Pennsylvania Academy of Ballet Society performs The Nutcracker at the Upper Darby Performing Arts Center.

Upper Darby Performing Arts Center invites audiences to join Marie on an exciting adventure as the Pennsylvania Academy of Ballet Society presents The Nutcracker November 16, 17 and 18. Magical mice battle toy soldiers, life-size dolls come to life, a daring Nutcracker comes to the rescue, and Candy Land characters put on a dazzling performance for their new heroine, Marie. The classically trained dancers and professional soloists offer an elaborate, professional-level production the weekend before Thanksgiving. The show is popularly priced for all family members to enjoy.               

The 90-minute performances take place on November 16 at 7:00 pm, November 17 at 11:00 am and 3:00 pm, and November 18 at 1:30 pm and 5:30 pm. Performances are ideal for children ages four years old and up. Upper Darby Performing Arts Center is located at 601 N. Lansdowne Avenue in Drexel Hill, PA. Tickets are $10 – $23. UDPAC members save $2 and children 12 and under save $1. Tickets may be purchased online at or by calling the box office at 610.622.1189.

The classic ballet story, danced to the exciting Tchaikovsky score, revolves around a young girl who discovers a world far beyond the comforts of her home. The popular ballet has become a traditional holiday family activity.

Performed by the renowned Pennsylvania Academy of Ballet Society of Narberth, one of the few dance academies in the Philadelphia region dedicated solely to classical ballet training, the performances feature professional soloists in addition to the students.

For over 25 years Upper Darby Performing Arts Center has collaborated with the Pennsylvania Academy of Ballet Society to present the Nutcracker performances. “Our Nutcracker is unique because it brings beauty and magic to our stage at a price that is affordable to most families in the region,” said Harry Dietzler, Executive Director of UDPAC. “We offer an opportunity to experience professional dancers alongside students who may be close to the age of many members of our audience, inspiring young dancers to continue their studies and dreams. It is a big, elaborate production with dozens of performers, exquisite costumes and enchanting music and choreography.”

“The affordability of a show of this quality is very rare,” added Melinda Pendleton, Director of Pennsylvania Academy of Ballet. “Audience members will get to see and be impressed by the hard work that goes into a production of this size and quality. It is inspiring to see professional dancers share the stage so graciously with pre-professional dancers and students.”

The professional soloists include Heather Holajter (Colorado Ballet, First State Ballet Theatre, Opus 1 Contemporary) as the Sugar Plum Fairy, and Rick Callender (Washington Ballet, Texas Ballet Theatre, Suzanne Farrell Ballet Company, Pennsylvania Ballet) as the Cavalier. Courtesy of the Pennsylvania Ballet, Austin Eyler (graduate of PAB) and Sydney Dolan are performing the Snow King and Queen. Sydney Goldenberg of Wayne, a student at Pennsylvania Ballet Academy, plays Marie.

The Upper Darby Performing Arts Center is easy to get to from the Main Line, Center City and the Blue Route. Parking is free. Audience members are invited to take holiday photos with cast members after the performances on Saturday, November 18.