Photo features: Syrian families meet with cast members Damien Atkins (top row, second from the left) and Matthew Brown (top row, fourth from the left) while at YPT with Kids Up Front to see the production, Jacob Two-Two Meets the Hooded Fang (2015).
YPT Welcomes Syrian Families to Toronto!
During our 2016/17 Season, Young People’s Theatre was pleased to offer a number of free show tickets to Syrian families who were new to the Toronto area. We thank the Canada Council Arts and Culture Welcome Refugee initiative and Sun Life Financial for their support of the program.
Click here to read more about YPT’s participation in the Canada Council’s new arts initiative welcoming refugees to the country.
Feedback from Participants in YPT’s Welcome to the Arts Initiative:
“Everything worked perfectly. There were nine Syrian refugee family members ranging in age from 4 to 65, and two sponsors accompanying them. I knew the two older children (11 and 12 years old) would enjoy the play and we had primed them by using the book in their tutoring sessions, but we were a little apprehensive about the two 4-year-olds (would it be too scary? could they sit for 80 minutes?) and didn’t know how the 5 adults would respond. We were all seated in one row and the volunteer interpreter (who had been assigned another seat) switched with one of the sponsors so she could sit between the two family members with the least English and explain highlights of what was happening during the show. Everyone had a wonderful time. The grandmother (was moved by the play) and became very emotional about the loss of family members, remembering her own losses. Having the interpreter there sitting next to her during the play was wonderful.” – Naomi Alboim, Lifeline Syria
“Thank you for the opportunity to bring our refugee family to the theatre. The mother and father weren’t able to sit through all of the play [James and the Giant Peach] as their two-year-old was restless and wanted to wander, but they expressed gratitude for being invited to a Canadian play. Both were thrilled to be in the building and had the opportunity to walk around and look at the pictures, the space and marveled that a theatre had been created for children.
The children sat on the edges of their chairs and laughed, clapped and groaned throughout the play. One of the children said she liked the play very much, but didn’t like the people – a reference to Sponger and Spiker who she thought used bad words. We were thrilled to hear her say that because it showed us she understood enough of the language to make sense of the play. The two boys were the most excited and had numerous questions for my husband throughout the play. They felt comfortable enough to put up their hands up during the Q/A.
I am truly grateful that this opportunity came up to take them to the event as it is not something the family would do on their own.” – Dalia Taylor, Trinity Church, Streetsville
ABOUT YOUNG PEOPLE’S THEATRE
YPT is the oldest professional theatre company in Toronto and is a national producer and presenter of theatre for young audiences – the first and largest of its kind in Canada. Over the past 50 years YPT has staged many of the most important plays that form the canon of work for youth in our country. The enriched learning experiences of YPT’s Education & Participation Department also provide young people with opportunities to develop their whole being. At Young People’s Theatre we strive for a positive and lasting impact on the emotional, social, and intellectual development of young people – giving them the chance to grow into the unique and wonderful people they were born to be.