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Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies: Nutcracker tradition returns to the Statesboro stage

This holiday season, Statesboro had the pleasure of welcoming a timeless favorite back to the Emma Kelly Theater stage—the enchanting Nutcracker Ballet! Check out all of the December events at the Averitt in this story.

This holiday season, Statesboro had the pleasure of welcoming back a timeless favorite—the enchanting Nutcracker Ballet. Presented by the Averitt Center for the Arts and the graceful dancers from the Cotton Rose School of Dance, this spectacular performance was made possible by the generous sponsorship of Morris Bank & Gabe T. Cliett.


The auditorium was alive with holiday cheer throughout the entire weekend, drawing in full-house audiences. Adding to the festive atmosphere, a delightful table near the ticketing booth showcased an array of nutcracker-themed gifts, ornaments, and handcrafted items, which made perfect memorabilia for the performance. 

Offering shows throughout the last decade, The Averitt Center’s Nutcracker has become a unique cornerstone of Statesboro’s holiday traditions, becoming a cherished event for returning patrons and newcomers alike.

According to one local family whose children were once performers in the show, despite growing up, attending The Nutcracker remains a cherished tradition, offering a special reunion for the family that’s filled with the enduring magic of the long beloved ballet.


img_7859Even with its established status as a hometown favorite, The Averitt Center staff shared that the Nutcracker continues to draw in first-time attendees each year. As a newcomer myself this year, I can attest to the transformative magic of the dancers' performances, like the epic battle with the Rat Queen and the mystique of the Arabian dancers—it was easy to get lost in the dream alongside Clara.

The dedication and hard work of the cast and crew was evident, creating a performance that left the crowd already looking forward to next year’s performance.

To explore the full cast list, visit You'll see just how many people it takes to pull off this amazing holiday tradition!

While performances of The Nutcracker are finished for the season, there are still plenty of opportunities to engage with the downtown art scene, including the following events hosted by the Averitt Center.

All Fired Up!

  • A 3-day event showcasing and selling unique, handcrafted gifts from local artists and GSU art students.
  • The majority of each sale directly supports the artists, while a portion contributes to sustaining the Averitt Center's studios, classes, and art center.
  • Join them at the Roxie Remley Center for Fine Arts from Thursday, November 30th to December 2nd.

Celebrating the Legacy of MLK, Jr. through the Spoken Word

  • An annual series recognizing the importance of original writing, bringing together young emerging writers and poets with established spoken word artists.
  • The event allows young writers and rappers to perform their works and experience accomplished wordsmiths after intermission.
  • Auditions on December 2nd & December 9th from 10 AM until 1 PM at 33 E. Main Street, Averitt Center for the Arts Second Floor Classroom.
  • The essay prompt is: Has Dr. King’s dream of freedom, justice, and community been realized? Why or why not? An alternative option is to develop your own theme in relation to Dr. King and his principles. Explain what it means to you. More information can be found at

Messiah: Statesboro Chamber Orchestra Performance

  • On December 8th, the proficient chamber orchestra and choir of Statesboro will perform parts from George Frideric Handel's Messiah at the Emma Kelly Theater.
  • Conductors Jonathan Aceto & Jackson Borges will lead the performance, which is open to the public.
  • To reserve your free seat, call 912-212-2787 or at the following ticket link.

Averitt Center for the Arts Holiday Event Calendar


Looking for more local events this holiday season? Check out the Grice Connect Events Calendar! (And add your own events for FREE!)

Grice Connect's Arts & Culture column is growing, and we're interested in hearing from you. If you know of a local creative with a compelling story to share, please contact journalist Julianna A. Leverette at [email protected].