Student Features

PA Cyber students to perform in 'The Nutcracker'

Nov 22, 2016

Three PA Cyber students will be featured in the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's upcoming production of "The Nutcracker," celebrating its 15th season onstage at the Benedum Center.

Katherine Anthony, Ava Kresak and Chloe Olson each have roles in the PBT's rendition of the perennial holiday classic. All three students study dance at the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School.

Katherine, a sophomore, will play the role of a Chinese dragon. Her parents are Danielle and Harry Anthony of North Huntington.

Ava, a fifth-grader, will play two roles, a clown and the elephant. Her parents are Dina and Glenn Kresak of Sarver.

Chloe, a sophomore, plays a flower and participates in the aviary scene. Her parents are DeNese and Matthew Olson of Wilkins Township.

"The Nutcracker" is a holiday tradition for many and just another way to get into the spirit of the season. For Katherine, "The Nutcracker" has become a tradition in another way. She's taking the stage for the seventh year in a row. She discussed some of the best parts about being in the production.

"One of the best things is getting this experience with all of my friends, working towards the performance and, at the end, seeing the hard work we put in," said Katherine, who has been dancing since she was 11.

The show celebrates a 26-performance run Dec. 2-27 under Pittsburgh Ballet Theater Artistic Director Terrence S. Orr. Orr arrived in Pittsburgh in 1997 to take the helm of PBT with plans to revive classic story elements of "The Nutcracker," while including Pittsburgh's traditions and history.

Beyond the Pittsburgh and pop culture references, Orr weaves unique casting combinations into the traditional scenes and story of "The Nutcracker" to ensure that no two performances are exactly alike.

The show includes 215 costumes that are designed, along with the sets, to reflect the color and vibrancy of Tchaikovsky's score. Scenery and special effects include a growing Christmas tree and flurries of snow.

Among the 26 performances, the company will present a student matinee performance, sponsored by Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, at 11 a.m. Friday, Dec. 2, as well as a sensory-friendly performance adapted for patrons with special needs at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 27.

Tickets start at $28, and are available at, 412-456-6666 or by visiting the Box Office at Theater Square.

Katherine Anthony, 10th gradeKatherine Anthony, 10th grade

Ava Kresak, 5th grade

Ava Kresak, 5th grade

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About PA Cyber

Serving students in kindergarten through 12th grade, the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School (PA Cyber) is one of the largest, most experienced, and most successful online public schools in the nation. PA Cyber's online learning environments, personalized instructional methods, and choices of curricula connect Pennsylvania students and their families with state-certified and highly-qualified teachers, and rich academic content that is aligned to state standards. Founded in 2000, PA Cyber is headquartered in Midland (Beaver County) and maintains a network of support offices throughout the state. As a public school, PA Cyber is open for enrollment by any school-age child residing in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and does not charge tuition to students or families.