements created specifically for this ballet by master illusionist, Marshall Magoon, complete this amazing experience.


Producing a favorite ballet like the Nutcracker takes a dedicated group of staff and volunteers alike. Including the dancers, stage crew, children’s casts, chaperones and dressers, there are close to 180 people backstage at any given performance. Over 100 children, many returning for their second, third or fourth season with this production, contribute their own kind of magic to the stage transforming into mice, soldiers, angels, jockeys and party children. The full cast of The Brown-Forman Nutcracker ranges in age from seven to forty-something.

Guidelines for Cast Members


Rehearsal scheduling is at the discretion of the Louisville Ballet's Artistic Staff.  Attendance is mandatory. NO unexcused absences will be permitted. If your child is not ill and is absent, he/she will be replaced.  If your child is ill, please advise the Nutcracker Children’s Rehearsal Assistant (583-3150 ext. 233) AS SOON AS POSSIBLE before rehearsal time.  

Please Note:  All rehearsals will take place at the Louisville Ballet Center at 315 East Main Street, 40202

You must arrive ten (10) minutes prior to the rehearsal time with your child ready to dance at the scheduled time.  Please get into the habit of checking the Nutcracker website:

http://www.louisvilleballet.org/DanceSchool/performances/the-brown-forman-nutcracker/ as well as your email, for any changes in rehearsals or other important information.  

We do not have the space necessary to accommodate family members of each child participating in the production. So in fairness to all, we ask that you drop your children off at the Louisville Ballet Center.  Children will be monitored by chaperones assigned from each role & cast.  Each child must be picked up at the scheduled end of rehearsal time. Please be punctual when picking up your child after rehearsal. Late pick-ups will be charged $10 for any portion of each hour that the parent or designated ride is late. If the child's ride is late, the Artistic Staff will wait at the studio with the child, however, after two incidences, we will need to replace the child.

Please ensure that all personal belongings are clearly marked with the student’s first initial and last name.

No food or drink is allowed out of the vending area of the building.

Absence Requests

A form will be emailed to you. It must be filled out and submitted online, two weeks prior to the anticipated absence.  Cast members are allowed one excused absence.  If your child is ill, please call The Nutcracker Children’s Rehearsal Assistant at 583-3150 ext. 233 as soon as possible.

Behavior Requirements 

Self-discipline is required.  If a child is consistently reprimanded, he/she will not perform.

Each child must: pay attention, refrain from loud talking, keep hands to themselves, not climb on bars, not run in studio, assume they are a guest in the Louisville Ballet's studios, and respect the privileges of quiet and privacy of the professional company.

Personal Hygiene & Appearance

During adolescence, learning and maintaining good personal hygiene is very important. Dancers perspire during rehearsals and performances and it is encouraged that they use deodorant and/or antiperspirant to minimize body odor. Please be mindful that Cast members share costumes with their Cast Partners and should endeavor to be as neat and clean as possible. Cast Members should wash their hands with soap and water after using the restroom to decrease the spread of germs. In addition, Cast members should not cut or dye their hair after their costume fittings. Cast members are also not allowed to pierce their ears after accepting their role in the production.  

Sick Policy

The Louisville Ballet follows the same sick guidelines as any school or daycare.  If your child has a fever or is vomiting, you need to keep your child home until they are symptom free for 24 hours.  If your child arrives at a rehearsal or a performance with these symptoms, they will need to be picked up immediately.

This is to ensure the health of all of our dancers.


If your child is ill during the studio rehearsal schedule, please call Nutcracker Children’s Rehearsal Assistant at 583-3150 x233 as soon as possible if they will have to miss a rehearsal.

Beginning with the first all-company rehearsal at the studio (December 2nd) and then following for all stage rehearsals and performances, it is your responsibility to contact your child’s cast partner if your child is sick and unable to perform.  After making contact with your cast partner, contact the Nutcracker Children’s Rehearsal Assistant and then your child’s Cast Leader, in that order.  Please give your cast partner as much time as possible to prepare if they will need to replace your child. For your convenience, you will be provided with the contact information for the Nutcracker Children’s Cast Coordinator, your Cast Leader, and the Nutcracker Children’s Rehearsal Assistant.  Cast partner contact information will be shared during the studio rehearsal period.

If your child has lice, please contact the Nutcracker Children’s Cast Coordinator right away so that precautions can be made to prevent an infestation.


Thank you so much for your cooperation with all of these guidelines.  Our first priority is to keep your children healthy!

Drop off / Pick up

To ensure success in any production, it is essential that all performers be cognizant and respectful of each and every call time, including pick up times.

