The Dance Annex

Ruth Whitney (The Sugar Plum Fairy, 11/25-11/27) is a Boston based dancer who received her early training and performance experience with the Boston Ballet, studying under Tatiana Nikolaevna Legat and Laura Young. She has performed regionally and internationally with companies including Boston Ballet, Teatrul De Balet Sibiu, and as a principal dancer with Festival Ballet Providence. Her classical repertoire includes Odette/Odile, Aurora, Juliet, Sugarplum Fairy, Marguerite, Firebird and Titania as well as Balanchine’s neo-classical Agon and Apollo. Ms. Whitney has been fortunate to work with many wonderful choreographers and mentors including Gianni Di Marco, Viktor Plotnikov, Pavel Rotaru, Donna Silva, Anne Tolbert and Marcus Schulkind. In addition to her ballet career, Ms. Whitney holds a BA in English and Dance from UMass Boston. She practiced yoga and Qi gong for many years with Jesse Winder and gyrotonics with Lisa Pari and Carol Somers, among others, and incorporates these philosophies in her approach to movement. She and husband Bill Whitney have two young children who plan extravagant parties and wage epic battles, when they aren’t helping her make costumes for upcoming productions.

Boris Richir (Cavalier, 11/25-11/27) is originally from Antwerp, Belgium, and received his dance education at the Paris Opera Ballet School. He started his professional career in 2009 when he joined the prestigious Semperoper Ballet in Dresden, Germany. In 2014, Mr. Richir joined the Boston Ballet. Since 2017, he has been a guest artist with various companies in the USA and in Europe. Mr. Richir has performed soloist and lead roles in a wide repertoire ranging from The Nutcracker to contemporary pieces such as the ballets of W. Forsythe. He appears in the 2012 filming of The Nutcracker of the Semperoper Ballet Dresden by ARTE. In 2012, Mr. Richir became assistant director of ART of Ballet Courses and master classes, where he is responsible for the organization of high-level dance summer courses across Europe. In 2017, Mr. Richir founded United Dance, a non-profit organization offering dance courses to youth and young adults with Down syndrome in Europe and North-America.

Beginning this Thanksgiving weekend, The Dance Annex returns to the STAR Theatre in Kittery, Maine with The Nutcracker, celebrating their seventh annual presentation of this timeless holiday favorite. Follow Clara on her magical journey to the Land of the Sweets in this enchanting production that features members of Annex Contemporary Dance Company, special guest artists, and Dance Annex students. This beloved ballet is sure to delight audiences of all ages. Begin your holiday season with

The Nutcracker at the STAR! 

a special thank you to oUR 2022 nutcracker donoRS

Support the NUTCRACKER 

The Dance Annex's The Nutcracker, 2019. Photo Credit: Jennifer Del Deo-Barry


Tickets are only available through the Kittery Community Center box office at 207.439.3800 or online and will be available for purchase in the Fall 2023. 

Thank you to OUR 2022 corporate SPONSORS & IN-KIND CONTRIBUTORS

Naomi Sawyer (The Sugar Plum Fairy, 12/3-12/4) received her early training in ballet, tap and jazz under Kay Welch in Lyndonville, Vermont, with summer intensives at Broadway Dance Center, the Joffrey ballet in NYC and the Boston Ballet School. As a student in Boston Ballet’s training program, she performed in Boston ballet’s Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty, and went on to perform with the Orchesis Dance troupe while attending her physical therapy studies at the University of Vermont. She has been performing with the Northeastern Ballet Theatre since 2013 under the direction of Edra Toth with soloist roles in Le Corsaire, Sleeping Beauty, and Nutcracker, and several lead roles including Wilhelmina in Dracula, Anna in The Snow Queen, Katrina in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Sugar Plum Fairy, Maria in The Sound of Music, and Odette/Odile in Swan Lake. She had made guest appearances as Sugar Plum Fairy, including with Dance Annex. She is a homeschooling mother of two, and works as a licensed physical therapist providing neuro and vestibular rehab, as well as physical therapy specialized for the needs of dancers, including per diem for the Boston Ballet company. Naomi is passionate about injury prevention, bringing together her knowledge as a therapist with her experience as a dancer to help other dancers fulfill their potential and “dance longer, dance stronger!”

2022 Guest artists

The Dance Annex's The Nutcracker, 2018. Photo Credit: Jennifer Del Deo



Arlette Abbott
Ava Peltz Fan Club
Lois Hebb

​Megan Patten

Jeannine Haden
Keith and Liz Robinson

The Nutcracker 2023


November 24-26 & December 1-3, Times TBA​

2023 Audition DATEs

Saturday, September 9, Youth Auditions

Monday, September 11, Adv/Professionals

No Fee. Pre-Registration Required.


The Nutcracker  wouldn't be possible without the generous support of our community. Your contributions go directly to costumes, equipment rentals, artist fees, marketing, and production materials. All donations made through December 15, 2022 will go directly toward the 2022 Nutcracker production costs. 


To make your tax-deductible donation via our fiscal sponsor Fractured Atlas, please click the link below. Your name or company name will be listed in our playbill (with your approval). We thank you for your support!

Assaf Benchetrit (Cavalier, 12/3-12/4) began his dance and music studies at the Rubin Academy for Music and Dance in Jerusalem, Israel. Upon graduation, he danced with the Jerusalem Dance Theater, the Panov Ballet, and later with The Israeli National Ballet Company. During his military service, Assaf received the “Remarkable Dancer” prize from the Israeli government which allowed him to continue dancing while serving. After completing his military service, he arrived to United States to dance with companies such as The Joffrey, Metropolitan Classical Ballet, Alabama Ballet, Connecticut Ballet, Portland Ballet and Gelsey Kirkland Ballet. Throughout his career, Assaf toured through England, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and numerous other countries. Assaf holds a joint B.S in computer science and B.F.A in dance degrees with academic honors from Montclair State University, and an M.F.A degree in dance from Hollins/ADF/Frankfurt. He is currently an Associate Professor of Theatre and Dance at the University of New Hampshire, and was a faculty member at Yale University, Columbia University (Barnard College), Rutgers University, Montclair State University, and Raritan Valley Community College.

Studio for the Dance Arts

Serving Southern Maine and the New Hampshire Seacoast