The Company

About Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre

One of the most exciting ballet companies in the United States, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre has built a legacy of excellence and innovation since its founding in 1969. Its eclectic style and irrepressible energy have been shaped by four distinguished artistic directors over four decades. In the 1980s, former New York City Ballet Principal Dancer Patricia Wilde led the Company to new heights and national acclaim with an emphasis on virtuosic technique and works by the modern masters, including her mentor, George Balanchine. Since 1997, the Company has flourished under the direction of Terrence S. Orr, former American Ballet Theatre ballet master and principal dancer. Mr. Orr has created a powerful repertoire, including fresh versions of traditional ballets, original works commissioned to contemporary American music and dramatic works that push the boundaries of ballet as an art form. Through more than 50 performances each year at home and on tour, PBT audiences discover the passion and joy of ballet. 


Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre is a community based and internationally recognized professional ballet company that performs traditional and contemporary ballets and develops innovative works. It seeks to perpetuate excellence in the art of ballet through performances, superior training of student dancers and community engagement initiatives. 

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre History 


Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre is incorporated in affiliation with Point Park College. Mr. Nicolas Petrov is the founding Artistic Director and Mrs. Loti Falk is the founding Board Chair.


PBT offers its first subscription season.


Main stage productions begin at Heinz Hall.


PBT moves into its headquarters on the Boulevard of the Allies. Corps de Ballet includes 40 dancers.


Subscriber base reaches a total of 3,000.


Nicolas Petrov steps down as Artistic Director. PBT becomes fully independent of Point Park College.


Patrick Frantz is named the new Artistic Director. Anthony Bryan is appointed Board Chair. Subscriber base reaches a total of 4,000 and the budget tops $1 million.


PBT School is organized.


Intensive Summer Program is launched. Subscriber base reaches 6,000.


Patricia Wilde, former principal dancer with New York City Ballet, appointed Artistic Director. Wilde responsible for developing the clean, precise technique she was famous for herself in the company, and for commissioning 32 new works during her tenure.


Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre agrees to become a constituent of the newly-renovated Benedum Center for the Performing Arts, marking its first partnership with the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.


After a $2 million capital campaign, PBT moves into its current headquarters on Liberty Avenue in the Strip District.


PBT School launches the Schenley Program for high school students.


Mrs. Falk retires as Executive Director, and is succeeded by Stephen Richard. A stabilization campaign is launched to raise $1.5 million. PBT moves main stage productions from its former home at Heinz Hall to the Benedum Center.


First arts education and outreach programs are offered.


Linda Dickerson becomes board chair.


Steven Libman succeeds Stephen Richard as Executive Director. Stabilization campaign is completed. $1.2 million is invested in George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker.


PBT launches the Campaign for Permanence, an $18 million capital campaign to expand the endowment, fund new works, improve facilities and create a working capital reserve.


Terrence S. Orr succeeds Patricia Wilde as Artistic Director. F. James McCarl is appointed Board Chair.


The number of productions is reduced from six to five.


Hal Waldman is appointed Board Chair. The New Nutcracker campaign is launched to raise $1.2 million for the new production.


Steven Libman steps down as Executive Director. Jeanne Gleason is appointed Board Chair. Endowment tops $9 million.


Robert Petrilli is named Interim Managing Director. Board of Trustees forms an Oversight Committee, conducts an organizational assessment and decides to perform the season to taped music.


Harris N. Ferris is named Executive Director. LeRoy Metz is appointed Board Chair. The Say It With Music campaign is launched to restore the orchestra. The orchestra is returned for two productions of the 2006-2007 season, which opens with Swan Lake to wide acclaim.


PBT’s turn-around plan is successful; the organization completes the fiscal year with an operating surplus. The Board adopts a three-year strategic plan.


Carolyn Byham is appointed Board Chair. PBT presents the North American premiere of Derek Deane’s Alice in Wonderland. PBT ends the fiscal year in the black for the second year in a row.
2012PBT presents the premiere by an American ballet company of internationally-renowned choreographer John Neumeier's A Streetcar Named Desire. PBT becomes only the 4th company in the world to perform this strikingly dramatic piece and only the 3rd American company (joining American Ballet Theatre and San Francisco Ballet) to have presented a work by Mr. Neumeier.