The Pennsylvania Ballet, two weeks away from closing down, is hoping to get $2.5 million in donations to keep it alive.

The troupe's dancers and staff said they would work without pay and appeal to audiences for donations rather than accept the board of trustee's decision to suspend operations this week."We're on the brink of disaster," said Rachel Butler, a ballet member. "A lot of us don't know what we're going to do if this doesn't work."

Board Chairman Edwin E. Tuttle said the trustees made their decision Friday. The dancers said they voted unanimously Sunday to waive payment for the next production, which opens Thursday. They were joined by the musicians, stagehands and other staff, about 200 people in all.