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YPT proudly celebrates 50 Wonder-Filled Years with an extraordinary line-up for the 2015/16 season!

Only the best is good enough for children

Young People’s Theatre is thrilled to announce the playbill for its 2015/16 50th Anniversary Season, a milestone marked by the return of beloved audience favourites, re-imagined classics and innovative new work, each a testament to YPT founder Susan Rubes’s statement: Only the best is good enough for children.

This extraordinary season will feature nine remarkable and diverse productions on two stages, including two cutting-edge world premieres, three musicals, and a theatrical exchange with YPT’s renowned sister organization, Seattle Children’s Theatre. International in scope and at the forefront of issues relevant to young people, YPT’s 50th Anniversary Season promises to be a landmark year!

The theme of our anniversary season is inspired by the words of YPT’s founder, Susan Rubes: Only the best is good enough for children. For me that means encouraging them to delight in the joys of life, empowering them to handle the small and large challenges of existence, teaching them genuine respect for others, and finally, giving them freedom to make choices for which they will be responsible. Our anniversary program highlights that the best for children is what gives them the optimal chance to thrive… now and into their futures.  Allen MacInnis, Artistic Director

50th Anniversary Season Playbill

Click here to book weekend family tickets online now or call 416.862.2222.
To book school group tickets, please call 416.862.2222

Hana’s Suitcase
Written by Emil Sher
Based on the book Hana’s Suitcase by Karen Levine, published by Second Story Press
Directed by Allen MacInnis
Recommended for ages 10 & up

Oct. 5 to 30, 2015

At some point, it is best that children be told the truth.

When a child’s suitcase arrives at the tiny Children’s Holocaust Centre in Tokyo, the curator embarks on an extraordinary journey to uncover the story of Hana and her fate at the hands of the Nazis. This true story, originally a radio documentary and then an international best-selling book, premiered at YPT in 2006 with two of its real-life protagonists in attendance, George Brady and Fumiko Ishioka. YPT’s successful production toured to Winnipeg, Edmonton, Montreal, and Vancouver and in 2015/16 will revisit Geordie Productions in Montreal and premiere at the Seattle Children’s Theatre.

Written and Directed by Hélène Ducharme
English translation by Leanna Brodie
A Théâtre Motus production created in co-production with Troupe Sô (Mali)
Recommended for ages 4 & up

Oct. 13 to 23, 2015

Sometimes, children need to find their own path, allowing them the wisdom of their innocence. An epic West African story comes to life in this award-winning production about a mystical young boy’s quest to return water to the land amidst a relentless drought. YPT brings back this audience favourite, which won the Dora Award for Outstanding TYA Production in 2012.

Jacob Two-Two Meets the Hooded Fang
Written by Mordecai Richler
New Music and Lyrics by Britta and Anika Johnson
Co-Directed by Allen MacInnis and Jen Shuber
Recommended for ages 7 & up

Nov. 16 to Dec. 20, 2015

Truly a signature production in YPT’s history, this play is the company’s most-produced and amongst its most beloved. It is particularly fitting that Jacob Two-Two returns for this, the 40th anniversary of the book by renowned Canadian author Mordecai Richler. An action-packed musical filled with suspense, comedy and adventure featuring new music and lyrics by talented young song-writing duo Britta and Anika Johnson.

Written by Sarah Berthiaume
Translated by Nadine Desrochers
Commissioned and produced by Youtheatre
Directed by Michel Lefebvre
Recommended for ages 15 & up

Nov. 30 to Dec. 11, 2015

An innocent online foray reveals the disturbing and surreal world of cyber-porn and exacerbates a 16 year-old girl’s self-image issues by complicating her relationship with a boy she likes. In the best interest of protecting young people from predators, we must instill our children with ownership of their feelings and their bodies. Youtheatre of Montreal is a long-time partner of YPT, having produced such topical teen works as The Other Side of the Closet.

