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'Nutcracker' returns to Averitt Center
Shay Morgan, center, will direct “The Nutcracker” this weekend at Statesboro’s Averitt Center.

The most anticipated performance of the season returns to the Emma Kelly Theater for four nights, kicking off the holiday season in Statesboro. Performed by the Statesboro Youth Ballet and directed by Shay Morgan, The Nutcracker Ballet opens tonight at 7 p.m.

In its fourth year, this performance features new scenes, costumes and choreography.  The entire performance is cast by over 100 local youth and adult performers with the exception of two principal dancers. Based on the book, “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King,” written by E.T.A. Hoffman, the annual ballet continues to grow into a holiday tradition that is beloved by community members.  

“The casts have all been working very hard since August,” said Morgan.  “Because this year has included the most youth than ever, we have two casts of dancers. Everyone is also really excited, looking good and everything is coming together.”   

Morgan also said that she is excited about the Ballet’s Rudolph performance. “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer,” part of the school matinee series, opens Friday at 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. This performance is already sold out.  

Morgan was asked to direct the Statesboro Youth Ballet in 2004 and has been choreographing the Nutcracker performance at the Emma Kelly ever since. She has also directed the Youth Ballet in  “Les Sylphides” and “Four Seasons” as a part of the Statesboro’s Finest Performing Youth Concert.

“I think the children will really enjoy the show,” Morgan added. “The Nutcracker is holiday tradition not to be missed.”
A program of the Averitt Center for the Arts, the Statesboro Youth Ballet is designed to promote the art of dance in Statesboro and its surrounding areas.  The program is audition based and allows young aspiring dancers the opportunity to take part in dance productions, master classes and events in a variety of dance genre.

“The Nutcracker” will be shown Nov. 16-18. The performance will begin at 7 p.m. on Nov 15-16 and at 2 p.m. on Nov 17 and 18. Tickets are on sale, but are selling fast.  The tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for youth 12 and under. Ogeechee Technical College staff and students receive 15 percent discount with ID.

For more information, contact the Averitt Center for the Arts at (912) 212-ARTS.