Larry Swartz

Young People’s Theatre has been part of my theatre-going soul.
YPT gave me a start to a great career as a drama instructor. (I taught drama school courses in the summer of ’79 and for several years afterwards).
YPT was the priority excursion for my years as a classroom teacher. I always made a point of booking a trip to the theatre… “all the way” from the Peel District School Board.
YPT provided a touchstone for connecting hundreds of teachers to theatre. For the Additional Qualification courses and for the Initial Teacher Education courses at OISE, I always promoted participation in Teacher preview evenings. If each of those educators who attended brought one class to YPT sometime in their career, the initiative will pay itself forward.
YPT provided opportunities for ‘Uncle Larry’ to bring nieces and nephews to see live theatre. I remember Rachael, turning to me, weeping when Jacob Two-Two Meets the Hooded Fang ended. “Where did he go?”, she wept.
Now my adult nieces and nephews have kids of their own and I trust that they will take their kiddies to YPT (how could they not?). Or better yet, Great Uncle Larry can continue the tradition and take a new generation of nieces and nephews.
I’m so grateful, so lucky, to have been part of YPT family. WOW! Mazel Tov all!

Larry Swartz

Mary Alberton

YPT, YOU RULE!!!!!!

I have been to see so many shows and participated in many workshops and evening premiere/teacher shows that I feel like a regular. I certainly am a fan. Why? Because you only present the very best!!! The finest actors… delivering the most avant-garde and interesting shows… in the most dramatic ways… with the best and unique costumes… sets… props… and lighting. And all delivered for the most important audience ever… kids!

Whether it was Jacob Two-Two Meets the Hooded Fang, The Secret Garden, Hana’s Suitcase, Romeo and Juliet, Robert Munsch, or The Monster Under the Bed, I was always certain that my students would only see the very best in theatre at YPT. Did I mention that you also provide great support for the teachers through workshops and play guides. I also appreciate how you give discount rates for early bookings and needy schools. 100 more years please!!!!!!

Mary Alberton

Tanya Stanton

It was the early 80’s and Of Mice & Men was the feature when my grade 7 class made the trek downtown to the Young People’s Theatre. For most of us, it was our very first exposure to live theatre and for me, it was the beginning of a very long love affair. I have been hooked ever since! I’ve cried, laughed and sang along to many shows from high school productions all the way to the bright lights of Broadway. I love them all. I credit the affordability of YPT to opening up a brand new horizon for me that might have been otherwise unreachable. My children grew up perusing the halls of YPT as well and I constantly recommend the experience to my friends with young children. Thank you, YPT for a lifetime of wonderful experiences. Happy 50th!

Tanya Stanton

Stacey DePass

As a young actress in Toronto, fresh out of theatre school, I was amazed by the great opportunities YPT offered in the most supportive and creative environment….even the auditions felt better there!

I went on tour with a YPT show all over BC and some parts of the U.S. YPT shows were known as the ‘Cadillac’ of Children’s Theatre and I was so lucky to be a part of it! It was an incredible experience….the schools we toured, the kids we met….the mountains we saw…. all that, in addition to the fantastic high calibre touching show (Naomi’s Road) that we were honoured to bring to life.

Now that I have a son and take him to shows at YPT….I see that nothing has changed. The Cadillac runs better than ever!

Thank you YPT.
Stacey DePass

Nicola Pantin

YPT felt like home the moment I was brought in to choreograph Jacob Two-Two Meets the Hooded Fang in 2003. I won a Dora Award for that show and was nominated several times afterwards for the other 5 shows I was fortunate to choreograph, all under the direction of Allen MacInnis. Every experience has been full of laughter, artistic fulfillment and talent across the board. Many theatres can be intimidating on the first day of rehearsal, but YPT brings the entire team together (box office, designers, marketing, actors, creative team, etc) to stand in a circle and introduce themselves. I always look forward to this special time together as we embark on the short and sweet journey, together.

Nicola Pantin

Angela Dorigo

It was the first play during which I saw my 11 year old daughter literally on the edge of her seat – absorbing the entire experience – living it with the actors – trying to understand it all. It was To Kill a Mockingbird. Fabulous. Thank you.

Angela Dorigo

Cathy Zeleniak

My first years of teaching I was at what is now Nelson Mandela Park Public School. Being an inner city school we tried not to ask parents for money but we tried to give our students the best learning experiences we could. YPT was very helpful with this by providing free admission for our classes. We saw at least one show a year and the students always talked about them for months afterwards. One of the favorites was the musical The Nutmeg Princess.

Currently I work in an alternative school where we have the funds to attend YPT has a whole school once a year. We have enjoyed many great performances over the last 6 years.
Keep up the great work!

Cathy Zeleniak

M.C. Legault

I first remember gratefully introducing my children to your stage at a very young age and still think back fondly on how they thrilled at seeing characters from a fondly enjoyed book ( “The bird who couldn’t sing”?) come to life… I also hosted two wonderful birthday parties/plays there over the years, which were a great success (as I recall, the first one was a first (b-party) for the theatre .. 🙂 )

As a parent, your repertoire is to be commended as I think back on everything from silly, delightful fare for the ‘small fry’ , along with thought provoking shows such as Hana’s Suitcase and i think i can.

I’ve also often wished we’d had more extra-curricular time to enroll at least one of my children in your drama program…

Most of all: Congrats on your 50th anniversary and may you live long and prosper! 🙂

M.C. Legault & Family

Colleen Gibson

I have been bringing my classes (various grades) to Young People’s Theatre for several years now. I absolutely love how friendly, easy going and helpful the staff are when it comes to coordinating school bookings, especially Shawn. The performances are truly superb and never seem to disappoint! Coming to YPT has created lasting memories for all of my students, and for that, I thank you! Congratulations on reaching 50 years! Looking forward to many more wonderful theatrical experiences with all of you!

Colleen Gibson

Colin Doyle

I had always heard about how great it was to work at YPT. Certainly the shows that I had seen there were always of the highest quality, performing to some of the most eager and generous audiences. So on the first day of my first show as an actor at YPT, ‘Sultans of the Street’, I was overcome with emotion. When I stood in the first of two introduction circles with the people that make the magic in that building, again I was overcome with emotion. I felt so honoured to be in this circle. It was a goal I had as an actor, to play on that stage and be one amongst these great people, these people that wanted to bring great stories to young people in Toronto and abroad.

Getting to perform an incredibly important and moving piece with some of my dearest friends, to audiences that were so captivated and curious about our story, is a memory I will cherish always.

YPT to me, is a place where dreams become reality. A place that fosters those dreams and shares them with the young and old alike. I am so thankful and grateful for that.

Colin Doyle