New Play Development

The work that we create on our stages at Young People’s Theatre must have a strong connection to the lives of young people today. To that end, we maintain a rigorous new play development program that is led by the artists we engage, supported by our artistic staff.

YPT engages in a two-phase play development process called Exploration and Commission. Exploration provides support for the artist to investigate their concept while also providing the theatre with a deeper understanding of the intention behind the work. If there is excitement from both the artist and YPT at the end of the exploration phase, the work proceeds to Commission, which is a long term commitment to the eventual production of the play.

The Exploration phase also incorporates the following programs:

Script Submissions

We accept scripts on an on-going, year-round basis. We are only able to offer developmental support to Canadian playwrights. However, we are willing to accept submissions of produced plays from international playwrights for production consideration. Learn more…

Recommender Grants for Theatre Creators

The Ontario Arts Council Recommender Grants for Theatre Creators program is a third party recommender program whose goal is to fund Ontario-based professional theatre artists in the creation of new works. Young People’s Theatre is proud to be a recommender for this program and our focus is providing support to plays for young audiences, especially theatre created from a diverse range of cultural communities. Learn more…


The residency program allows an artist to extend their development period and more deeply engage with the artistic and educational programming at YPT.  Learn about our 19.20 Playwright-in-Residence, generously supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, here.

In addition to its own play development, YPT also supports and provides resources to companies across Canada who are creating new work for young audiences through the following programs:

Leaps and Bounds

Leaps and Bounds is a play development partnership strategy supporting the early creation stage of Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA) across Canada. The program provides financial resources and play development personnel support to other professional Canadian TYA companies in order to develop new ideas into quality productions. Learn more…

Play Investment

In order to ensure that YPT’s seasons consist of programming of the highest quality, and to support the work of Canadian companies across Canada, YPT provides additional financial resources to assist the final stages of artistic development and/or production of touring TYA work. Examples of play investment include Kidoons and WYRD productions Jungle Book, DynamO Théâtre’s Ghost and Ladders, Quest Theatre’s Snow Angel, Bouge de là’s Bedtime, and Green Thumb Theatre’s tagged.