NEPA Scene Staff

VIDEO: WVIA wins Pa. Broadcasters Award for Scranton Civic Ballet’s ‘Nutcracker’ presentation

VIDEO: WVIA wins Pa. Broadcasters Award for Scranton Civic Ballet’s ‘Nutcracker’ presentation
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From a press release:

WVIA has earned a Judges’ Merit television award in the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters’ 2021 Excellence in Broadcasting Awards for its holiday presentation of “The Nutcracker” by the Scranton Civic Ballet Company.

“WVIA was honored to present this performance to the people of Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania. This award is a credit to the talented performers in front of the camera and behind the scenes that made this presentation a possibility,” said WVIA President and CEO Carla McCabe.

“It is always an honor to be recognized by the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters for the work that we do,” added WVIA Chief Content Officer Ben Payavis II.

This inaugural collaboration was made possible by a COVID Creative Community Grant from the Lackawanna County Council on the Arts. It is now available to watch on-demand at, as well as on the PBS and WVIA apps anytime. It is also embedded below.

The show was the ballet company’s 34th annual “Nutcracker” presentation. Typically, it is shown as a live educational performance for 1,200 school children at no charge, but adjustments had to be made due to the coronavirus pandemic. On Dec. 20, it aired on television across 21 counties throughout Pennsylvania, and schools received a digital link to enhance their virtual curriculum with this artistic performance. Encores of the program aired on Dec. 24, 25, and 27.

Under the artistic direction of Miss Helen M. Gaus, 60 students and adults, ranging in age from 8 to 50, shared the timeless tale of Clara, Drosselmeyer, and the Nutcracker that unfolds as the delicate Sugar Plum Fairy and all of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s musical sprites weave their enchanting spell.

Founded by Gaus in 1978, the Scranton Civic Ballet Company is a nonprofit organization focused on dance education and performance. The Civic Dance Centre (234 Mifflin Ave., Scranton) is the official school of the company, whose mission is to educate its members and the public in the art of dance while bringing the talents of well-known artists, choreographers, and master teachers into Northeastern Pennsylvania for students as well as local audiences.

The Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters endeavors to promote collaboration between radio and television broadcast station owners, managers, and staff across the commonwealth, assisting member stations in serving their communities, audiences, and advertisers through FCC-licensed free over-the-air broadcast program operations.

VIA Public Media in Pittston, the PBS and NPR affiliate for Northeastern Pennsylvania, educates, inspires, entertains, and fosters citizenship, diverse cultures, and perspectives to nurture community.

WVIA-TV can be found on over-the-air antenna on channel 44 and on all major network providers in Northeast Pennsylvania and the Central Susquehanna Valley; it also streams live at and on the PBS App. WVIA carries PBS Kids programming all day on its second channel, 44.2; corresponding educational resources for PBS Kids programming can also be found at