Thursday, December 30, 2010

Angelina Ballerina the Musical Premieres in Pittsburgh


Media Contact:

Diana Roth
(412) 471-8717

Electronic images are available upon request.

Pittsburgh International Children's Theater


Vital Theatre Company

in the Pittsburgh premiere of

Angelina Ballerina the Musical

January 23-30, 2011,

Six performance locations throughout Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, PA: Pittsburgh International Children's Theater, a division of The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, presents award-winning Vital Theatre Company in the Pittsburgh premiere of Angelina Ballerina the Musical from January 23-30, 2011 at six performance locations throughout the area. Performance location include: City: Byham Theater, January 23 at 2:00 p.m & Student Matinee: January 24 at 10:15 a.m.; East: Gateway High School, January 26 at 7:00 p.m.; North: Pine-Richland High School, January 27 at 5:30 & 7:30 p.m.; West: Sewickley Academy, January 28 at 7:00 p.m.; South: Upper St. Clair High School, January 29 at 11:00 a.m. & 2:00 p.m.; and Butler: Seneca Valley Senior High School, January 30 at 2:00 p.m. Citizens Bank is the season sponsor of Pittsburgh International Children's Theater.

Vital Theatre Company's live stage production, Angelina Ballerina the Musical, was created by Susan DiLallo (book and lyrics) and music by Ben Morss; and is based on the critically acclaimed story books created by Katharine Holabird and Helen Craig and the PBS Kids' television animated series Angelina Ballerina, The Next Steps. This family friendly live stage show will appeal to children ages 3-10. The stage musical tells the story of Angelina and her friends, Alice, Gracie, AZ, Viki, and their teacher Ms. Mimi who are all aflutter because a special guest is coming to visit Camembert Academy! Angelina and her friends will perform all types of dance, including hip-hop, modern dance, the Irish jig and of course, ballet, and they are excited to show off their skills to their famous visitor. Angelina is the most excited of all, but will she get the starring moment she hopes for? Through Angelina's adventures, children may share in her experiences and be inspired to set goals and reach for their dreams.

Vital Theatre Company is based in New York City and was founded in 1999 by Stephen Sunderlin (current Artistic Director), Michael Schloegl, Scott C. Embler, and Laura M. Stevens, with the goal of creating a safe home to nurture emerging theatre artists. The company's mission states, "If one adult is inspired, if one child's imagination is awakened, if one student is empowered, our theatre is important and vital." Creating original stage productions since it was founded, Vital Theatre Company is the recipient of two American Theatre Wing Awards for Continued Commitment to Excellence in Theatre, six-time winner: Off-Off Broadway Review's Award for Excellence, and New York Theatre Experience award: Theatre Company of the Year (2002). Vital teaching artists are involved in the Brooklyn community through the integration of theatre arts into the high school humanities curriculum in an effort to jumpstart academic progress. Vital was commissioned by The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation to create and produce America is my home: The Immigrant Journey to America that was presented on Ellis Island for seven months.

In addition to her work with Vital Theatre Company, Susan DiLallo, (book and lyrics-Angelina Ballerina the Musical) is the recipient of the Kleban Award, Jonathan Larson Award, Richard Rodgers Award, winner of the Global Search for New Musical Competition, Outer Critics Circle nominee and winner KIDDstuff New Play competition.

Ben Morss (music, Angelina Ballerina the Musical; music and lyrics-Cinderella�s Mice), has written music for various stage presentations, as well as musical arrangements for solo piano and bands: Cake and Wheatus. Ben has performed around the world with his band Chariots of Tuna and leads a nine-piece band called The Infinite Orchestra. Ben received a doctorate in music from the University of California-Davis.

Katharine Holebird, author of the original book series, Angelina Ballerina, with illustrations by Helen Craig, has been capturing the hearts of children for over 25 years. Her award-winning series helps children explore important issues such as friendship, rivalry, loyalty and dedication. Katharine is the recipient of the Kentucky Bluegrass Award (1985) for her first book, Angelina Ballerina, British Book Design and Production Award (1990) for Angelina's Birthday, and Child Study Association's Children's Book of the Year (1990) for Angelina's Christmas. Holebird's Angelina book series has also been honored with several Platinum Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Awards for Rose Fairy Princess in 2002, and Friends Forever and The Magic Of Dance in 2004. Holabird was honored in 2006 with an invitation to Queen Elizabeth's eightieth birthday party at Buckingham Palace. That same year, the entire series of Angelina books was reissued by Grosset and Dunlop in the United States. Also in 2006, The Angelina Ballerina Dance Academy debuted with special Angelina ballet classes across England. Angelina's Star Performance, an original ballet based on Angelina at the Palace, debuted in 2007 in London with the English National Ballet. Holabird has also written two theatrical pop-up books (2008, 2010). The Angelina books have been translated into more than twenty languages.

Individual tickets ($11 at the door; $9.50 in advance) can be ordered online at, by calling (412) 456-6666, or in person at the Box Office at Theater Square, 655 Penn Avenue. Group tickets can be ordered by calling (412) 471-6930.

Pittsburgh International Children's Theater, a division of The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, opens the door for children to experience professional performing arts programming for children which inspires, challenges, educates, and stimulates respect for and an understanding of all cultures in an entertaining and enlightening way. Each year Pittsburgh International Children's Theater presents a Family Series and the Pittsburgh International Children's Festival, which is one of only four international children's theater festivals in the nation.

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is a non-profit organization whose mission is the cultural and economic development of Pittsburgh's 14-block Cultural District through public and private support. The Trust presents and encourages diverse performing and visual arts programs within the District, and is an impetus for additional development in downtown Pittsburgh. In addition to the Pittsburgh International Children's Theater and Children's Festival, The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust presents the PNC Broadway Across America-Pittsburgh series Pittsburgh Dance Council, Trust Presents, CD Live, JazzLive, First Night Pittsburgh, Gallery Crawl, and Three Rivers Arts Festival, among other Cultural District and arts events. The Trust owns Theater Square and the Cabaret at Theater Square; James E. Rohr Building & Arts Education Center; the Benedum Center for the Performing Arts; Byham, O'Reilly, and Harris Theaters; visual arts galleries: Wood Street Galleries; SPACE, at 812 Liberty Avenue and 937 Liberty, a multipurpose performance and exhibit space, among other downtown arts facilities.

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