Cast Handbook: Participants in Lincoln Midwest Ballet Company
Many hard-working people, including you, are responsible for the LMBC productions. Responsibilities for specific jobs are divided among four groups:
(1) The LMBC Board officially produces ballets, owns the costumes, and signs the contracts. The Board also sponsors the annual summer dance camp and various fundraising events. Its members are all volunteers who work year-round to raise money and manage the Company’s affairs.
(2) The Artistic Director is hired by the Board to professionally manage specific responsibilities, such as selection of the artistic staff, which includes the rehearsal assistants, costume director, stage manager, lighting designer, hand-prop coordinator, guest artists, and the scenic director for all shows. The Artistic Director develops and supervises the Company’s programs that implement the above Mission Statement.
(3) The Lincoln Midwest Ballet Guild is a volunteer group that organizes workers, raises funds, and develops support services for dance in general and LMBC in particular. Guild committees often work with the Board to implement activities like the artists-in-residence outreach program called Backstage at the Ballet.
(4) The fourth group is the reason why all the others exist; these are the performers. The cast for the Nutcracker is usually over 200 persons. Every performer in the production of the Nutcracker is known as a cast member. Approximately 25 out of the 200 cast members will be specifically designated as a company dancer or apprentice dancer by the casting judges.
Based on their technical ability in classical ballet, company dancers will be selected by the judges at the LMBC auditions and will be noted as such on the casting notification letter. All such dancers must be at least 14 years of age on the audition date. Company dancers will receive the following benefits:
(1) Guaranteed role in the Nutcracker.
(2) Picture and biography printed in the Nutcracker program.
(3) Picture displayed in the lobby of the Lied Center during Nutcracker performances, if possible.
(4) Opportunity to perform in additional events during the 2022-23 performing season.
Based on their potential and ability in classical ballet, apprentice dancers will be selected by the judges at the LMBC auditions and will be noted as such on the casting notification letter. All apprentice dancers must be at least 12 years of age on the audition date. Apprentice dancers may remain in that position for several years and are not guaranteed automatic placement as a company member in future years. Apprentice dancers will receive the following benefits:
(1) Guaranteed role in the Nutcracker.
(2) Group photo printed in the Nutcracker program.
(3) Possible other opportunities to perform in additional events during the 2022-2023 performing season.
Designation of status as Company or Apprentice is not automatic by part, but is assigned at the discretion of the audition judges and Artistic Director. Dancer’s status as Company or Apprentice will be determined by the Artistic Director, if roles change after casting.
Roles & Understudy Roles:
The casting judges give dancers the opportunity to perform specific roles. Choreography and scope of parts is subject to change. All dancers must diligently and positively work to meet the demands of their roles’ choreography. For the quality of our productions, when a dancer has not attended enough rehearsals to perform her/his part well, the Artistic Director will use a prepared understudy for performance(s) until the original dancer has attended enough rehearsals to perform well.
Understudy roles are very important and are given for any of several reasons:
(1) The dancer has potential, and the judges would like to see him/her expand that potential.
(2) The role is given as a challenge to the dancer in an area that needs strengthening.
(3) The dancer needs to polish skills that will help him/her in the future.
(4) An understudy may simply be needed due to the demands of a role.
As an understudy, these things are certain:
(1) You will not dance the role in performance unless an unforeseen event happens, or a dancer loses a role.
(2) You are not automatically moved into the role if vacated by the original dancer. For example, you may be needed in your regular part.
(3) In the case where a role is vacated, the Artistic Director decides who moves into the role:
(4) You DO need to be at every practice.
(5) At the first rehearsal, go to the person in charge, identify yourself as an understudy, and ask what your responsibility will be.
(6) You DO NOT need to come to the rehearsal costume fittings for your understudy role.
(7) If there is a schedule conflict between your main role and your understudy role, you are to go to the rehearsal for your main role.
View each understudy role as an opportunity to learn.