If the heart of GCB is our dancers, then it could be said the soul of GCB is our committees. Without parent volunteers chairing and serving, we would not be able to afford this production — nor would we enjoy all of the extra programs and services that make the entire Nutcracker experience so special.

Each family is required to Sign Up for at least (3) shifts, and we encourage everyone to try out each committee at least once!

This is a job for people who can work under the excitement and pressure of live theater. Expect to do quick and sometimes stressful costume changes for dancers, set costumes backstage, run up and down the stairs to get dancers, assist and monitor dancers off and on stage, manage props coming on and off stage, set bow lines, and assist the stage managers as needed. Dress in black clothing, comfortable shoes, and bring a head-lamp. For safety and liability reasons, backstage volunteers must be female and at least 18 years old, and be either (1) a former GCB dancer, or (2) a relative of a current or former GCB dancer, or (3) a board or staff member. Priority sign up will be given to current families.
Cast Party
We come together to celebrate a season of hard work! GCB springs for pizza, while parents supply other treats and snacks. Dancers dress up in finery and high heels, or they come in comfortable sweats — anything goes. All dancers and family members are welcome! Volunteers will set up tables, organize deliveries of food, maintain and tidy food tables, bus trash, clean up, collect lost and found items, sweep floors, and boogie down. Must be up for loud pop music and screaming teens.
Community Partners
Volunteers contact businesses and apply to various programs that kick back a percentage of sales to GCB. Very low key fundraising work! These social events allow families to get together and have fun throughout the year — and often give parents an excuse not to cook. See Community Partners for more information.
Beverages and snacks are sold prior to the show and through intermission. No food or drink (other than water) is allowed in the theater.
Volunteers help with costume fittings (moms only please) and transporting costumes (dads and children welcome!). Must be able to carry items up and down stairs. While there are a few things that might be considered heavy, there are many, many light weight tubs and small items to schlep — many hands make light work!
Donor Fundraising
Volunteers help identify potential, solicit new, or contact repeat donors, deliver donor packets, and distribute thank you cards. This work is crucial to the success and future of Garden City Ballet. Plus, fundraising is fun!
Dressing Rooms
This is literally where the action is… volunteers are part of the excitement downstairs, and work with the entire cast! Volunteers (but please note that we do exclude men from this committee) help dancers change in and out of costume. Volunteers also monitor children in costumes (no running, eating, horse play, sitting on the dirty floor), remind kids to use the bathroom, keep noise levels down in the hallways and studios, and line up dancers and have them ready for the stage. Volunteers stagger home after all costumes are hung up neatly (with all headpieces accounted for) and dressing rooms are tidy. It’s good exercise and fun to parent 100 children at the same time!
Do you enjoy working with flowers? Volunteers transport bouquets to the theater and prepare them for delivery to the dancers downstairs — these duties don’t involve interacting with the public or working with children. For those who do enjoy working with the public, committee members also are needed to sell bouquets in the theater lobby during Nutcracker weekend. Celebrating dancers by gifting flowers is a timeless tradition that brings true joy!
Do you like to browse the internet and shop on Etsy? Selecting and ordering inventory is part of this gig. During Nutcracker weekend, volunteers set up and staff GCB’s merchandise table in the lobby. Customer service with a smile! Sell and track sales of inventory. Reconcile income after each show, and transfer money to the GCB Treasurer. Between shows, all merchandise needs to be locked up and secured.
Optional Performance Tuition Fee Fundraiser for Families
Every year, GCB organizes an optional fundraiser for families who need help paying the performance tuition fee. Volunteers identify willing businesses to partner with GCB, select products for families to sell (i.e. coffee and granola), finalize pricing details, organize and distribute orders, collect and transfer payment to GCB. The majority of the work is done in August and September, rather than adding more to your plate during performance weekend. If you have ideas for new products, let us know!
Sets & Props
Volunteers primarily move heavy scenery in all sorts of weather. Meet at Copperstone Storage (8700 Roller Coaster Rd) to load sets and props into moving trucks (using personal vehicles for some of the smaller items, if needed) and then caravan to the UM campus to unload everything into the Montana Theater. Volunteers assist with the set up, requiring the use of a drill or wrench and basic carpentry skills. This is a neat opportunity to see the theater before it transforms into our Nutcracker world — a true peek behind the scenes. Plus, donuts are involved.
School Show
Our annual matinee performance for 500 school children is GCB’s hallmark gift to the community. Volunteers work with schools and teachers to determine attendees and assign seating. Lots of communication (over email and phone) is required to get a final head count for this show. Our website has information for teachers to prepare in advance, but expect to field questions. Volunteers also help with bus parking issues, work with ushers on the day of the show, and manage the collection and distribution of thank you cards to donors. Sharing The Nutcracker with children who might not otherwise have the opportunity is our great pleasure.
Volunteers who work on this committee are ambassadors of GCB — excellent customer service is so important. It can be very stressful to enforce rules (i.e. no pets, food, photography, talking or recording on cell phones) and every year there is at least one incident where volunteers take serious heat. But, this is also a coveted volunteer opportunity — because ushers get to watch the show! Basic duties include: scanning tickets, handing out programs, directing guests to assigned seats or restrooms, helping those that need a more accessible route, monitoring doors during the show, cleaning up trash, and recycling programs.

Due to the popularity of this committee, each family is limited to (2) two usher volunteer spots for the entire production. If you sign up to usher, you are required to sign up for at least one spot on a different committee. All ushers must be at least 21 years old. Volunteers should be prepared and able to walk up and down multiple flights of stairs, often under poorly lit conditions. Dress code is white shirts or sweaters, and black pants or skirts — please take it up a notch from sneakers, jeans, yoga pants, etc. Usher badges are provided so you are easily identifiable. Please do not bring anyone (especially children) with you to usher. (Lecture over.)