Pennsylvania Ballet was founded in 1963 with the help of a Ford Foundation initiative to set up and develop professional regional ballet companies. Enjoying immediate success both in New York and on national tour, it became the first ballet company in the country to offer year-round employment to its dancers. Pennsylvania Ballet has continued to enjoy critical success as it has grown to a total of 40 full-time performers serving audiences throughout the tri-state region.
For regular audience members, the Family Matinée performances include fun-filled afternoon activities for children and opportunities to get company dancers’ autographs. Kids 4–12 can also become a member of Kidz Corps. Membership is $40 and includes a membership card, T-shirt, a birthday card signed by a company dancer, and three specially planned events throughout the year. Adults may also enjoy an additional subscription to the Prologue Lecture series for $150 on Tuesday evenings which includes a light dinner buffet.
Pennsylvania Ballet Information
- Other Venues: Merriam Theater at the University of the Arts (located next to the Academy of Music)
- Public Transportation: Good
- Handicapped Accessibility: Good
- Performances/Programs: Five programs a year, plus the annual Nutcracker. Each program runs one week with about six performances. The Nutcracker runs for about three weeks
- Ticket Prices: $20–$100; student Rush tickets available for $15 one hour prior to all performances except the Nutcracker
- Group Discounts: Groups of 10 or more may save up to 50% off ticket prices depending on the size of the group
- Subscriptions: Subscriptions are available for all five programs or can be customized to include only three or four programs. Discounted series prices are available to seniors 65 and older, as well as college and graduate students. A Family Matinée series is also available. Tickets are non-refundable. Subscribers may exchange tickets. Other benefits include free replacement tickets, priority seat selection, discounts at local businesses, invitations to parties, and admission to the ballet’s lecture series
- Membership: Donor fees start at $75 and include admission for two to a dress rehearsal and a copy of the company newsletter
- Educational/Community Outreach: Always active in the local communities, Pennsylvania Ballet has put significant resources into creative programming initiatives to draw more audiences into the ballet. The company’s pre-professional company, Pennsylvania Ballet II, is an especially active component of these programs. This eight-dancer group is led by a former Pennsylvania Ballet principal dancer and schedules 25–30 free performances each year in schools, senior centers, and community arts centers.