Tuesday, April 24, 2012

News: (Toronto) YPT announces typically ambitious new season

Allen MacInnis, artistic director of Toronto's prestigious Young People's Theatre, has announced a 47th season based around the theme "I Wish". To that end the company will be presenting original works as well as co-producing with some of the most celebrated companies in the genre (notably DynamO, Carousel, Theatre Direct and Manitoba Theatre for Young People).
Read the press release:

“Wishes often come true… but they rarely come free.”

Young People’s Theatre (YPT) is proud to announce the 2012/13 playbill for its 47th season. This year, YPT will feature eight outstanding productions on two stages, including a North American premiere, a riveting true story, and the return of an audience favourite – each exploring the season theme, I Wish.

The 2012/13 playbill is all about hope: having powerful dreams of change, staying hopeful in the face of adversity, and sharing the positive effects of hope. It is the fervent wish of this company that every child who attends YPT’s plays and programs comes away with the flame of hope brightly alight in their hearts and minds.

“For a while, I have wanted to program a season around the phrase I Wish. Wishes often come true … but they rarely come free. As young people grow up, the need for them to connect actions with consequences becomes increasingly important. The reality that choices must be made is hard to accept. Does growing up mean the end of wishing?”   ~ Allen MacInnis, Artistic Director.

Written & Directed by Yves Simard
Produced by DynamO Théâtre
Mainstage | OCT 9–21, 2012 | Recommended for Grades 3-7
YPT audiences love DynamO Théâtre’s unique blend of dazzling acrobatics, vivid imagery and creative storytelling. In this compelling piece, a woman is forced to flee, leaving everything she knows behind in the hope for a better life. Alone in a park, she finds herself gazing at the sky, which becomes her only reference point. She reaches out to people walking by in the hope of recalling what it is she has lost. Could a young runaway girl hold the answers? Join us as this incomparable company takes us on a compelling journey of exile and isolation, where hope is found in the strength of others.

CINDERELLA – a RATical retelling
By Mike Kenny | North American Premiere
Mainstage | NOV 12-DEC 30, 2012 | Recommended for Grades JK-6
The true story of Cinderella has never been told before… at least according to her friends -- five rats named Ears, Teeth, Claws, Tail and Whiskers. Cinderella yearns to go to the ball to dance the way her mom and dad once taught her. But Cinderella’s stepsisters have a different plan and they don't want any competition in their quest to marry a Prince! As the five rats tell the story in their own unique way, we discover that it takes hard work to make wishes come true for maybe Princesses, reluctant Princes, selfish sisters and wistful rats! Written by Mike Kenny (The Railway Children)Cinderella is a fun-filled romp with witty songs and inventive storytelling, sure to spark young imaginations.

Adapted by Marcia Johnson from the novel The Heaven Shop by Deborah Ellis
Produced by Theatre Direct
Studio | NOV 27-DEC 9, 2012 | Recommended for Grades 7-10
After losing her parents to HIV/AIDS, 13 year-old Binti Phiri journeys to her grandmother’s village where she finds the remarkable old woman in charge of a whole group of other orphans. Through the wisdom and caring of her grandmother, Binti discovers a new understanding of the power of family and community – and the necessity of hope when despair is all around. This Dora Award-nominated anthem to life is a tribute to the courage and determination of youth.

By Michael Miller
Mainstage | FEB 4-23, 2013 | Recommended for Grades 4–8
This is the powerful, true story of Harriet Tubman, who led hundreds of slaves to freedom and inspired hope for thousands more. Born a slave in Maryland in 1820, Harriet escaped to freedom at the age of 29. Not content just to be free, she risked her newfound liberty again and again to lead more than 300 slaves to freedom in the Northern States and Canada. Playwright Michael Miller (Touch the Sky) uses fact, speculation, and deft theatricality to tell the riveting story of the Underground Railroad’s most famous “conductor”.

By Linda A. Carson and Cathy Nosaty
Co-produced by YPT and Carousel Players
Studio | FEB 4–21, 2013 | Recommended for Grades JK-3
Here to Hear is a joyful, interactive play about hearing the world of music through different ears. Amanda and her dad don’t really agree on what music is. She likes to collect sounds from the audience and jam with them; he wants to perform the beautiful songs he has learned over the years. Just when it looks like there won’t be a concert at all, a surprise visitor turns things upside down. Together with the audience, Amanda and her father make a song that helps their visitor find the way home.