For the safety and health of cast members, street clothing and shoes must be worn over dance clothes when entering and exiting the studio and theater.



Your child must be in the studio, dressed and ready to dance 10 minutes before the scheduled rehearsal time. If your child is late more than twice, they will be replaced.


If your child is more than 5 minutes late for a dress rehearsal or performance call time, their cast partner will be called to perform.  If the cast partner has to be called in, the cast partner will perform - even if the original dancer eventually arrives at the theater.


Fees for Late pickups 

Please be punctual when picking up your child after rehearsals and performances.  Late pick-ups will be charged $10 for any portion of each hour that the parent is late.  This includes pick-ups at both the studio and the Kentucky Center. 

Please always remember to allow extra commuting time for travelling downtown.  Bad weather, special events and construction can wreak havoc on your favorite route!


Costume Requirements

The purchase of shoes, tights, and makeup is the responsibility of the student Cast member and their guardian.  Specification of the type of shoes, tights, and makeup will be provided at the mandatory parents meeting.  All required clothing and shoes are available from Kinney Dancewear, 1864 S. Hurstbourne Pkwy., 866-805-2623, www.kinneydancewear.com.  Items are also available online at Discount Dance Supply.  Cast members may view suggested styles on our Dress Code Page by selecting Nutcracker Suggestions from the drop-down menu.  Order using our Teacher Code TP27451 to receive additional discounts.


Carpool Requests

Due to extenuating circumstances we will not be accepting Carpool requests for this year’s production.  We understand the impact this has on the entire cast and apologize for any inconvenience this might cause. Casting must be finalized before the start of rehearsals this year, therefore we are unable to take carpool requests into consideration. If you would like to contact other parents to arrange for carpooling please make arrangements to share contact information in-person as the Louisville Ballet does not share personal information.  The Parents Association of the Louisville Ballet School (PALS) Facebook Group also provides a great forum for connecting with other LBS families and staying informed about upcoming events.


Will be assigned and scheduled by the Louisville Ballet, the Nutcracker Children’s Cast Coordinator and the Cast Leaders.


All inquiries regarding the news media, including but not limited to, photographs, interviews, press clippings, and general public relations, must be directed to the Louisville Ballet Director of Marketing.  If a request is made to participate in a media event, interview, or personal appearance, you should remember that you do not speak in an official capacity for the Louisville Ballet.  Any direct inquiry from the press or the media, received at home or at work, must be referred to the Director of Marketing before you can respond to such inquiry.  Social media -- including Facebook and Twitter -- should be considered an extension of traditional media. Please use discretion when posting updates and refer any questions regarding media inquiries to the Director of Marketing.

Parking and Theater Access

No parking is provided by The Kentucky Center or the Louisville Ballet for performers and staff.  The Kentucky Center and Riverfront parking garages, both on 6th Street between Main and River Road, are recommended. Cast members and chaperones should enter the theatre through the backstage door off 6th Street. This door opens onto Level 1 of the building.

Theater Rules

Signing In 

You must, sign in with the designated Children’s Security Chaperone upon arrival at the stage door.


Dressing Rooms

The dressing rooms and performers' lounge are on Level 1.  Please leave all jewelry and valuables at home.  Neither The Kentucky Center nor the Ballet is responsible for lost or stolen items.  Dressing rooms do not open until the Nutcracker Children’s Cast Coordinator or Cast Leader has arrived.  Access to the Dressing Rooms and backstage area is limited to Children who are performing and Parents who are scheduled to Chaperone.  No Flat irons, Curling irons or Blow dryers are allowed in the dressing room at any time.

Arrival Times

All children must arrive one hour before scheduled theater rehearsals, one hour prior to curtain time for performance and one and a half hours prior to curtain time for a School matinee.  If your child is more than 5 minutes late for a dress rehearsal or performance call time, their cast partner will be called to perform.  If the cast partner has to be called in, the cast partner will perform - even if the original dancer eventually arrives at the theater.

If your dancer is going to be late for a theater rehearsal or performance or is unable to perform due to illness or injury, you must make contact with his or her cast partner, then contact the Nutcracker Children’s Rehearsal Assistant and your child’s Cast Leader, in that order. Call The Kentucky Center Security Office (562-0128) to leave a message for your child’s Cast Leader as well as calling their direct number.  It is necessary that you speak to a live person to ensure that the information is given to the appropriate people.  Please give your cast partner as much time as possible to prepare if they will need to replace your child. In the case of illness or injury, parents should make every effort to contact the designated leaders, etc. at least two hours before curtain.

