Oregon Ballet Theatre Attendance Hints at a Downtown Bounce

“It’s important to celebrate the wins.”

Oregon Ballet Theater

Oregon Ballet Theatre says it set a new attendance record during its 2024 season that ends this month, with 92,000 people coming downtown to see an OBT performance. That’s 10% more than the previous record, set in 2017, before anyone had ever heard of COVID-19 and no one had rioted downtown.

OBT executive director Shane Jewell, on the job since November 2023, credits work by the city and county to clean up downtown and make ballet lovers feel more safe.

“I’ve already seen a change in downtown,” Jewell said in an interview. “It’s important to celebrate the wins.”

The top attraction at the ballet this season was December’s Nutcracker, which accounted for about half of all attendance. Peter Pan, staged in February, was second, Jewell said.

Oregon Ballet Theatre performs at the Keller Auditorium and the Newmark Theatre. June 6–9 is Made in Portland, three premieres created in Stumptown. The show at the Newmark features the Jefferson Dancers, the troupe from Jefferson High School.

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