Co-Created by Fred Penner, Jay Brazeau & Kim Selody
Produced by Manitoba Theatre for Young People
Mainstage | FEB 28–MAR 16, 2013 | Recommended for Grades JK-3
The remarkable trio of Fred Penner, Jay Brazeau and Kim Selody have joined together to create a brand new play. Based on the song Fred made universally famous, this fanciful tale explores conflicting wishes – wanting a mischievous cat to go away versus wishing the affectionate feline would come back. In the play, a merry band of musicians help their grumpy neighbour Mr. Johnson and his curious cat negotiate a way to live together. Fantastical feline fun, first-rate performances and rockin' music make this a show you and your children won’t want to miss!

By Andri Snaer Magnason
Translated by Julian d’Arcy & Andri Snaer Magnason
In presentation with Nordiska ApS, Copenhagen
Recommended for Grades 3-8 | Mainstage | APR 2-MAY 2, 2013
Originally staged at YPT in 2005, Blue Planet returns due to popular demand!On a planet far out in space there are no adults, only children. These wild children – whose well of youthfulness has never run dry – play all day without anyone telling them what to do. When a mysterious salesman lands on their planet and grants them their most fervent wish – the ability to fly – an adventure ensues. The children don’t realize the price they have to pay to have everything they want until they discover their ability to fly is putting children on the other side of the planet in peril. Bravery and youthful ingenuity are needed to reverse the consequences of their actions. And in the end, everyone gets what they need and a little of what they wish for.

Created by Qui va là
Co-produced by SMCQ Jeunesse/Qui va là
Mainstage | MAY 6–16, 2013 | Recommended for Grades 8-12
Yohan, a recent runaway, is secretly in love with a young teenage girl who is a member of a street gang. How do we know? Yohan’s worried father has just received a box from the police containing some of his son’s belongings. Sorting through the box, he is able to gradually reconstruct the story of his missing son. Through a unique fusion of contemporary music and sophisticated puppetry, teen audiences will be awakened to both the allure and the danger of life on the street and, in the end, the need to stay connected to the people who care about us.
* * * * *

YPT’s renowned Drama School turns 43 this year and features year-round classes at three locations in the GTA. Summer Drama Camp registration is currently underway for ages 6 to 18 at the Downtown location. A limited number of scholarships are available to qualifying applicants. For more information, visit youngpeoplestheatre.ca or call 416.862.2222.

Young People’s Theatre extends heartfelt thanks to Season Partner TD for their generous support.
They also wish to thank lead Education Partner BMO Financial Group as well as lead Creative Excellence Partner RBC Foundation.

It is with sincere gratitude that YPT recognizes the incredible contribution of Ada Slaight, who provides access to our Education programs through scholarships and other initiatives. As well, we are 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 Accessibility Partners Great West Life, London Life, Canada Life and IA Clarington Investments & Industrial Alliance, as well as Government & Foundation Partners Canada Council for the Arts, Canadian Heritage, Ontario Arts Council and Toronto Arts Council.

Single ticket prices for weekend family performances remain unchanged for the seventh year in a row – just $20 for adults and $15 for children (under 18) and grandparents (age 65+); HST and service charges are extra. Subscribers can save on already low ticket prices with YPT’s Show Combos, offering discounts of up to 25%. Once again, the overwhelmingly popular First Saturday Savings returns, offering tickets at just $10 for the first Saturday in the run of most Mainstage shows.

Weekday performances for school groups are just $15 for students and teachers – including HST, with one FREE teacher/chaperone ticket for every 20 tickets purchased. Early bird Savings of 20% (all tickets just $12) are available to teachers booking by June 30, 2012.

Returning this year is YPT’s The First Bus is on Us program, funded by The Ontario Arts Council. This very successful program provides transportation subsidies for schools that have been unable to attend YPT in three or more years. Interested teachers should call 416.363.5131 x241 to see if their school qualifies.

With the generous assistance of Sun Life Financial, YPT is once again offering Pay-What-You-Can (PWYC) performances for all productions this season. PWYC tickets are available at the Box Office for weekend family shows on the day of performance only, with a suggested minimum contribution of $5 per ticket.

ON SALE NOW! Subscribers can purchase Show Combos beginning today, April 23. Student group tickets are also on sale now to schools. Single tickets on sale June 1.

For more information, visit youngpeoplestheatre.ca or call 416.862.2222.

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