Sensory-Friendly Performance

Join us for our sensory-friendly production of The Nutcracker!  

Tuesday, December 27, 2016 at 2 PM

Benedum Center for the Performing Arts 



Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre is proud to offer sensory-friendly performances for children and adults with ASD and other sensitivity issues or special needs. We have produced sensory-friendly performances since 2013; PBT was the first professional ballet company in the country to present a sensory-friendly performance of The Nutcracker. Other ballets in our sensory-friendly repertoire are Peter Pan, by Jorden Morris, and Beauty and the Beast, by Lew Christensen.


Prepare for the ballet and your visit to the theater with our pre-visit social stories:

The Nutcracker Picture Schedule See characters and costumes.

The Nutcracker Pre-Visit Story What to expect in the ballet and the story.

Going to the Benedum Center  Get familiar with the theater.


A few logistics!

Run Time: Approximately 2 hours and 10 minutes with one 20-minute intermission. 

Arrival Time: The theater lobby opens at 1 pm. 

Parking and Directions: There are several garages close to the Benedum. Click on the tabs at the upper right of this page for parking links and directions.


What makes it "sensory-friendly?"

A friendly, supportive environment for families with a loved one with special needs. Adaptations to the performance are slight, including  

  • lower sound levels 
  • elimination of potentially startling special effects and lighting
  • house lights on at about 20%

PLUS, at this performance we have

  • relaxed house rules--you are free to get up, move around, and leave whenever you need to
  • allowed use of Ipads and other electronics for therapeutic uses
  • volunteers scattered throughout the theater to assist and direct audience members as needed
  • quiet areas and activity areas in the lobby for taking a break 
  • fidget objects and ear plugs available
  • trained staff, dancers, ushers and volunteers  


It takes a village . . . 

. . . to produce a sensory-friendly production! PBT is deeply grateful for the help and support of our partners, Autism Connection of PA and the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, and for our wonderful performance volunteers. 


Get involved!

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre seeks qualified volunteers (i.e., special education teachers, therapists, etc.) to help with sensory-friendly performances. Qualified volunteers can register today! If you'd like to make a donation to PBT to help support sensory-friendly performances, please click here to donate, and thank you!


Contact us! Ticketing questions: 412-454-9107; Group sales: 412-454-9101; questions about content or accommodations: 412-454-9105


Learn more! Watch our video about our sensory-friendly performances: