Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School’s Open Air Performances

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School’s 2021 Spring Performances will be held outdoor as part of PBT’s OPEN AIR: A SERIES IN CELEBRATION OF THE PERFORMING ARTS | FLAGSTAFF HILL AT SCHENLEY PARK | MAY 18-31, 2021.

Spring Performance 2021 ticket costs have been waived in appreciation of our families’ support during this challenging year.

Tuesday, May 25  |  7:30 pm  |  Levels 6, 7 and 8

Pre-professional students in Levels 6, 7 and 8 will perform classical and contemporary works choreographed and staged by PBT School faculty members Eun Young Ahn, Jamie Murphy, Janet Popeleski and Christine Schwaner. Classical program highlights include Danish Ballet Master August Bournonville’s La Sylphide and Flower Festival in Genzano

Contemporary pieces will be unique to each level. Students in Level 6 will demonstrate a gestural storytelling style in their piece that explores respecting others. Students in Level 7 will explore a more emotional contemporary style surrounding the idea of building support for those around you. Level 8 students will take on a faster paced and quirky modern piece about feeling lost and finding freedom.

Wednesday, May 26  |  7:30 p.m.  |  Preparatory Ballet – Level 5

Student Division dancers ages 7-15 will take the stage for the first time since Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s 2019 The Nutcracker. Students will showcase their technical skill with choreography in classical ballet and jazz. PBT School faculty members Kaila Lewis, Toma Smith and Eun Young Ahn will be choreographing classical works to music of Felix Mendelssohn, George Frideric Handel, Johann Strauss II and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. 

PBT School instructor Jamie Murphy has choreographed dances on levels 2-5 students that will take audiences through the decades of jazz from The Roaring 20’s to the high energy, Latin jazz fusion of the 60’s. The exploration of jazz throughout the eras will feature the infamous Charleston dance and song favorites such as “In The Mood,” “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” “I Like It Like That” and Ella Fitzgerald’s rhythm-centric “FascinatingRhythm/I’ve Got Rhythm.”

Thursday, May 27  |  5 p.m.  |  Graduates

Graduate Program students will take the stage in classical and contemporary works in PBT School’s third and final day of performances. One of the featured works performed will be the first movement of George Balanchine’s iconic Serenade. Balanchine choreographed this ballet to Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s 1880 “Serenade for Strings in C, Op. 48.” Other notable features will be the Pas d’Action from Marius Petipa’s La Bayadère, as well as excerpts from Petipa’s Don Quixote, taken from the famous novel “Don Quixote de la Mancha” with music by Ludwig Minkus. 

PBT School instructor Jamie Murphy will present her contemporary dance piece in which the Graduate students delve into the four elements of nature: wind, earth, water and fire. Each element was explored by the dancers through research, journaling and movement exercises to find a greater physical and emotional connection for each section.

Performance Specific Information:

Seating for all School performances will be general festival seating in which families or groups are encouraged to bring their own blankets and chairs. Groups will be seated in pod sections in which they will be spaced 6 feet apart from surrounding groups. Seating closest to the stage is available on a first come-first serve basis. Masks will be required of all performance attendees. Additional seating restrictions or protocols may be applied on the day of the performance(s).

If someone within your party requires ADA accommodations please reach out directly to the PBT School Office at pbtschool@pittsburghballet.org.

Make It A Picnic!

Event attendees have the opportunity to pre-order picnic baskets filled with boxed meals, waterproof blankets, dancer bouquets and more. Tiered options are available. All guests are encouraged to bring foldable chairs to their picnic area. Every basket purchase will help support Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School.

PBT School Picnic Baskets are now sold out.


Series Sponsors

School Performance Sponsors

After a year of darkened theaters, Pittsburgh’s performing artists are stepping out into the open air. This May, over 20 local performing arts organizations will gather at Flagstaff Hill in Schenley Park to perform on Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s mobile stage for Open Air: A Series in Celebration of the Performing Arts. Join us for two weeks of music, theater and dance from May 18-31.

View the Calendar of Events


Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do I need to pay for tickets or register anyone for the performance?
    • No. All performance tickets will be waived for the School performances on May 25, 26 and 27, and guests do not need to register in advance. 
  • Are picnic baskets, meals and bouquets available for purchase on performance nights?
    • No. All picnic baskets, meals and bouquets must be pre-ordered by Monday, May 10, 2021.
  • I am unable to purchase a PBT basket. Can my family bring food and drinks?
    • Yes, you may bring your own food and drinks, but please remember to leave your picnic area in the state you found it. Trash cans will be available on site. Alcoholic beverages will not be permitted.
  • Are there restrooms available?
    • Yes. There will be portable restrooms and hand-washing stations for patrons. They will be located in a central location on Frew Street at the edge of the park.
  • If there is inclement weather, will PBT have rain dates?
    • No. PBT School does not have scheduled rain dates if a performance is cancelled.
  • Is there free parking?
    • Yes. There are public parking areas along Frew Street. Please note that spaces will be very limited, since it is public street parking.
  • Are masks and social distancing required?
    • Yes. We are following state guidelines for wearing masks and social distancing. These will be enforced to keep all guests, dancers and staff as safe as possible.
  • Will there be a program available?
    • A digital program for PBT School’s performances will be available prior to performances on this page.
  • Are there ADA accommodations available?
    • Yes. There are six wheelchair accessible seats available for each performance. Please call Manager of Patron Services Audrey Fennell at 412-454-9107 for more information.