The Pennsylvania Academy of Ballet Presents The Nutcracker At Upper Darby Performing Arts Center The Weekend Before Thanksgiving

Welcoming the holiday season with a timeless classic, The Nutcracker returns to the Upper Darby Performing Arts Center for five shows on November 17, 18, and 19, the weekend before Thanksgiving. For over 30 years, the production by Narberth’s renowned Pennsylvania Academy of Ballet has enchanted children and families with its professional soloists and many of the region’s best dancers.

This popular ballet is a family-friendly 90-minute production with an intermission that is recommended for ages four and up. Show times are Friday at 7:00 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. The magic of the performance extends into the lobby, decorated as a winter wonderland, with themed gifts available for purchase from the Nutcracker boutique. Both Saturday performances feature post-show photo opportunities with cast members.

The Upper Darby Performing Arts Center offers free parking and is conveniently located at the Upper Darby High School campus in Drexel Hill, minutes from the Main Line, Blue Route, and Center City. Tickets for The Nutcracker are priced from $11 to $23 and may be purchased online at  or by calling the box office at 610.814.7270.

The Nutcracker story revolves around a young girl who discovers a world of adventure far beyond the comforts of her home. Danced to the stirring score by the Russian composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky, the well-known ballet has become a not-to-be-missed holiday activity for many young families.

Performed by the Pennsylvania Academy of Ballet of Narberth, one of the few dance academies in the Philadelphia region dedicated solely to classical ballet training, The Nutcracker performances feature professional soloists in addition to the students. Guest artist Tiit Helimets, a recent principal dancer with San Francisco Ballet, will be performing with his daughter Chloe Helimets at the 11:00 a.m. performances on Saturday and Sunday. Guest artists from the Philadelphia Ballet include Gabriela Mesa, Cory Ogdahl, Erin Patterson, Nicholas Patterson and Pau Pujol.

The Nutcracker performances are made possible through a partnership of the Pennsylvania Academy of Ballet Society, which is the nonprofit arm of the Academy, and the Upper Darby School District. Part of the mission of the Society is to bring affordable performances of professional-quality ballet to the public, increasing the opportunity for access to classic performance art. “If you want to have art in your life, it shouldn’t be limited by anything– ballet is for everybody,” said Melinda Pendleton, the director and second-generation owner of the Academy. “When young kids come to our performances, I want them to imagine themselves on stage and potentially see themselves doing this activity,” she explained. The Upper Darby School District has furthered that opportunity by offering a live stream preview of the performance to every school in the district.

For more information

Location:  Upper Darby Performing Arts Center, 601 N. Lansdowne Avenue, Drexel Hill, PA 19026

This event is appropriate for:   recommended for ages four and up

Cost: $11 to $23