Forty American Ballet Theatre children cast in Costa Mesa’s annual production ‘The Nutcracker’

Segerstrom Center for the Arts - American Ballet Theatre: The Nutcracker - Children's Principal Casting - Photo by Francis Bertrand

Forty students from the American Ballet Theatre William J. Gillespie School at Segerstrom Center, plus eight additional talented young dancers from Orange County, will perform alongside the world renowned ABT company, in the classic holiday show “The Nutcracker” on Dec. 14-23.

The opportunity to perform in this production and others in the Center’s International Dance Series is one of the very special benefits of studying in the ABT Gillespie School. Classes follow the American Ballet Theatre National Training Curriculum, giving young students the finest professional training possible and unparalleled access to renowned dance companies and performing arts experiences.

There are two casts of Principal children’s dancers, including Lani Mefford and Isabella Martino as Clara, Kellan Hayag and Chase Rogers as Nutcracker Prince, Lodi Salvatore and Vinnie Winderman as Fritz, and Andrew Dove and Logan Cooper as Little Mouse.

ABT Principal casting, includes Hee Seo as Clara, the Princess and Cory Stearns as The Nutcracker Prince on opening night, December 14. Additional casts include Stella Abrera, Misty Copeland, Sarah Lane, Gillian Murphy, Christine Shevchenko, Aran Bell, Herman Cornejo, Thomas Forster, Blaine Hoven and James Whiteside.

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

Vinnie Winderman – Aliso Viejo, CA

Salvatore Lodi – Altadena, CA
Juliet Grbacz – Corona Del Mar, CA

Sophia Cowell – Costa Mesa, CA
Dane Guggenmos – Costa Mesa, CA

Natasha Groves – Huntington Beach, CA
Lani Mefford – Huntington Beach, CA

Abbie Richman – Huntington Beach, CA

Charissa Catanus – Irvine, CA

Henna Cook – Irvine, CA

Jasmine Gama – Irvine, CA

Kellan Hayag – Irvine, CA

Isabella Silva – Irvine, CA

Isabella Veravanich – Irvine, CA

Jingmei (Alice) Wu – Irvine, CA

Giselle Youssoufian – Irvine, CA

Sophie Haghighi – Landera Ranch, CA

Chase Rogers – Landera Ranch, CA

Lily Zinn – Landera Ranch, CA

Isabella Martino – Laguna Beach, CA

Melia Ramirez – Laguna Niguel, CA

Logan Cooper – Long Beach, CA

Aria Kamei-Oser – Los Angeles, CA

Megan Bartz – Newport Beach, CA

Matisse Braun – Newport Beach, CA

Ava Joseph – Newport Beach, CA

Owen McLarand – Newport Beach, CA

Alexandra Orradre – Newport Beach, CA

Ophelia Owens – Newport Beach, CA

Stella Stulik – Newport Beach, CA

Brooke Treska – Newport Beach, CA

Lucas Matzkin – Orange, CA

Makena Anglin – Rancho Mirage, CA

Tatiana Burns – Rossmoor, CA

Sophia Bullock – San Clemente, CA

Lydia Jones – San Clemente, CA

Jasmine van Zoest – San Diego, CA

Pearl van Zoest – San Diego, CA

Dominic Lindbeck – Santa Ana, CA

Jocelyn Nang – Santa Ana, CA

Koko Chang – Santa Ana, CA

Andrew Dove – Tustin, CA

Elizabeth Tamang – Tustin, CA

Sumitra Tamang – Tustin, CA

Emma Tassev – Tustin, CA

Laney Fletcher – Villa Park, CA
Rylie DeLaTorre – Whitter, CA

Kate Wedel – Yorba Linda, CA

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 award-winning designer Richard Hudson (Disney’s The Lion King) and lighting is by Jennifer Tipton.

The engagement of The Nutcracker continues an on-going relationship between Segerstrom Center and American Ballet Theatre. The Company has appeared at the Center since 1987. Important engagements include the world premiere of Mikhail Baryshnikov’s Swan Lake in 1988, the West Coast premiere of Kevin McKenzie’s new production of The Sleeping Beauty in 2007 and the world premiere of a new production of Firebird by Alexei Ratmansky in 2012.

In 1999, ABT’s production of Le Corsaire was taped in Segerstrom Hall for broadcast on PBS’ Dance In America, winning an Emmy Award. In 2003, The Dream was also taped at the Center for broadcast on Dance In America.

In 2008, the Center and ABT co-commissioned Twyla Tharp’s Rabbit and Rogue, receiving its world premiere in New York and West Coast premiere at the Center. Two more recent world premieres have also taken place including the 2015 presentation of ABT’s new production of The Sleeping Beauty as choreographed by Marius Petipa with staging and additional choreography by Ratmansky and 2017’s Whipped Cream, also by Ratmansky with design and costumes by pop-surrealist Mark Ryden.

Additionally, ABT’s opulent new production of Harlequinade, newly choreographed by Ratmansky, will receive its West Coast premiere at the Center January 17 – 20, 2019. The Center applauds special underwriting for The Nutcracker from George and Terry Schreyer.

The Center’s International Dance Series is made possible by the Audrey Steele Burnand Endowed Fund for International Dance and The Segerstrom Foundation Endowment for Great Performances. Segerstrom Center for the Arts thanks its corporate partners including Kia Motors America, Official Automotive Partner and United Airlines, Official Airline.

The Nutcracker - B
Sarah Lane and Herman Cornejo in The Nutcracker. Photo by: Doug Gifford.


Where: Segerstrom Center for the Arts – Segerstrom Hall, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, CA

Choreographed by Alexei Ratmansky; Music by Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky; Music performed live by Pacific Symphony

When: December 14 – 23, 2018; Wednesday – Friday at 7 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 7 p.m., Sunday at 12:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

Tickets – Start at $29

Online – ;

Phone – 714-556-2787 

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