For the second consecutive year, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre is presenting a sensory-friendly performance of the holiday classic, The Nutcracker, on December 23rd at the Benedum Center for the Performing Arts in Downtown Pittsburgh.  Joyce Douglas explained how PBT produces this event while retaining its artistic integrity in a PediaBlog post last December (“My Story: The Land of Sweets”):

  • Lowering sound and light levels so there are not sudden changes.
  • Eliminating the fire flares that signal Drosselmeyer’s magic tricks.
  • Keeping the house lights at half throughout the performance.
  • Relaxing the house rules—you are free to get up, move around and leave.
  • Electronics…yes!
  • Qualified volunteers scattered throughout the theatre to assist.
  • Quiet areas and activity areas in the lobby should your child need a break.
  • Fidget objects and ear plugs will be available.


Last year, Pediatric Alliance proudly supported Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre by raffling off tickets to families whose children with “sensory sensitivities and other special needs” would really appreciate the experience of attending this special performance. The response we received from the raffle last year was overwhelming — so much so that we’re going to raffle off tickets for this year’s The Nutcracker!

How to enter our raffle:
Type the following information in the comments box below this post (this information will not be shared):

— Parent Name and Email address
— Child’s Name
— Number of tickets desired (2-6 per family)

OR, you can email the information above to

We’ll accept one entry per family per day, but you can enter every day until we pick the winners!

Winners will be picked randomly next Tuesday, December 16th so we can get tickets to families before the performance.


More information is available from Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre here.

(PBT is also presenting a sensory-friendly performance of Beauty and the Beast on Friday, February 13, 2015!  More information for that event is available here.)