Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s The Nutcracker Opens Fri., Dec. 9th

Audiences Can Experience the Beloved Classic Ballet During December at the Benedum

December 7, 2022

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s (PBT) magical holiday show, The Nutcracker, will open on Friday, December 9 at 7:00 p.m. at the Benedum Center. The family-friendly ballet will run for three weeks, holding its last performance of the year on Wednesday, December 28 at 2:00 p.m.  

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre will offer multiple Nutcracker-themed programs in conjunction with performances. Audience members are invited to join PBT at the theater for a series of pre-and post-show enrichment experiences, including:  

  • Sugar Plum Fairy Photos - December 9- December 28.  The Sugar Plum Fairy will be returning for photos for the first time since 2019.  Children can meet the Sugar Plum Fairy and take photos with her in the lower lobby at the Benedum Center before each show and during intermission. Physical photos will not be printed, but families will be able to capture memories with their own cameras or mobile phones. The event is free, but donations benefiting  the PBT School are recommended, and thank you gifts will be provided.  
  • The Nutcracker Family Workshop - Saturday, Dec. 10.   This event will take place at 12:45 p.m., prior to the afternoon matinee. The event will include Nutcracker story time, crafts and more for kids and families! Register here
  • Artist Q & A - Saturday, Dec. 10.  The event will take place after the 7;00 p.m. performance has finished. PBT Artists Ariana Chernyshev, Gabrielle Thurlow and William Moorewill answer audience questions about The Nutcracker.   No registration needed.
  • Curtain Up! - Sunday, Dec. 11. Watch the last few minutes of company class on stage at 11:00 a.m. preview the ballet with PBT Artist Jonathan Breight. No registration necessary.
  • Audio-described Performance  - Friday, Dec. 16 at 2:00 p.m. (sensory-friendly performance), Dec. 18 at  12:00 p.m. and Tues., Dec. 27 at 2:00 p.m. (sensory-friendly performance).  Live narration of the performance for those with blindness or vision impairment, or for anyone who’d like to listen! Patrons should visit Guest Services before the show for assistance. No registration necessary.
  • Sensory-Friendly Performances -  Friday, Dec. 16 at 2 p.m. and Tues., Dec. 27 at 2:00 p.m. These two family-inclusive, sensory-friendly performances are for audiences of all ages with autism spectrum disorder, sensory sensitivities or other individualized needs.  No registration is required, but more information is available here.

“This is the 20th year that we will be performing The Nutcracker based on the choreography and concept of our wonderful former Artistic Director, Terrence Orr,” said PBT Acting Executive Director Kathryn Gigler.  “The Pittsburgh additions make this such a fun and special production.  From the Kaufmann’s clock and Shadyside location to the tributes to The Pittsburgh National Aviary and the Kennywood carousel! It's a heartwarming show that everyone should see this holiday season!

The annual production features Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s classic score as well as costume and set designs by Emmy-winning designer Zack Brown. The company’s production of The Nutcracker includes five scenes, more than 150 costumes, 1,500 costume accessories and more than 100 artists from the professional company and PBT School.  Adding to the production’s enchantment are a Christmas tree that grows to 15 times its size, falling snow and over 30 sleight of hand tricks created by a professional magician.

View The Nutcracker cast list here