What productions does Springfield Ballet perform each season?
Each season Springfield Ballet performs two full-length ballets. Each December, Springfield Ballet presents the region’s original production of The Nutcracker, and each spring, a full-length story ballet is presented. Past spring production repertoire includes Snow White, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, The Sleeping Beauty, Peter and the Wolf, Mother Goose and more.
Where are performances held?
Springfield Ballet’s season performances are held at the historic Landers Theatre located at 311 E. Walnut Street in downtown Springfield.
Who is eligible to audition and participate?
Springfield Ballet holds open auditions for each of the productions. Participants must be enrolled in dance classes, not necessarily at Springfield Ballet. For The Nutcracker, any dancer five years old through adult is eligible to audition. Five-year-olds must be five by August 1 of the year they are auditioning. For the spring production, any dancer age four years old through adult is eligible to audition. Four-year-olds must be four by January 1 of the year they are auditioning. Students are expected to maintain an appropriate training schedule for their level and to continue attending their regular dance classes as scheduled during the rehearsal period.
What is the cost to participate in the production?
The audition is free of charge. If cast, all cast members must pay a non-refundable production fee of $95.00 for Springfield Ballet students enrolled in the current semester or $145.00 for non-students. Since Springfield Ballet is a not-for-profit organization, the production fee helps to cover the cost of use of the costumes, rehearsal time, and a production poster. Other costs associated with the production that families are responsible for on their own are purchasing tickets to the performances, as well as required personal costume items.
How do I know if my child is ready for this experience?
Ask your child’s dance instructor if you are unsure. Dance instructors see sides of a child in the studio that may not be apparent in their home or academic settings. You should plan on not being able to be with your child at all times (during rehearsals and backstage during performance), and students are expected to perform on stage without instructor presence or assistance. If you or your child is not ready for this, then please consider waiting to participate at a later time. Please make sure you can meet all of the rehearsal commitments before signing on.
How does the audition process work?
- All auditions are held at The Creamery Arts Center, 411 N Sherman Pkwy, Springfield, MO 65802.
- The dancer will get measured, fill out and turn in the Audition and Consent Form. It is mandatory that a parent attend one of the information meetings with their dancer(s) if the dancer is below 18 years of age.
- Then, students will be put into small groups and asked to perform various steps and combinations as directed by the artistic staff. Consideration will be given to technical and artistic skills, as well as height and size. Feedback may not be given at the audition itself.
- A casting sheet will be distributed approximately one week after the audition. We will post the cast list on the website in the Performer Portal as well as on the bulletin board at The Creamery, and we will email it. Please do not call the office for casting information.
- Rehearsals begin. A dancer’s attitude and participation in rehearsals will be taken into account for casting in a specific role.
What is appropriate attire for the audition and what is the attire for rehearsals?
Ladies—Black or pale pink leotard, pink tights, pink ballet slippers, hair slicked back to a bun, pointe shoes (if applicable)
Gentlemen—White t-shirt, black tights or pants, black ballet shoes with white socks
Once rehearsals begin, all performers should follow the Springfield Ballet ballet dress code for rehearsals.
What if my child doesn’t get a part or doesn’t get the part she or he wanted?
Please talk with your child about this possibility in advance and emphasize that as long as something is learned from the experience, it is worthwhile. Children (and their parents!) must be prepared to accept the role and cast as assigned by the director/choreographer without question. Springfield Ballet strictly enforces a policy that if a dancer does not accept a role in which he/she is cast, the dancer is not permitted to audition for another Springfield Ballet production for a full year. Extraordinary circumstances are considered on a case-by-case basis.
What can dancers expect to get out of the production experience?
- Learn how to work among several levels of dancers
- Handle their emotions constructively
- Increase their self-sufficiency
- Watch the development of choreography
- Learn and practice dance etiquette in rehearsals, backstage, and on-stage
- Observe many aspects of staging a theater production
Do I have to buy, rent, or clean costumes?
No, but a damage or replacement fee will be charged for any costumes returned in poor condition or not returned at all. Costumes are property of the Springfield Ballet. Dancers will need to provide their own tights, footwear, leotards, hair accessories, jewelry and makeup. A detailed list of all costume requirements is distributed to all performers, and a detailed list of the hair and makeup supplies will be distributed at the Hair and Stage Makeup Application workshop held for each production.
What are the rehearsal commitments?
Performing artists must be at every rehearsal, on time, for the complete duration of the rehearsal.
- Weekly rehearsals typically begin 2–4 weeks following the audition. Please see Detailed Schedule for each production.
- Rehearsals are typically held Thursday evenings, Friday evenings, and Saturday afternoons. Each role typically rehearses for 30–90 minutes each week. Dancers may be cast in more than one role.
- All rehearsals will be posted on the board and in the Performer Portal on the website no later than the Saturday of the week prior to the next rehearsal week. Please be patient and open to rehearsal times.
- Other times all cast members will need to be at the studio or theater include: costume fittings, makeup workshop, stage makeup and performance case supply inventory check, studio run-through, technical and blocking rehearsals, dress rehearsals, and all cast performances. Performers ages 10 and up must participate in strike following the final performance.
- Weekly rehearsals are held at The Creamery Arts Center and blocking, technical, dress rehearsals, and performances are held at Landers Theatre.
What are blocking, technical, and dress rehearsals?
Blocking rehearsals (usually combined with technical rehearsals) involve placing dancers on stage so that they understand where to go and what to do during the performances. Technical rehearsals are done on the performance stage so that the technical crew can set up and design lighting, scenery, props, and sound for the actual performances. Even though the dancers have been rehearsing for weeks, it looks and feels different on the real stage. Blocking and technical rehearsals are generally long and tedious because the dancers don’t do a lot of “dancing” during them, but they are absolutely essential to successful performances. Dress rehearsals include costumes and makeup, and usually run through the entire performance. All blocking, technical, and dress rehearsals are mandatory for all performers.
Can parents sit in on rehearsals, especially for their young children?
No. Parents are not allowed in any rehearsals at any time. If a child isn’t ready for the rehearsal process, she or he is not ready for the challenges of performance.
If my child misses a rehearsal due to illness, will she or he be dismissed from the production?
No, as long as Springfield Ballet is informed before the rehearsal begins. If Springfield Ballet is not informed before rehearsal begins, dismissal may result. Short-term illness (1–3 days) may be excused. It is the responsibility of the dancer to remain healthy. Long-term illness or injury may result in dismissal.
What if our family has an important, pre-planned obligation that would necessitate missing rehearsal(s)?
Make the artistic staff aware of the conflict at the Informational Meeting and on the Audition and Consent Form, but as a rule, the only excused absences that will be granted will be for a school-required/grade-affected event, one’s own religious ceremony, short-term injury or illness, or extraordinary circumstances determined on a case-by-case basis. If you cannot make the entire time commitment (and this includes every part of every rehearsal), please do not plan on participating. The staff makes the same commitment to offer your child this opportunity.
What volunteer opportunities are available for the production?
The Springfield Ballet Guild organizes all production and backstage volunteers. Volunteer positions available include but are not limited to the following: volunteer coordinator, costume assistant, backstage helper, dancer check-in/out, help with cast party, flower shop, boutique helper. If a volunteer has a skill or talent that could be put to good use for the production, please let us know by completing our volunteer questionnaire, here or by contacting the Guild directly.