By Erin Shields, based on a concept by Sandra Laronde
Produced by Red Sky Performance
Directed by Andrea Donaldson
Recommended for ages 6 & up

Feb. 9 to 19, 2016

Two young neighbours discover they live in worlds that are very far apart in this moving coming of age story about how Mistatim – the Cree word for horse – brings them together to form the truest of friendships. Red Sky Performance offers dynamic, movement-based Aboriginal stories for audiences young and old.

One Thing Leads to Another – WORLD PREMIERE
Created by Maja Ardal
Directed by Mary Francis Moore
Recommended for ages 3 to 12 months, but suitable for up to 24 months

Feb. 8 to 21, 2016

Former YPT Artistic Director Maja Ardal returns with an innovative new work of theatre commissioned by YPT and created specifically for infants! As they develop and thrive, babies use all of their senses to learn about the world – therefore, our performers will engage with YPT’s youngest-ever audience using music, enticing visuals, and tactile experiences.

Goodnight Moon
Book, Music, and Lyrics by Chad Henry
Adapted from Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd
Produced by Seattle Children’s Theatre, Seattle, WA, USA
Directed by Linda Hartzell with additional Direction by Rita Giomi
GOODNIGHT MOON copyright © 1947, 1975 A Clark III and JT Hurd
Recommended for ages 4 & up

Feb. 29 to Mar. 19, 2016

YPT is delighted to bring Seattle Children’s Theatre to Canada for the first time with a special treat for young ones over the March Break. The Great Green Room comes to life before your eyes in this delightful family musical that stays true to the beloved book. One of the best ways for children to feel cherished and loved is to cozy up with a children’s classic!

By Evan Placey
Directed by Nina Lee Aquino
Recommended for ages 14 & up

Apr. 18 to May 1, 2016

YPT is proud to premiere a play that connects both sides of the Atlantic. The fate of two sets of boys in Scarborough, Ontario and Scarborough, England are linked by one body found washed up on a beach. This riveting mystery was commissioned by YPT, workshopped at the Banff Centre Playwrights Colony, and comes from the pen of award-winning expat Canadian, Evan Placey.

The Wizard of Oz
By L. Frank Baum
With Music and Lyrics by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg
Background Music by Herbert Stothart
Dance and Vocal Arrangements by Peter Howard, Orchestration by Larry Wilcox, Adapted by John Kane for the Royal Shakespeare Company
Based upon the Classic Motion Picture owned by Turner Entertainment Co. and distributed in all media by Warner Bros.
Directed by Joey Tremblay
Recommended for ages 5 & up

Apr. 4 to May 15, 2016

YPT closes its season with a whimsical look at one of its most popular shows. In this refreshing new take on the family musical classic, Dorothy once again tries to find her way back home, only to learn she must find ‘home’ within herself.

Click here to book weekend family tickets online now or call 416.862.2222.
To book school group tickets, please call 416.862.2222

The 50th Anniversary Season will feature a variety of events that honour YPT’s storied past while looking ahead to a big, bright future. YPT’s 50th Anniversary Gala, co-chaired by three couples (Sheila Brown & Doug Guzman, Holly Coll-Black & Rupert Duchesne, and Susan & Arthur Scace) is scheduled for Thursday, October 29th at the Arcadian Court. The event will celebrate the past, present and future of Canada’s largest and oldest professional theatre for young people, featuring performances from celebrated Alumni artists and videos documenting YPT’s innovative community programs. This once-in-50-years event is not to be missed. Stay tuned for more information.

YPT’s renowned Drama School turns 46 this year and features year-round classes and programs, led by professional artist-educators, at three locations in the GTA (with a fourth location to be announced soon!). Summer Drama Camp registration is currently underway. For more information, visit or call 416.862.2222.

It is with sincere gratitude that Young People’s Theatre recognizes the extraordinary contribution of the Slaight family, whose dedicated, long-standing support has been vital to the success of the company. Of particular note is their remarkable gift of $3 million, just announced, for the creation of the Ada Slaight Education Centre at YPT.

YPT is very grateful for the support provided by its 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, lead Seats for Every Kid Partner TD Bank Group, Community Education Sponsor Barrick Gold, and Production Sponsors Bell Canada and Scotiabank.

