Madison Ballet cast members have memories to last a lifetime and come away with a greater appreciation and interest in the art of dance. Auditions are open to community dancers from all schools at all skill levels. 



Already a member of our 2018 Nutcracker Cast?

Visit our information page for schedules, forms, and other cast-related information.


Benefits on stage and off


Dancers may be focused on technique and performance skills, but along the way our cast members learn valuable lessons that will prove useful long after the curtain falls.

These include:

  • Work ethic, self-discipline, self-motivation

  • Memory skills – both mental and muscle

  • Fitness and well-being – both physical and mental

  • Teamwork, communication, people skills

  • Understanding and applying high standards of excellence

  • A sense of community and camaraderie



2019 Nutcracker Auditions

Date: TBD September 2019
Location: Westgate Studios, 160 Westgate Mall, Madison, WI 53711
Audition Fee: $10 per person.




There is a mandatory orientation on Sunday, September 23, 2018, at 12:00 pm at the Westgate Studios.

All rehearsals and costume fittings are mandatory.

Rehearsals begin Saturday, September 29, 2018. Rehearsals are held Saturday afternoons from September 29th through November 3rd. There will be Saturday/Sunday rehearsals on November  10/11, November 17/18 and December 1/2. There are no rehearsals October 27/28 or November 24/25. There are evening rehearsals at the Overture Center during production week, December 4-6.

Performance Fees:
$350 for first cast member
$300 for first SMB* cast member

(*dancers who are currently enrolled in SMB classes)

$100 per additional cast members
(immediate family members only)
$100 per college student with valid student ID

Financial Aid is available by request.

The Nutcracker schedule includes performances from December 7-26, 2018.  All performances take place in Overture Hall of Overture Center for the Arts.




Sunday, September 9, 2018
Madison Ballet Doors Open 9:30 a.m.

*Please arrive 30 minutes prior to your scheduled audition time for registration. Doors will close promptly at scheduled start time.

10:15 a.m. - 11 a.m.
Role: Tiny Party Girls/Boys, Bugle Boy, Baby Mice, & Garden Attendants

Height: 42” - 50” tall
Approx. Age: 5 - 6 years old

11:15 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Role: Pucinellas

Height: 47” - 55” tall
Approx. Age: 7 - 9 years old

12:30 - 1:15 p.m.
Role: Party Scene Parents & Maid

All adults are welcome to audition; no previous experience is necessary.

1:30 - 3 p.m.
Role: Party Scene Girls, Boys & Soldiers

Height: 56” - 60” tall
Approx. Age: 10 - 14 years old

3:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Snow & Divertissement

Advanced pointe and advanced non-pointe dancers.*

*Note: this time slot is also the audition for professional dancers interested in contracts for the 2018 Nutcracker pick-up company. Please click here for the requirements of that audition.





Cast members are required to attend all scheduled rehearsals, performances, and required activities including costume fitting sessions. Cultural and religious observances, injury or illnesses are the only exceptions to this policy. Absences should be reported in advance by calling 608-278-7990 or sending an email to

In case of a last-minute absence, you may call the School of Madison Ballet office at 608-278-7990 ext. 675. Unexcused absences are grounds for immediate dismissal from the cast. Performance fees will not be refunded to persons dismissed from the cast for attendance reasons.


Female Dancers

Leotard, tights, and proper ballet shoes. Hair should be pulled back neatly into a bun or French twist (*Leg warmers, sweats, or rubber pants may only be worn for the beginning of rehearsal. Leg warmers may be worn in cases of injury with the approval from the Artistic Director, Ballet Master or Rehearsal Assistant.)

Male Dancers

Solid T-shirt, tights and proper ballet shoes (*Leg warmers, sweats, or rubber pants may only be worn for the beginning of rehearsal. Leg warmers may be worn in cases of injury with the approval from the Artistic Director, Ballet Master or Rehearsal Assistant.)


Clean rubber-soled shoes are required for floor protection. Suggested (but not mandatory) attire includes sweatpants, other comfortable workout attire.


Madison Ballet is committed to the health and wellness of all cast members. Cast members should report any injuries to the Artistic Director and seek medical attention immediately.


Etiquette standards for rehearsals and backstage are modeled after the standards of professional ballet companies. Dancers are expected to conduct themselves appropriately. For rehearsals and performances, all cast members should be fully warmed up to prevent injuries. Cast members are encouraged to arrive 15 minutes prior to rehearsal to warm up.

Cast members are expected to extend the Artistic Director, Ballet Master, Production Crew, Company and other cast members courtesy and respect. Misconduct may result in immediate dismissal from the cast by the Artistic Director. Performance fees will not be refunded to persons dismissed from the cast for conduct reasons.


Casting is completed to provide audiences with a well-balanced level of technique, skill, and visual appeal. Costuming plays a primary role in evaluating requests for performance changes. There are approximately 190 parts with a cast of approximately 200, resulting in approximately 1,500 casting positions. Under no circumstances will a role change be allowed except due to illness or injury. Cast members in the same family may request to be cast in at least one show together. Requests cannot always be accommodated due to scheduling. Cast members may NOT switch performances.