3901 Walnut Blvd Suite A-1/B


(925) 240-5556



The Nutcracker 2017 Participation Handbook


Please be sure to read all of the following guidelines, which have been established by The Ballet Company of East County. It is our goal to make this an enjoyable and pleasant experience as well as an educational one – not only for the physical aspect of dance, but for the work that goes into producing a complete show. Please keep in mind that the rules and guidelines that have been set forth will enable all of us to present a professional and well organized production.


Contact Information

The Artistic Director, choreographers or board members are not available for contact.  If you have any questions please refer them to the Studio (925) 240-5556 or balleteastcounty@gmail.com

If you have a question/comment please bring it to the attention of the Front Desk Staff. Do not discuss a problem or hearsay with other parents.  Gossip has a huge negative impact on a community production.


Participation Requirements

Participation in The Ballet Company of East County is voluntary.  The audition is open to all ballet students at any dance studio in the area.  Dance studio affiliation has no bearing in casting.  Dancers must be at least 7 years old by the audition date to participate in “The Nutcracker”. And must be currently enrolled in a ballet class at any dance studio.


The Yearly Participation Fee is $250.00 for all cast members. This fee covers costume rentals, lunch, 3 pairs of performance tights and administrative fees for The Nutcracker show. Fees are non-refundable, for any reason.  You can pay for your fee by cash, check or credit card.  Please make all checks payable to The Ballet Company. These fees are due at the audition.  If your child is not cast your check and/cash will be returned to you or your card will not be charged.


Dancers and their parents should consider the large time commitment required for rehearsals and performances before auditioning.  A commitment of this level, is viewed by our staff, is a family commitment.  If you are involved in other activities that meet regularly on Saturday’s in the morning- afternoons  you should reconsider auditioning for the production, as the potential conflict already exists.


Rehearsals for this Show “The Nutcracker” will generally be held on Saturday’s from 9:00am-1:00 pm. Please send your child to rehearsals in any solid colored leotard, pink tights, ballet shoes and hair in a ballet bun. Boys can wear black pants or shorts, a white t-shirt and black ballet shoes.  All of those auditioning must be available to attend all rehearsals during their scheduled casting time.


Important Dates (All dancers must attend, no exceptions) :

*In house dress rehearsal Dec 9 All dancers rehearse 9-1

*Thursday, December 14th - Dress Rehearsal at El Campanil 4:00pm.

                          (Closed Rehearsal–No Parents)

*Friday, December 15th – Show 1- 7pm

*Saturday, December 16th- Show 2 & 3- 3:00 and 7:00

*Sunday, December 17th-Show 4 & 5- 12:00 and 4:00


Please note there is rehearsal during the second week of fall break (Brentwood School District) and Thanksgiving Weekend.


In general rehearsals for a particular role are often held at the same time each week in ½ hour to 1½ hour intervals - per part, depending on the role. Keep in mind that if your child is cast in more than 1 role their time will increase. The schedule is subject to change so please check the website and your e-mails regularly for changes, it is your responsibility. Beginning Saturday, November 7th we will be running all of Act 1 from 9am-11am and Act 2 from 11am-1pm. Starting Saturday, November 28th we will be running the complete show multiple times. Rehearsals will be from 9am-1pm for EVERY dancer. Do not ask us if your dancer can be released early.  Do not take your child from rehearsal early.  Even the youngest dancer will be required to stay at rehearsal the entire time.



Due to the intense nature of planning a community production, all dancers must attend all rehearsals.

Dancer Absence

Dancers are expected to attend all scheduled rehearsals and performances.  Permission to be absent must be requested and approved by the Artistic Director.  Please see Nutcracker admin desk for absent form.


Late arrivals and early dismissals are considered absences.


If your child has an injury they must attend the rehearsals and watch or participate in a limited manner.


If your dancer is ill you must contact the Studio, by 8:00am on Saturday mornings before rehearsals. Please email balleteastcounty@gmail.com call and leave a message (925) 240-5556.  If you do not notify studio  in advance of the absence the dancer will be dropped from the production and your participation fee will not be refunded.


Please note there is rehearsal during the second week of Fall Break (Brentwood  School District) and Thanksgiving Weekend. 



All casting decisions are non-negotiable and subject to change at the discretion of the Artistic Director. Please expect that your child may get only 1 part, depending on how many audition. Very few dancers will get 2 parts. Since our production has grown - please keep in mind that not every child that auditions will make it onto the cast. As a parent you may not question the decision of casting, these decisions are made by qualified judges.  Each dancer is individually assessed and placed in a role that is suited for the dancer and in the best interest of the production.



Even though we try to fit costumes during scheduled rehearsals the costumers may need a cast member to meet with them outside of rehearsals. They will contact you and schedule a fitting. Please accommodate them or we may need to recast your child’s part. Please do not question the costumer's decision. They know what they are doing.                                                                    



Because of our growing cast and community involvement communication is a top priority.  Most of the communication will be sent via email, please make sure the email address you provide BCEC is current and checked daily.  All schedules and updates will be posted online at brentwoodballet.org.  We suggest you check the website regularly.



With a production of this size, we rely heavily on a number of volunteers to help the dancers and staff members present a professional, well-organized and polished production. One parent from each family is REQUIRED to serve 4 hours on a committee. The parent must sign up for a committee on September 9th or one will be assigned to them. Each committee and the requirements are listed below. Please list any special skills you might have to contribute to a committee on the cast member application form. All committee’s will require occasional meetings - attendance is crucial to the success of the committee. We are asking each family for a $75.00 additional fee that will be refunded at the end of the production if your family has fulfilled their hours.  This check will need to be turned in at auditions.  We will only deposit this check if your family is not able to fulfill the required volunteer hours.

Fundraising Committee

We need volunteers to help with fundraising events, and to help sell souvenirs and flowers before and during the shows.


Prop and Set Committee

We need people to help build, paint, clean, and organize props and sets. Large pick ups/ trailers and people might be needed to transport props to and from the theater for the shows.


House Committee

We will need Ticket Takers and Program Distribution for each show. We will not need backstage moms.        


Marketing Committee

Volunteers are needed to distribute fliers (especially at the Brentwood Christmas and Discovery Bay Parades). We will need volunteers to go around town and put up posters and signs - as well as count out fliers for the schools.                                                                                                                                                                                                  


Costume Committee

We need people who can sew and embellish costumes. And people who can assist with fittings and organization of costumes at fittings as well as at the shows.



Thank you for participating in The Nutcracker and for being a part of the magic of the Nutcracker. If this is your first experience with us, welcome. If you have participated before, thank you for returning. We are looking forward to another great show and a magical performance.