Young People’s Theatre is also very grateful for the contribution of our Accessibility Partners Great West Life, London Life, Canada Life; Industrial Alliance & IA Clarington Investments; and the Tippet Foundation.

And Young People’s Theatre is especially thankful for the support of the people of Toronto over these past 50 years, who have embraced this very special company like one of the family.

YPT officially kicks off this momentous year on July 1st, 2015. But the outpouring of excitement already coming in from members of the public and the theatre community has been truly heart-warming:

Over the past 50 years, Young People’s Theatre has made an indelible mark on the City of Toronto. My mother was a volunteer in the early days, working alongside founder Susan Rubes. Even then, this unique company’s value to our City was clear. Through its professional productions and educational programming, YPT has introduced the performing arts to millions of children. Thank you, YPT. You are vital to Toronto’s cultural make-up. Here’s to the next 50 years!

Mayor John Tory

Live theatre, especially for family audiences, is one of the most exciting ways of introducing young people to the experience of drama, spurring their creativity and instilling in them a lifelong sense of the importance of the arts… Young People’s Theatre has been at the forefront of this important work for as long as I can remember. Happy 50th anniversary YPT, and may you continue for many years to come!

Karen Kain, C.C., Artistic Director, The National Ballet of Canada

I had the great good fortune to work at YPT early in my career. From the excellence of the artists and artisans, to the clear sense of mission in bringing quality theatre to young people – it was a wonderful experience in every way. I say to YPT: “long may you run!”

Antoni Cimolino, Artistic Director, Stratford Festival

Thanks to specialists like YPT, who focus on professional performing arts experiences for young audiences, Canadian Opera Company and many other companies can have confidence there will be future, eager audiences in Canada. Congratulations YPT on the accomplishments of your last 50 years. May you enjoy another 50 years of great theatre for young people.

Alexander Neef, General Director, Canadian Opera Company

My very first professional performance was at YPT in Jacob Two-Two Meets the Hooded Fang. I loved the theatre then and I love it now. Thank you, YPT, for introducing thousands of young people (myself included) to the glory of theatre!

Albert Schultz, Artistic Director, Soulpepper Theatre Company

Thank you YPT for being the first. The first professional theatre specifically dedicated to young people in Toronto, in Canada, and one of the first on the continent. You have blazed a trail. More importantly, you continue to lead. Bravo. Here’s to the next 50 years.

Vanessa Porteous, Artistic Director, Alberta Theatre Projects, Calgary

Young People’s Theatre inspired a sea-change in theatre in Canada and the world. Susan Rubes and Young People’s Theatre also inspired a global shift in how we value the experiences, stories and cultural lives of children and young people. Happy Birthday, YPT.

Ruth Smillie, Artistic Director, Globe Theatre, Regina

Thank you YPT for bringing such beautiful stories to life on the stage in an inspired and thoughtful way; and for nurturing our children’s imaginations, and in a fun way teaching them about people, places, ideas and problem solving…oh yeah, and for helping to make culture an option!

Amy House, Artistic Animateur, Resource Centre for the Arts, St. John’s

Read more at and share your own memories here.

For a limited time, subscribers can save on already low ticket prices and receive priority seating with YPT’s Show Combos, offering discounts of up to 25%. NEW 50th Season Launch Special: Purchase all eight regular shows (excluding One Thing Leads to Another) and receive 50% off for the first 50 days Combos are on sale! (Mar. 23 to May 12)

With the generous assistance of Sun Life Financial, YPT is once again offering First Saturdays and Pay-What-You-Can (PWYC) performances 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.

Weekday school group prices remain unchanged (for over ten years) with tickets just $15 for students and teachers including HST, and one FREE teacher/chaperone ticket for every 20 tickets purchased. NEW 50th Season Launch Special – Save 20%: Tickets just $12 each for the first 50 days they’re on sale (in effect from March 23 to May 12).

Click here to book weekend family tickets or call 416.862-2222.
To book school group tickets, please call 416.862.2222