Throughout our 47 year history, YPT has seen many of our young audience members grow up to become parents and grandparents, and we are always excited when they return with children and grandchildren of their own.
Last year, we were lucky enough to reconnect with Andrea Ryan. Andrea’s mom used to bring her to YPT with a group of family friends and she was eager to introduce her own daughter to the experience. I was lucky enough to learn a bit about Andrea’s memories of YPT and her family’s new experiences at our theatre.
Who first introduced you to Young People’s Theatre?
My mom first introduced me to YPT when I was about 8.
What do you remember about your first trip to YPT? What show did you see?
Seeing as that was over 24 years ago, I don’t remember what show I first saw, but our trips to YPT were always an adventure. Driving down from Barrie with family friends, we made an afternoon out of it. We would eat at a diner down the street and then go to the show.
What made you decide to return to YPT with your child?
I really appreciated the experience I had as a child being introduced to theatre. My love for live theatre and stage productions is still alive today and I think that the exposure I had through YPT as a child fostered it. I hope that my kids will learn to appreciate theatre as much as I do through the YPT program.
What is different from what you remember as a child?
I remember the theatre being a lot bigger, but I am sure it was just simply the fact that I was much smaller the last time I was there.
What is the same?
The atmosphere and the obvious love of their craft by the performers.
What is your favourite or most memorable YPT experience?
Hard to say – honestly, I never remember a bad experience – they were all memorable.
What is the value for you, as an adult, in returning to YPT?
Watching the expression on my daughter’s face and watching her take part in the Q&A at the end of the show. I can see her becoming wrapped up in the story. It also inspires great conversation on the way home.
What do you find to be the value for your child?
There is something so incredibly valuable about being in front of a stage play – to see the actors, in person, tell their story and feel as though you are there experiencing it with them. It also helped my daughter express herself through play at home – we re-enacted some of the story as she passed it onto her 3-year-old brother (a future YPT attendee, I assure you)!
Do you have any family traditions attached to your theatre visits?
I don’t know the name of the diner down the street but as a child we went there each time. It was a retro-70′s themed diner with black and white tile floors, juke boxes at each table, and fun food.
Andrea’s description of the diner she used to go to makes me think it might be the old Shopsy’s on the corner of Yonge and Front. If anyone agrees, or has a better idea as to the name of the diner, drop us an e-mail at email@example.com. We’d really like to solve this mystery and let her know!
Do you have any favourite YPT memories or theatre-going traditions you’d like to share? We’d love to hear about them –comment below or send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.