Annual Nutcracker Auditions Wrap

Sarah Naughten, Staff Writer

California Academy of Performing Arts (CAPA) wrapped up 2 rounds of auditions for their annual performance of the Nutcracker on September 9.

On September 4, 16 members of the senior ensemble auditioned for the 9 “Queen Roles” available. These roles include Sugar Plum Fairy, Rose Queen, and Snow Queen. In the 2nd round of the auditions process, 74 additional dancers earned their roles in the production.

Although everyone who auditioned was accepted into the production, not all were placed in the role of their choice. According to junior Annie Leach, tryouts are “pretty competitive, but we are all super supportive of each other. I’d say it’s more of a community and you know you’re not alone if you don’t get the role you wanted.” 

In prior years, Leach has played the Rose Queen, Dream Fairy, Clara, and Doll. This year, she said she got the role she wanted, Rose Queen.

While preparing for the Nutcracker production, dancers face an intense rehearsal schedule that includes 15 to 20 hours of practice a week. Sophomore Riley Yuen has grown accustomed to this schedule. “Every day, except for Fridays, I have about 3 hours of dance. It’s usually later in the day so I usually try to get all of my homework done before,” she said.

As dancers get older, they are expected to take on more of a leadership role within the production. Senior dance captain Paige Danforth said, “I’m organizing casting before shows, I’m rounding up people we need for the shows that aren’t a part of CAPA, like the senior guys who do the party dad role.”

In addition to all the work Danforth is required to do as dance captain, she is expected to be a role model for the young dancers. “It’s really encouraging. Actually, it makes me work harder every day knowing I have such a big impact and influence on them,” said Danforth.