"On Call" Policy 

When your child is not scheduled to perform, please remain at the phone number we have for you and/or keep your cell phone accessible until 1/2 hour before curtain time.  It may be necessary to make substitutions in an emergency.  In the event you are needed to replace your cast partner, we strongly recommend that you keep all items necessary for performance readily available so that you are able to arrive at the theater as quickly as possible.

Stage Calls 

Calls of half hour, 15, 10 and 5 minutes, on-stage, and places will be made by a stage manager.  No dancer is allowed on stage until the on-stage call.  Dancers must clear the stage immediately upon being requested to do so.  Please do not stand in the wings during performance unless waiting for an entrance.


Absolutely no eating, smoking, or drinking (except water) is allowed while in costume.  No personal jewelry is to be worn on stage.  Dancers and chaperones are responsible for keeping up with costumes while in the theatre; any missing parts of the costume must be reported to a member of the wardrobe staff not less than 30 minutes before curtain time.  No part of any costume is to be left onstage at any time.  All costumes must be correctly hung in the dressing rooms when not in use.  Necessary repairs or alterations must be written into the Costume Log in the dressing room after every performance to notify the wardrobe staff of any problems.


All props and scenic items used by a dancer must be picked up and returned to a location designated by a member of the production staff or stage crew.

All rehearsals are closed.  No family members, relatives or friends are allowed in the auditorium or backstage during rehearsals or prior to or after performances.

No one will be allowed into the auditorium in costume during rehearsals without prior approval of Artistic Director Bruce Simpson. Stage management, Mike Ford and Leslie Oberhausen, will be in control of the running of the production.  If you are confused or have a problem, please see them.

Theater House Rules

  1. Due to the security arrangements at The Kentucky Center, parents will not be allowed backstage unless working as a chaperone.  Chaperones will be designated before going into the theatre.
  2. No child may watch from the wings except during the scene in which he/she is involved.
  3. No child is allowed in the Front of House (audience and lobby areas) during rehearsals.
  4. Please keep lunches and snacks as nutritious as possible (low in refined sugar.)  No candy or gum is allowed in the theatre at any time.
  5. No running or combative behavior is allowed.  Children are restricted to the dressing rooms and lounge area unless permission is given otherwise.  During performances, no child shall leave the dressing/lounge area; failure to follow these directions will result in being barred from performing.
  6. Books and quiet card and board games are encouraged.  Video games are discouraged and balls are prohibited.
  7. Please provide quarters and the correct phone number where you may be contacted on each rehearsal day in the event that rehearsals finish earlier than scheduled.  This is necessary as the schedule allows for maximum time for technical problems.
  8. All children must wait in the children’s dressing room to be picked up after rehearsals and performances.  A 3x5 card with your child’s name on it must be presented to the children’s chaperone in order to pick up your child from the dressing room.
  9. Children involved in two performances on one day MUST leave the theatre after the matinee to eat and rest before returning for the evening.
  10. Children who are in the Prologue and Act I only should be picked up approximately 1 hour after curtain.  Act 2 children should be picked up approximately 2 hours after curtain, unless the family is attending the performance.
  11. No child may leave the theatre wearing make-up (Baby wipes work well to remove make-up).  All children must be wearing street clothes when entering and leaving the theatre.
  12. Any child on medication must give written instructions concerning this to the Cast Leader.
  13. All children must arrive “underdressed” at the theatre in tights and leotard (camisole), as private changing areas are limited.

For emergency questions and in the event of serious illness, please call the Cast Leader (Names and Numbers to be provided at Mandatory Parents Meeting) at least two (2) hours prior to performance time.

Weather Policy for School Matinees

If there is a likelihood of schools closing for any day on which a School Matinee is scheduled, please call the following number to find out whether or not the Louisville Ballet is canceling the matinee: 502-583-3150, ext. 233.  You may also choose to receive important updates about last-minute changes or cancellations by subscribing to our Brown-Forman Nutcracker Children’s Cast Text Alerts. Cast members will be emailed an invitation to opt-in at a later date.

Nutcracker Personnel for 2013

Nutcracker Children’s Rehearsal Assistant

Helen Daigle   (502) 583-3150 ext 233

Nutcracker Children’s Cast Coordinator

Christine Carrigan (502) 314-5961

Cast Leaders

Amy Frederick (Red Cast) (502) 802-0186

Missy Lucas (Green Cast) (502) 550-6966

Issued August 2013 BS/ED/HD/NS/CH/EV

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