The mission of Community Nutcracker, Inc. is to produce The Nutcracker Ballet, while maintaining the highest quality of artistic vision utilizing local community talent to give back to the community through the performances as well as donating the proceeds to deserving local charities. The result is a collective effort of all participants. In order to accomplish this mandate, it is critical that all participants understand just what is required of dancers in this “dance company” atmosphere. Dancers must approach their preparation and execution of rehearsals and performances with an attitude that reflects the qualities of hard work, dedication, punctuality, and respect for the artistic directors, the choreography, other dancers, the volunteer leadership of Community Nutcracker, other volunteers, and the overall good of Community Nutcracker.
You should consider yourself part of the Community Nutcracker “company”. It is a privilege to be a part of this wonderful tradition.
Community Nutcracker is committed to presenting the highest quality production. As a result, each cast member must be equally committed to Community Nutcracker. By accepting a role in our production, each cast member commits to performing only with Community Nutcracker and agrees not to accept a role or perform in another production of the Nutcracker Ballet during the same season. Failure to follow this rule shall result in dismissal from the cast of the Community Nutcracker and such other consequences as determined by the Board of the Community Nutcracker, Inc.
Once roles are cast, there are approximately twelve (12) rehearsals until performance week. Each rehearsal is crucial to the success of the performances. As a result, attendance is mandatory. Exceptions will be made only for illness or with prior approval from the artistic director.
Dismissals due to Absences: After the dancer’s first absence, a warning will be issued by the artistic director during rehearsal. After the dancer’s second absence, he or she may be dismissed from the production. The ultimate responsibility for attendance lies with each dancer and their parent/guardian. If you cannot commit totally to the rehearsal schedule, you cannot be a cast member. Schedules are posted onsite at auditions at the time roles are cast. A picture of your schedule should be taken before you leave the audition venue. You are responsible for knowing when and where you are having rehearsal and to be there.
Dismissals due to Injury: Injuries are taken very seriously by Community Nutcracker. If you or your dancer is injured, you must contact your Artistic Director immediately to discuss the extent of the injury and whether the dancer may continue in the cast. Safe recovery from the injury and the best interest of the production should be key concerns when this determination is made. Dismissals due to injury are at the discretion of the Artistic Director in charge of the injured dancer’s role.
As a cast member you should display a professional working attitude towards rehearsal, preparations for performances, and to all other dancers. Group energy must be maintained – a positive atmosphere promotes growth. Community Nutcracker is a family. Each individual within the cast should contribute to the group as a whole.
Rehearsal: Arrive at least 15 minutes early to sufficiently warm up and have the proper attire requested by the artistic director. Concentrate on the choreography and do not talk with other dancers during rehearsal. Be open to suggestions, criticism, and change. Your hair should be securely fastened away from the face. Dance attire should reflect a respect for the art form, and your mind should be in the mode of concentration and work. Approach your rehearsal as you would a job or school. Masks will be optional at rehearsals.
Preparation: Cast members are required to continue their regular ballet classes at their own studios throughout the week to continue to improve their ballet technique.
Other Dancers: Avoid personal conflict with other dancers, avoid cliques, and make every effort to get to know all cast members. Be concerned with your role, and let the choreographer worry about other dancers. Be concerned with your own abilities, and do not criticize others – help them! Above all, maintain the primary goal of working for the best possible performance by working up to your potential. Older dancers are encouraged to serve as mentors to younger dancers. We want all Community Nutcracker dancers to find satisfaction and joy in their work; however, this is not a “recreational experience”. Treat the rehearsal/performance process as professionally as possible and demonstrate respect towards the process, the other dancers, the artistic directors, and volunteer staff that provide for our production needs.
Social Media Policy: Community Nutcracker is aware of the dangers that social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat can have on the social and emotional well-being of children and teenagers when used inappropriately–from cyber-bullying to attaching their names/ faces to situations that could compromise their future. Individuals who put things on such social media sites are releasing that info to the public. It is not private despite having access to privacy settings. Once they are released to the internet, it can never be taken away.
Community Nutcracker is advising dancers that using social media sites to post comments, tweets, status updates and/or pictures of themselves and others in situations that reflect negatively on the Community Nutcracker as well as on themselves will call for disciplinary action that may result in dismissal.
