Press Releases

George Balanchine's The Nutcracker™ to be Performed on the Stages of Whitaker Center and Hershey Theatre

Carlisle, Pa. (November 14, 2014) – Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet (CPYB), the region’s premier ballet school and the only area company licensed to perform the Balanchine production of The Nutcracker, will take the stages of Whitaker Center on Dec. 13-14 and Hershey Theatre on Dec. 20-21.

Area residents have a unique opportunity to see the foremost execution of this holiday classic, the same choreography performed by the New York City Ballet on the stage of Lincoln Center. The George Balanchine Trust, which was established to protect the integrity of Balanchine’s work, must provide license for a company to produce a George Balanchine work. Approval is based on the ability of a dance company to uphold Balanchine’s high artistic standards. CPYB has been the only ballet school with license to perform his version of The Nutcracker since 1991.

“We are privileged to offer audiences the chance to see CPYB students perform the same choreography as professional ballet companies in major cities that do this work,” says Darla Hoover, CPYB Associate Artistic Director and Balanchine Trust Répétiteur. “It’s also a wonderful opportunity for our students to dance Balanchine at a young age. A good number of our alumni go on to dance roles from this ballet performance professionally in their careers.”

CPYB’s George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™ has become a tradition for generations of family and friends to celebrate the holidays. Children of all ages and adults alike are captivated by the lure of impeccable choreography, extravagant costumes, magical sets, and Tchaikovsky’s music.

Maestro Stuart Malina will lead the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra’s live performances of Tchaikovsky’s richly colorful score at the Dec. 20-21 Hershey Theatre performances.

The elaborate stage elements and sophisticated lighting unleash the imagination of viewers by providing grand visual effects. A 450-lb Christmas tree that grows to a height of more than 22 feet evokes audible gasps of awe from the audience. A marvelous blizzard of dancers and falling snow creates goose bumps. The figure of Mother Ginger provides comedic interludes and the Sugarplum Fairy and her Cavalier make hearts flutter. No wonder the New York Post praises George Balanchine's The Nutcracker™ as "the Christmas show of all Christmas shows."

“It’s a wonderful event that arouses emotions of the holidays – friends and family, youthful wonder, giving and gathering,” says Founding Artistic Director Marcia Dale Weary. “Whether you’re seeing it for the first time or the fifth, you’re sure to leave the theatre with an abundance of holiday cheer.”

New this year, CPYB joins with the American Literacy Corporation to present storytelling with movement. Join abc27’s Valerie Pritchett for a special reading of Joel Meyerowitz’ “The Nutcracker” before the Sat., Dec. 13, afternoon show at Whitaker Center. There will also be other surprises for attendees of this interactive pre-show event.

The pre-performance reading is free and open to the public. It will take place from 12:10 – 12:45 p.m. Sat., Dec.13, in the Kunkel Gallery at Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts.

CPYB is supported, in part, by the Cultural Enrichment Fund and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.

Performance Ticket Information:

CPYB will perform the holiday favorite at two superb locations.

Whitaker Center
Experience an intimate venue in the heart of downtown Harrisburg
1 and 5 p.m. Saturday, December 13
2 p.m. Sunday, December 14
Ticket range: $45-$22
717.214.ARTS (2787) or

Hershey Theatre
Maestro Stuart Malina conducts the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra
1 and 5 p.m. Saturday, December 20
2 p.m. Sunday, December 21
Tickets range $50-$27
717.534.3405 or


MEDIA OPPORTUNITY: We invite the media to attend upcoming rehearsals and speak with the performers and staff about the performance. For more information, please contact Bonnie Schulte at 717.245.1191 or Coverage opportunities of performances are also available and must be set up through Bonnie Schulte.


About Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet
Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet is a celebrated leader in the world of classical ballet. Embracing an attitude of lifelong learning more than 59 years ago, Founding Artistic Director Marcia Dale Weary envisioned a school where children would have the opportunity to receive exceptional ballet training. Today CPYB is the nation’s preeminent school of classical ballet with an international reputation for training young men and women. The school’s renowned teaching methodology couples performance opportunities with innovative educational initiatives, an esteemed faculty, and a proven syllabus – all in an environment that promotes the acquisition of the life skills crucial to a child’s development.

Thousands of young people have passed through Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet’s acclaimed studios. CPYB alumni continually occupy top positions in the leading ballet companies from San Francisco and Miami to New York, London and beyond. Through the organization’s threefold mission – to inspire, educate and enrich – the legacy of Marcia Dale Weary and Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet redefines the art form, preserves its history and shapes its future.