Friday, May 9, 2014

News: (Toronto) YPT announces 2014-15 season (press release)

YPT Announces 2014/15 Season!

Artistic Director Allen MacInnis and Executive Director Nancy J. Webster are thrilled to announce the line-up for 2014/15 – the 49th season at Young People’s Theatre. This year, YPT is presenting seven outstanding productions, including a world premiere and a Canadian premiere, each exploring the central theme of fairness.

“If you want to push a kid’s buttons, just talk to them about fairness. It’s the justification young people most often cite to get what they want. But there’s a catch – they may have to take fairness for another person into consideration and act fairly in return at some future date.  As children grow, they confront obstacles to fairness -- arbitrary rules or systemic imbalances, generally things they cannot easily change. So how do we teach fairness in a sometimes unfair world? Our 49th season of plays explores this challenge from a number of fun and intriguing perspectives.” - Allen MacInnis, Artistic Director

This extraordinary season begins in October with a giant of modern American literature adapted for the stage: To Kill a Mockingbird, a story that’s more controversial than ever, and still as profound after all these years. Then, just in time for the holidays, the uncontrollably exuberant musical James and the Giant Peach takes over the Mainstage for its Canadian premiere in a brand new adaptation by Broadway’s hottest composers! The New Year brings with it a celebration of winter in Snow Angel, a delightfully original production from Quest Theatre of Calgary – don’t hate winter, go out into your community and celebrate it! As the spring thaw approaches, March Break audiences will be enthralled by Pinocchio, a dazzlingly theatrical version of the classic tale from Tout à Trac of Montreal. This will be followed by the world premiere of Emily’s Piano in April, which continues YPT’s exploration into mental health and wellness Adapted from the book by Charlotte Gingras, this poignant and uplifting story is a tender exploration of hope when depression has befallen a parent. Rounding out spring will be a gripping play for teens from Vancouver’s Green Thumb Theatre: tagged, a provocative debate about social media --vital democratic tool or threat to personal privacy? The final play of the season is Bedtime! Co-produced by Montreal dance company Bouge de là, Young People’s Theatre and Agora de la danse, this innovative production uses acrobatic dance to portray childhoodfrom birth to adolescence, providing a child’s view of the one domain they can rule: their bedroom.

Each production in this exceptional season touches on how fairness – or the lack thereof – helps to shape the lives of young people. Click here to view the Season Announcement video featuring clips from the shows.

2014/15 Season Playbill

To Kill a Mockingbird
ByHarper Lee
Dramatized by Christopher Sergel
On the Mainstage Oct. 6 to Nov. 2, 2014 | Recommended for ages 11 & up

Racial injustice in depression-era Alabama through the eyes of a child. An adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel.

Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach
Words and Music by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
Book by Timothy Allen McDonald
Based on the book James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
On the Mainstage Nov. 24 to Dec. 21, 2014 | Recommended for ages 6 & up

A rollicking new musical version of the beloved children’s classic. Canadian premiere!

Snow Angel 
Created by Nikki Loach with Artistic Contributions by Peter Balkwill
An original Quest Theatre Production
with development support provided by Young People’s Theatre
On the Mainstage Feb. 10 to 19, 2015 | Recommended for ages 4 & up

Celebrate the magic of winter and the ripple effect of kindness in one little girl’s neighbourhood.

By Hugo Bélanger
English translation by Bobby Theodore
Produced by Tout à Trac
On the Mainstage Mar. 3 to 21, 2015 | Recommended for ages 6 & up

Thetimeless children’s classic comes alive in a wildly inventive new production.

Emily’s Piano
By Mark Cassidy
Adapted by Mark Cassidy from the novel by Charlotte Gingras*, translated by Susan Ouriou
On the Mainstage Apr. 13 to May 2, 2015 | Recommended for ages 10 & up
*Copyright ©2003 Charlotte Gingras and Les éditions de la courte échelle inc.

A search for a beloved family piano reveals the healing power of hope. World premiere based on the evocative children’s novel.

By Dave Deveau
Produced by Green Thumb Theatre
In the Studio Apr. 21 to May 8, 2015 | Recommended for ages 13 & up

A party photo goes viral. An investigation of accountability in our social media world.

Direction and Choreographic Creation by Hélène Langevin in collaboration with the performers
Co-Produced by Bouge de là, Young People’s Theatre and Agora de la danse
On the Mainstage May 6 to 14, 2015 | Recommended for ages 4 & up

Four phases of childhood told through exhilarating, high octane dance.

* * * * *

Executive Director Nancy Webster states: “The professional work on our stages, and the educational programming which contextualizes that theatre, would not bepossible without a host of believers. Our 2014/15 season is supported by generous individuals, by forward-thinking corporations and foundations, and by committed government agencies. YPT is grateful to them all.”

Young People’s Theatre is very grateful for the support provided by our Government Partners - Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council and Canadian Heritage.  As well, YPT wishes to thank  lead Education Partner BMO Financial Group, Emerging Artists Partner RBC Foundation, and lead Seats for Every Kid Partner, TD Bank Group.

It is with sincere gratitude that YPT recognizes the extraordinary contribution of Ada Slaight, who provides access to our Education programs through scholarships and other initiatives. As well, Young People’s Theatre is very thankful to Gary & Donna Slaight & family for their ongoing support of YPT’s Resident Artist Educator Program.

YPT is also very grateful for the contribution of our Accessibility Partners Great West Life, London Life, Canada LifeIndustrial Alliance & IA Clarington Investments, and the Tippet Foundation.

With the generous assistance of Sun Life Financial, YPT is once again offering First Saturdays and Pay-What-You-Can (PWYC) performances for all productions this season. First Saturdays provide families with reduced ticket prices to the first Saturday performance of selected Mainstage productions. PWYC tickets are available for designated weekend family shows on the day of performance only, with a suggested minimum contribution of $10 per ticket.

Show Combos are on sale to subscribers May 7 with up to 30% off regular single ticket prices. Group tickets are also on sale, with Early Bird Savings available to school groups until June 27. Single tickets will go on sale June 23. For more information, visit or call 416.862.2222.

YPT’s Member Schools Program, supported by the Metcalf Foundation, enters its third year in 2014/15, building on its past success. Over the past two years, theEducation & Participation department has forged special, multi-year partnerships with ten area schools attaining in-depth engagement through visits to the theatre, student-led action research, student and teacher workshops and involvement with the whole school community. In working with the Member Schools, YPT strives to increase accessibility, foster a deeper engagement in learning, and achieve creative excellence. Visit for more information. 

YPT’s renowned Drama School turns 45 this year and will feature year-round classes and programs in Downtown Toronto, North York and Etobicoke. Summer Drama Camp registration is currently underway for ages 6 to 18 at the Downtown location, with many classes already sold-out. For more information, visit or call 416.862.2222.

The current 2013/14 season playbill concludes on May 15. Tickets are still available for Sultans of the Street, playing on the Mainstage until that time.

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