Samples of social media abuse that will not be tolerated include, but are not limited to:
• posting pictures/video/text that contain language that is abusive, threatening, demeaning, and is targeted to another person(s). These will be considered as “cyber-bullying”.
• posting pictures/video/text of themselves or others that engage in, endorse, celebrate, or encourage illegal under-age drinking, smoking, tobacco use, illicit drugs, marijuana use, etc.
• posting pictures/video/text that are malicious, slanderous and purposefully target the studio, dance teachers, or fellow dancers in a negative way.
• Re-tweeting or Liking will be considered as posts.
Because our cast is made up of dancers from many studios, effective communication is key. Community Nutcracker relies upon e-mail because of its wide reach as well as its timeliness and cost effectiveness.
Dancers and parents/guardians must provide a valid email address which should be monitored for communications from Community Nutcracker. Dancers under the age of 18 must provide an email address for a parent or responsible adult for this purpose. Changes in email addresses should be communicated to Community Nutcracker as soon as possible. Email addresses will only be used for communications regarding the Community Nutcracker and will not be sold or distributed to any third party.
Social media is also used for updates, pictures, etc. and should be checked for information. A 2021 Community Nutcracker Facebook Group will be created for the 2021 Cast after auditions.
Community Nutcracker will also use SMS messaging or texting of important information for those who wish to sign up. You will be responsible for any fees charged by your cell phone carrier. Once you have signed up, if you wish to stop receiving SMS messages or texts, you may opt out at any time.
Be aware of your call times and adhere to them. Hair and stage make-up should be completed before arriving for your call time—there is not room enough for the cast to do hair and make-up backstage. Be sure you have all parts of your costume(s) upon your arrival. Visible body art and body piercings (unless required for your role) should be completely covered with make-up or flesh-colored bandages. Masks will not be worn while performing on stage and will be optional in the dressing rooms and backstage.
All technical rehearsals and performances occur at the Florida Theatre which is an historic landmark in Jacksonville. The Florida Theatre should be treated with respect and its rules and regulations followed because they are a part of the rules and regulations of the Community Nutcracker.
The Florida Theatre crew must have room to do their work. You should be aware of your surroundings in the wings and not block their access. Reasonable directives from The Florida Theatre crew should be obeyed immediately to avoid interference with the smooth running of any performance/rehearsal.
All performers are required to leave their area clean and dispose of any trash in the appropriate containers.
This past year has been difficult for everyone. We are grateful that we are able to resume normal Community Nutcracker activities for our 30th Anniversary year! Even though things are slowly returning to “normal, the safety and health of our dancers, artistic directors, and volunteers are our utmost priority. The Community Nutcracker will watch CDC Covid-19 guidelines and follow Duval County Public School recommendations:
• If a dancer is symptomatic (fever, cough, chills, body aches, loss of taste/smell, etc.), he/she should contact the director/contact person for their specific role and stay home. Do not come to rehearsal. If a dancer tests positive for Covid-19, he/she should immediately email email@example.com. The dancer should follow CDC Guidelines and not return to rehearsals until he/she has quarantined for the allotted time as determined by the CDC or a medical doctor.
• If a dancer has been directly exposed to someone who has tested positive for Covid-19 (being within 6 feet of someone with Covid-19 for more than 15 minutes), he/she should contact the director/contact person for their specific role and stay home. Do not come to rehearsal. The dancer should immediately email firstname.lastname@example.org. The dancer should follow the CDC Guidelines and quarantine for the allotted time. During performance week, if a dancer has been directly exposed to someone who has tested positive for Covid-19, he/she must take a rapid test for Covid and will be asked to email the results to email@example.com.
Costume Fees: A $50 non-refundable costume fee (plus $25 for each additional role) is due at the time of acceptance of your designated role(s).
Cast Party: All Cast Members are invited to a Cast Party at the Florida Theatre between shows on Saturday, Dec. 11th from 3-5pm. Food will be served. This party runs on donations. A suggested donation is $10 per cast member.
Volunteer Hours: Due to the enormous task of producing The Nutcracker Ballet, parents/guardians are expected to volunteer a minimum of three hours of their time. There will be ample opportunities to satisfy this requirement.