Russian National Ballet Theatre's The Sleeping Beauty
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About the Ticket Supplier: Brooklyn Center for the Performing ArtsIn the late winter of 1955, the ground-work was just about completed on an ambitious project that involved the City, the State, CUNY and Brooklyn College. They all seemed to conspire to bring to fruition a magnificent arts center to central Brooklyn at the end of the IRT line in Flatbush. The physical plant was imposing; a modified "U" shaped building that housed four performing spaces ranging from a small experimental theatre, to an impressive 2400 seat house that would become the centerpiece for a variety of performers and events that even its architects and builders could not have envisioned. It was chilly and overcast on that day in March as Mayor Wagner and a crowd of other dignitaries participated in the long anticipated ribbon cutting ceremonies; the vision for the center was already forming.
The Performing Arts Center was about opening its doors, and it opened them to the young and old, families and students, from every ethnic background and economic strata. The greatness of this Center would be its accessibility -- a place where the hard-working Everyman would be able to experience the great artists in every discipline and at prices that were affordable. The far-reaching communities of Flatbush, Midwood, Flatlands, Carroll Gardens, Sheepshead Bay and Coney Island would be invited not only to come as an audience, but to use the Center as participants -- for their own community functions, meetings, lectures, and ceremonies -- even a wedding would one day take place on the great stage of the Whitman Theatre. And perhaps the most unique activity that would bond literally tens of thousands of Brooklynites to the Center (and what has now become a Brooklyn tradition), the hundreds upon hundreds of high school commencement ceremonies that have been held in the Whitman Theatre every June over the last four decades. Brooklyn now had a Performing Arts Center to which its people would come to feel a warm, personal connection.