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Segerstrom Center for the Arts announces the 2021 children’s casting for ABT Nutcracker

Segerstrom Center for the Arts announces the casting of students from the William J. Gillespie School to perform alongside the world-renowned American Ballet Theatre dancers in the return to their annual holiday engagement. The Nutcracker will feature 48 young dancers performing December 10 through 19 in Segerstrom Hall. This year marks the 6th time the Center has provided these aspiring professionals an unparalleled performing experience in Southern California’s grandest production of the holiday classic. After a year of uncertainty, Principal Teacher and Coordinator of the Children’s Division, Sarah Jones shared, “After a year of virtual training, the ABT Gillespie students are ready to shine in ABT’s performances of The Nutcracker. From virtual training, to pods of socially distanced classes, to returning full time in the studios, the students have pivoted time and time again to ensure their training and health are both a top priority. This year’s production of The Nutcracker will be even more spectacular because of the enthusiasm these young dancers bring to the performance. The students will truly be ecstatic to be on stage, no acting required.” Director and Principal of ABT Gillespie School, Alaine Haubert, echoes Sarah Jones’ testimony to the hard work the children have demonstrated throughout this time with joy and excitement for a return to live performances: “The students, faculty and staff of the ABT Gillespie School are thrilled that the Company will be returning to perform The Nutcracker in December! It is such an incredible opportunity for our students to be onstage with some of the world’s most beautiful ballet artists.”

Principal children include Trinity Mijares and Brooke Treska as young Clara, Sawyer Sublette and Declan Wilding Cran as Nutcracker Prince, Carson Triplett and MacCallum Simanski as Fritz, and Katrina Carney and Indiana Foley as Little Mouse.

ABT Principal casting includes Hee Seo as Clara, the Princess and Cory Stearns as The Nutcracker Prince on opening night, December 10. Additional casts include Skylar Brandt, Devon Teuscher, Isabella Boylston, Christine Shevchenko, Catherine Hurlin, Thomas Forster, Herman Cornejo, Joo Won Ahn, James Whiteside and Aran Bell.

Complete Children’s Casting for The Nutcracker at Segerstrom Center for the Arts

Artists and program are subject to change.

Matisse Braun – Newport Beach
Sienna Burnette – Huntington Beach
Katrina Carney – Buena Park
Charissa Catanus – Irvine
Koko Chang – Newport Beach
Emma Clendenen – Santa Ana
Atticus Cunningham – Irvine
KaiLi Dang – Buena Park
Autumn Dym – Newport Coast
Jordan Espero – Newport Beach
Emma Evans – Newport Coast
Indiana Foley – Cypress
Rosey Francis – Corona
Quynh-Anh Genovese – La Jolla
Kayla Hardesty – Irvine
Maya Hatziris – Newport Beach
Cypress Hess – Huntington Beach
Ellington Hess – Huntington Beach
Kotoko Higuchi – Irvine
Emma Jafa – Irvine
Nina Kabutey – Irvine
Sakura Kimura – Irvine
Kotaro Kimura – Irvine
Savannah Koch – Irvine
Madeline Lee – Irvine
Haven Lee – Eastvalle
Jack Loo – Redondo Beach
Olive Masud – Anaheim
Anna Mendolo – Pasadena
Trinity Mijares – Daly City
Kiana Mitra – Irvine
Imogen Parks – Irvine
Harper Pelton – Newport Beach
Charlotte Powers – Cerritos
Kiyoko Salazar – Orange
Sophia Silva – Garden Grove
MacCallum Simanski – Irvine
Samara Singh – La Palma
Ashley Sisneros – Cypress
Sawyer Sublette – Mission Viejo
Emma Tassev- Tustin
Dahlia Tortoc – Orange
Brooke Treska – Newport Beach
Carson Triplett – Trabuco Canyon
Sage Walker – San Clemente
Sarah Wegner – Newport Beach
Emma Weisenberger – Garden Grove
Declan Wilding Cran – Los Angeles
Gisella Zembruski – Laguna Beach

Single tickets for American Ballet Theatre’s The Nutcracker start at $30 and are now available online at SCFTA.org, at the Box Office at 600 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa or by calling (714) 556-2787. For inquiries about group ticket discounts for 10 or more, call the Group Services office at (714) 755-0236.

The Nutcracker is a beloved holiday story based on The Nutcracker and the King of Mice written by E.T.A. Hoffmann and set to a magical score by Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky that will be performed live by Pacific Symphony. The Los Angeles Times declared Ratmansky’s production “an unreserved classic” and “ravishing and clever enough to inspire multiple viewings.” Scenery and costumes are by awardwinning designer Richard Hudson (Disney’s The Lion King) and lighting is by Jennifer Tipton.

This engagement of The Nutcracker begins a new three-year partnership of the co-presented annual production of Alexei Ratmansky’s The Nutcracker and continues with World and West Coast Premieres and engagements each spring through 2024 combining the resources of America’s National Ballet Company® and one of the nation’s leading presenters of dance. Most recently, the Center presented Uniting in Movement, in April of 2021, a unique dance project bringing 18 ABT dancers together for safe collaboration and an exhilarating performance of new works by Jessica Lang, Lauren Lovette, and Darrell Grand Moultrie. The three-year partnership between American Ballet Theatre and Segerstrom Center for the Arts will include three Premiere works. Beginning March 2022, ABT and the Center will present a mixed repertory program to include a World Premiere by Alonzo King and West Coast Premieres of Ratmansky’s Bernstein in a Bubble and Lang’s ZigZag, featuring songs recorded by Tony Bennett.

In March 2023, American Ballet Theatre will give the North American Premiere of Like Water for Chocolate at the Center. From the award-winning team of choreographer Christopher Wheeldon and composer Joby Talbot, with costumes by Bob Crowley, this co-production with the Royal Ballet is inspired by Laura Esquivel’s bestselling novel of the same name.

Segerstrom Center for the Arts applauds its corporate partners including Kaiser Permanente, Official Healthcare Partner and United Airlines, Official Airline, Tiffany & Co. and Dr. Walter and Mrs. Svetlana Parsadayan.

Audience Advisory: Our updated COVID-19 policy requires ticket holders to provide proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 to attend all indoor performances and events at Segerstrom Center for the Arts. “Fully vaccinated” means your performance is at least 14 days after your final vaccine dose. To enter the theatre, please bring proof of vaccination, either your physical vaccination card, a picture of your vaccination card, or a digital vaccination record. Most California residents may request a digital vaccination record at myvaccinerecord.cdph.ca.gov Those who are under age 12 and anyone without proof of being fully vaccinated must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours (3 days) prior to entering the theatre. Masks are required at all times for all patrons and visitors regardless of vaccination status in all indoor spaces at Segerstrom Center. Performance ticket holders who do not comply with these policies will not be admitted.

The American Ballet Theatre William J. Gillespie School at Segerstrom Center for the Arts is an expansion of the longtime relationship between the Center and American Ballet Theatre. The school, which opened in September 2015, combines the resources of American Ballet Theatre, America’s National Ballet Company®, and Segerstrom Center, one of the world’s leading presenters of dance. It offers unrivaled opportunities for training and nurturing future generations of dancers and dance audiences as well as furthering the development and evolution of dance. The school carries the name of Orange County philanthropist William J. Gillespie, who has been a board member of ABT since 1999 and an enthusiastic and generous donor to the Center for much of the institution’s history.

This article was released by Segerstrom Center for the Arts.