The New Albany Children's Ballet Theatre's annual production of "The Nutcracker" premieres Friday, Dec. 9, at the Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts in New Albany.

The New Albany Children’s Ballet Theatre’s annual production of “The Nutcracker” premieres Friday, Dec. 9, at the Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts in New Albany.

Artistic director Tara Miller said all students who have been training at the ballet theater since last June are eligible to be part of the production.

Auditions for parts will be held for dancers ages 8 and older. The younger dancers are cast according to their heights and abilities. The production also will have two casts.

“There are a total of 225 this year in the production,” Miller said. “We find a part for everybody.”

Four performances of “The Nutcracker” are scheduled at the McCoy center. They are at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9; at 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10; and at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11. Tickets are $15, $20 or $25, and may be purchased at

Terise Ryan, who serves on the ballet theater’s board, said one free performance is reserved for New Albany-Plain Local students.

“All 768 seats (in the McCoy center) are full of New Albany students that day,” Ryan said.

The cast includes two New Albany residents playing the starring role of Clara: sixth-grader Leigh Goldberger and fifth-grader Sarah Ralston.

Christina Coppel of Gahanna and Gabrielle Gulan of Reynoldsburg will play the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy. Other cast members are from all over central Ohio.

“The majority definitely is from New Albany but we pull from every central Ohio community,” Miller said.

Miller, who also owns the New Albany Ballet Company, said the ballet theater will perform “The Nutcracker” for the fourth year.

“Every year we make changes and tweak things,” she said. “We try to make every year different than the past.”

The New Albany Children’s Ballet Theatre is a nonprofit organization funded in part by the Ohio Arts Council.