Matthew Jocelyn

Thank you, YPT, for existing : for creating a desire and relevance and joyfulness and legitimacy and necessity and whimsicalness and gumption for/in/and about theatre, from the firstest to the lastest.

– Matthew Jocelyn, Artistic Director, Canadian Stage, Toronto

Carole Higgins

Thank you YPT for being an inspiration to young people and theatre artists across the country.

– Carole Higgins, Artistic Director, Carousel Theatre for Young People, Vancouver

Franco Boni

My first experience in the theatre was at YPT. I was in the second grade at St. Jane Frances, a Catholic school in the Jane/Finch neighbourhood. I was so excited about traveling to the City. My mom packed my lunch – I’m sure it was the dreaded Mortadella sandwich – but she gave me a bit of money to buy a drink. Before the school bus arrived to take us home my whole class jammed into the tiny downstairs basement where we ate our lunch.  Thank you YPT for filling my heart and my tummy!

– Franco Boni, General & Artistic Director, The Theatre Centre, Toronto

Joel Greenburg

Thanks to YPT (Peter Moss as the A.D.), I was offered many opportunities to develop and extend my reach by writing (my first time) and directing Drink the Mercury (Dora Award) and writing-directing The Nuclear Power Show (Chalmers Playwriting Award). I also directed Alice on the mainstage and directed the national tour of Reading the Signs. Back in 2001, I think it was, to direct The Compleat Works of Wm Shkspr (Abridged) – every experience was framed by the marvellous team at YPT, the positive vibe, a word I never use but which is totally apt in this context – every time I am in the building, I know that there is something wholly powerful going on. I don’t know any other theatre that does this to me. I loved bringing my daughters to shows at YPT – I think their first experiences were at about age 3 and 5 – they still have the Alice dolls that Fina made for them when I directed Alice, made from the same costume fabrics as the show’s costumes. Both Jessica and Rebecca have acted on the mainstage – Rebecca in That Scatterbrain Booky, while she was in middle school, and Jessica in several productions after she returned to Toronto from having studied and worked in New York. Can’t speak for her, but for us Hana’s Suitcase will always be the highlight. And now, with my granddaughters, and Jessica’s daughters, starting to add YPT to their lives, it’s quite overwhelming to see the work through their experience – I know that Jessica was overwhelmed when she started bringing her children to the theatre that was her first live venue experience. What an amazing history – and fascinating that Peter Moss and Colleen Blake, who I met and worked with at YPT so many years ago, are now both on the Board of Studio 180 Theatre. And Allen MacInnis is on our Advisory Board. A legacy, indeed!

– Joel Greenburg, Artistic Director, Studio 180 Theatre, Toronto

Peter Herrndorf

I have very fond memories of bringing my children to Young People’s Theatre. The productions were always entertaining, extremely high-calibre, and respected the intellect of their very discerning audience. YPT has always been — and continues to be — a vital and important theatre for Toronto, and for theatre in Canada.

– Peter Herrndorf, President & CEO, National Arts Centre, Ottawa

Jeff Pitcher

Thank you YPT for being YPT! Young People’s Theatre is a mentor to us all. Theatre Newfoundland Labrador grabbed the baton that YPT started with when we created our company in 1979 by performing and creating plays for young audiences. YPT was certainly our inspiration. To this day, 35 years later, our company continues its strong commitment to theatre for young audiences with our annual ‘Festival of Youth.’ The concept of intelligent, thoughtful and thought-provoking theatre for young audiences is at the heart of YPT and an idea that TNL works hard to emulate here in Newfoundland. Thank you YPT; Happy 50th anniversary!

– Jeff Pitcher, Artistic Director, Theatre Newfoundland Labrador

Peter Oundjian

Congratulations to Toronto’s Young People’s Theatre on 50 wonderful years of exceptional performances and dedication to arts education!  Educating young people should be at the core of all of our artistic missions.  With its award-winning productions for families, drama classes, and school programmes, YPT has stood out as one of our leaders in arts education.  Here’s to at least 50 more outstanding years!

– Peter Oundjian, Music Director, Toronto Symphony Orchestra

Kelly Thornton

Thank-you YPT for your passion in awakening our children to the endless possibilities of their own imagination. You are a gift to our city and to the multiple generations that have come through your doors. My seven year old delights in your work: the costumes, the spectacle, the hilarity of plays like James and the Giant Peach, A Year With Frog and Toad and Seussical but she has also been profoundly touched and enlightened by plays such as To Kill a Mockingbird.

If this wasn’t enough you have also impacted so many, including my niece, who has grown up in the training programs at YPT’s school. Bravo on all your incredible work YPT and Happy 50th Anniversary.

– Kelly Thornton, Artistic Director, Nightwood Theatre, Toronto

Jim Morrow

Congratulations from all of us at Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia to Young People’s Theatre for fifty years of developing, producing, and supporting quality theatre for younger audiences. In addition to creating a myriad of memorable productions over the past five decades, YPT has raised the bar in enhancing standards of excellence for quality family entertainment. Of course, Mermaid’s and YPT’s association goes back a very long way but we are young by comparison as we celebrate only our 44rd season this year.

My fondest recollection reflects a seminal moment in our company’s history, one that changed us forever and one that took place on stage at YPT. The year was 1999. We had just completed an adaptation of Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar and The Very Quiet Cricket and were looking to showcase the new work for thirty presenters from across North America. This was our first experience in performing for children as young as two, so we were collectively very nervous about the response. Because staff at YPT created such a warm and welcoming atmosphere and provided us with access to all their facilities, the event became more of a gathering of friends and celebration rather than the showcase opportunity we had imagined. Thanks in part to the efforts of our friends at YPT, the show went off without a hitch and, as a result, we have now toured Eric’s stories for sixteen years to over two million people around the world. Thank you YPT for your generosity and for your longevity. May you thrive another fifty years!

– Jim Morrow, Artistic Director, Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia, Halifax

Dr. Peter Simon

Thank you to the Young People’s Theatre for enriching the lives of children for 50 years by providing them with the earliest possible exposure to the transformative power of the arts.

– Dr. Peter Simon, President and CEO, The Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto