Peninsula Youth Theatre

Rating: 4.84 stars   19 reviews

Issues: Arts & Culture

Location: 2500 Old Middlefield Way Mountain View CA 94043 USA

Mission: Peninsula Youth Theatre (PYT) provides outstanding theatrical learning experiences that develop leadership, emphasize responsibility and foster teamwork in a supportive, respectful environment.
Programs: Main Stage Productions: PYT presents 5 full-length musical productions each year, featuring more than 300 young actors. Stories on Stage: Eight short plays per season based on the school reading curriculum are designed to inspire further reading. Children attending the 45-minute shows are given bookmarks with suggested reading lists. Many of these shows are original adaptations. School of Performing Arts: PYT offers drama classes for children aged 3 to 18. Theatre in the Park: Day-long summer camps culminating in free Friday night performances in local parks. Pizazz!: PYT?s touring group produces a show each year to take into Silicon Valley classrooms and to community events. Outreach: PYT has an extensive community outreach program, which includes: providing teachers for local school drama classes; Girl Scout workshops in conjunction with performances; donating tickets to local service organizations for low-income children and seniors; making scholarships available for on-site classes and participating in community events.

2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

PYT is a source of consistent joy, especially in its Stories on Stage series of works from children's literature. Adventurous and imaginative shows that are a great and affordable way for young audiences to learn about theatre and for young actors to hone their skills.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

I became involved in PYT because my younger child loved acting--and because I loved watching young actors grow. I've stayed involved with PYT because I've seen how transformative a place it is: for kids, for parents, for audience members.

One of my special loves is children's literature and PYT provides a unique service in the Bay Area with its Stories on Stage performances. These are great, accessible, gold-spun-from-straw shows based on children's books--some classic, some contemporary. It's always difficult to turn your eyes away from the creative stuff that's happening on stage in these shows, but if you do, you'll see little audience members whose imaginations are being positively ignited.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My child's personal growth, and my own.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Wish it much great visibility.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

I've consistently met wonderful people through this group, learned more about theatre, and been given great insight into how an organization can be responsive and kind without comprising on high standards and scruples.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Rating: 5 stars  

Peninsula Youth Theatre provides youth in the Bay Area to learn and grow through theatrical experiences. PYT offers classes, camps, black box plays and elaborate main stage musical opportunities. All of the programs are educational, and participants enjoy the social and emotional benefits of working together as a team to produce a high-quality end product. Many kids in the community who come to see PYT shows are exposed to the performing arts for the first time. So, whether a participant, and audience member, or both, Peninsula Youth Theatre is an important resource.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

Peninsula Youth Theater offers kids in our community the chance to participate in a variety of high-quality dramatic programs. From our summertime Theater in the Park camps to the educational Stories on Stage performances during the school year to our fabulous Center Stage musical productions there is something for every family. Our fabulous teachers, directors, and other artistic staff give the kids a chance to grow and learn about themselves in a positive, supportive environment.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The growth and self esteem benefits in my child.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Expand PYT opportunities to even more local kids.

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Rating: 4 stars  

My son's experience with the Peninsula Youth Theatre has been fabulous! As a newcomer to theater, he has been able to explore his creative side in a positive learning environment. The PYT staff is terrific in providing support, encouragement and enthusiasm for all participants regardless of their experience. PYT is a great community organization that encourages the arts for young people.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My son's participation in various productions. PYT is an invaluable organization for exposing young people to theater.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I do not know of any changes I would make.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I started performing for PYT when I was eight. I didn't have any prior experience in theatrical arts or performance, but I did find singing and dancing extremely fun. During the course of my first show, I learned about performing and discovered it as my passion. I'm sixteen now, and after my nineteen shows at PYT, I have built a strong support system of friends and approachable adults with whom I maintain lasting relationships. That's one of the amazing things about PYT: the memories of a show and the frienships formed remain even after significant time has passed. The environment of the entire process is amazingly professional for a youth-based, non-profit organization, yet it is simultaneously light-hearted and extremely enjoyable. PYT has been a very positive influence in my life. It has allowed me to meet so many talented and wonderful people that I would not have been able to meet otherwise. One of my best friends lives twenty minutes away and is home schooled, and we would not have met if it had not been for our shared love of musical theaterand access to PYT. Additionally, PYT has enabled me to enrich my passion for theatrical arts with their diverse array of professional directors, choreographers, and music directors. Every staff member I have worked with has taught me a skill or been a great friend to me. The production staff always looks for a way to bring the best out of us, and they challenge us to better ourselves on a daily basis. During my eight years of working with PYT, I have learned important life lessons, built a sturdy structure of frienships, and worked to perfect my skills.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have performed in numerous shows with PYT, built many friendships, and worked to improve my skills in theatre.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

focus more on the show itself rather than the sets and costumes.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

I met many various people and worked on my skills as a performer.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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Rating: 4 stars  

My kids have grown up with PYT starting with their wonderful program, Theater in the Park. Through these summer camps, my kids discovered their love of singing & acting. All of my kids were very shy originally & the stage has turned them into confident young adults. PYT provides an incredible program designed for all kids --- whether they want to work behind the stage, just sing in a group or be a star onstage. This type of community activity is crucial to providing access to the arts to younger people. It instills an appreciation for the arts that continues into their adult life.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My kids have done 20 main stage shows with PYT (I have 4 kids participating), 8 Theater in the Park camps, Dickens Carolers, Hollywood Hosts, Sure Thing! & a few of their training classes.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

create a management staff that is determined to build PYT into a much stronger community theater program designed for kids. I think all the pieces are there but a strong individual with a strong desire to build the program into something bigger & better would be great.

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Rating: 5 stars  

PYT is our other family! We have had 3 children participate over the last 12+ years. They have each performed, worked backstage, helped with auditions and have made friendships that will last a long time. This organization is a true community.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have had a lot of fun volunteering on many shows helping with props, costumes, marketing and ticket incentives. My husband has worked backed stage. My kids have all enjoyed performing not matter how big or small the role. They have gained confidence and have learned respect. They also have a deep appreciation for the all the hard work that is involved - and that is great learning experience for them.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I am not sure I would make any changes. I would only hope the local community will continue to support an enriching program such as PYT. I know I will.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I've been involved with Peninsula Youth Theatre (PYT) since I was about five. My older sister, Katherine, had decided to give acting a try, and being the young tot I was, I was dragged along. My sister fell in love with the stage, and I did too. It was and still is magical to see the transformations people make when they're on stage. Off stage, they could be subdued or outcasts or "losers" or whatever. But on stage, they become a new person, a better version of themselves, what they wish they could be. And for a glorious two and a half hours, they can be that person. PYT has given me and so many others the opportunity to do just that. The directors are all amazingly talented actors and actresses themselves, and guide us young actors into exploring the vast expanse of our theatrical ability. The classes are marvelous, and help shy kids come out of their shells. Theatre in the Park, a summer theatre camp geared for younger kids, is an especially great example of this. I interned over the summer for the 6-8 year old age range, and there was one child that was shy and didn't want to talk to many people except me. But because of the group activities led by the wonderful teachers and the acting/imagining exercises they did, he slowly opened himself up and started playing with the other kids. This type of progress is one of the many reasons why I love PYT. I myself experienced bullying and the feeling of not fitting in at school. But at PYT, I fit in completely. It was like I found the missing piece to my puzzle. I can't imagine life without my wonderful PYT family. Everyone there, all the staff, has watched me grow up and have all helped teach me important life lessons that I'll take into my adult life and use to continue to be successful. Best of all, I feel loved and welcomed in the familiar PYT studios. You know how people say Disneyland is the happiest place on earth? Well, in my book, Disneyland takes the back seat to PYT. There is no happier place to be, than at PYT.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my life and my personal relationships with friends

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

do nothing. It's perfect the way it is.

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Rating: 4 stars  

I have been at PYT since I was 4 years old. I began as a Munchkin Player and just kept growing from there. I am now a seventeen year old who has participated in over 30 shows in the community just by my start at this great organization. I participate in their Stories on Stage program which is unique to this company in the sense that those who have participated in this program have grown to be very strong actors. It shapes you as an actor to really hone your skills in acting without the distraction of music and dancing. I also love that in Stories on Stage many of the roles are written with certain actors in mind. For example I can say I have been the original Slab in "How I Became A Pirate", I am the original Cayenne Kate in "Pecos Bill and the Ghost Skeletons", I am the original Mrs. Kringle in "Auntie Claus". I mean I could go on and on about how much I have learned just in that one program. I also am involved with the Dickens Carolers who go at Christmas time and dress up in Dickens era costumes and sing Christmas Carols. This is another great program because it teaches us how to be in a choral setting as well as giving us great cultural enrichment. Each year we go to many different places and spread holiday cheer. It is a great program.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My own life because I have become a better actress and a more vigorous worker because I have had these thoughts instilled in me.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would try to bring more popular mainstage shows and possibly more variety to the directors for mainstage shows.

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Rating: 5 stars  

Our family got involved in PYT when our daughter was in the 6th grade, and became interested in performing onstage. She appeared in multiple MainStage shows, worked as a camp counselor for PYT'sTheatre in the Park, served as President of PYT's Youth Advisory Board, and even after graduating from high school, she performed in Alumni shows. Her commitment to PYT stemmed both from the great experience and learning about all things theater that she received, but even more from the deep friendships that she maintains to this day.

PYT provides a safe and supportive environment for children of all ages to learn and grow their theatrical skills, but also their leadership and team skills, which are critical to success as adults. And it is a true family environment where my husband and I met wonderful people and truly enjoyed our volunteer experience.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my daughter's self-confidence and poise in front of groups, as well as her continued commitment to performing. She grew into a talented comic actress, and has pursued comedy writing and performing in college, all because of the opportunity to grow her skills and follow her interests that PYT provided.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

increase professional fundraising capability. The production values are really high, the learning and support for the children are paramount, but the organization needs more reliable, solid funding in order to maintain and grow its programs.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have been involved with PYT since it began. As a parent, I loved the sense of community that PYT offered me and my daughter. Everyone works hard to put on great shows, but the quality of the show is never as important as making sure that the children all have positive experiences and feel a sense of belonging. I am now a board member, and even though my daughter is too old to do PYT shows, the organization is still an important part of my life.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have been involved in helping on at least 50 shows over the years as a parent volunteer and board member.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Keep expanding so more children have opportunities to be a part of this wonderful community.

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