I began acting in YMTC when I was 14 years old. Being a part of such a strong community that allowed me to express myself creatively while working with others to create something positive (a show!) completely changed my life. I had been acting since I was five years old, however, YMTC really gave me my sea legs as a performer. Jennifer always emphasizes the positive, while still expecting a high level from the youth performers. She thereby makes those participating feel confident in their skills and also raises the bar, helping the performers grow together. I believe that people, especially youth, will rise to the bar that is set for them. In public schools often expectations are set low. Having a chance to be challenged in high school, and to feel like what I loved to do (theatre) was important, changed my life. I am now 22 years old. I just graduated from Boston University with B.F.A in Theatre Arts-Performance. I recently moved back to the Bay Area. I just finished an internship with Berkeley Rep and I am about to be in a dance theatre piece that will be at the San Francisco Fringe festival. I feel lucky to be making theatre in the world! Who knows what this next year will bring, but I feel confident that I have the tools to meet whatever challenges come, and I know that I have the passion and belief in theatre to continue performing. I believe that this all started in a large part with YMTC. During one summer break while I was in school, Jennifer let me be a directing intern for Les Miserables, as well as co-teach some YMTC youth summer workshops. I believe that this inviting of alumni back into the community to be teachers and inspire youth in the way that we were inspired, is yet another amazing and valuable thing that YMTC does. YMTC is incredibly important, now more than ever, because it teaches children that art is fun, vital, and powerful. YMTC teaches positive communication, collaboration, listening, and of course practical techniques of acting, singing, and dancing. But most of all, YMTC gives young performers confidence and an outlet for creative fun, and for that I, and many others I know, will be forever grateful.
I love YMTC. You most likely would stop at the word Youth (in Youth Musical Theatre Company) & probably think it's like an unprofessional & cheap performance and wouldn't care much. Well, if you think that, you would be 100% WRONG. 'Wrong' as in, NOT correct.
Just by seeing the first few minutes of a production they put on, or even the vibe you get from the audience who have seen YMTC performances previously, you can see that so much effort, time, & production is put into the making of the show. Doubt it, just come see a future production. I hear they are doing Sweeney Todd & Urinetown soon! Can't wait!
When it comes to YMTC, I have mixed feelings- as do most of the people I've talked to. Theater as a whole always has three sides to consider: The audience, the stage, and everything outside of those two worlds that consists of management, advertising, etc. I have had the luck to be part of all three of these worlds at one point or another in varying capacities ranging from actor to production team. People have commented that YMTC shows are filled with the underserving children of wealthy parents. Yes, many of the students who perform with YMTC were lucky enough to be born into providence, but not all of them, and the strong majority are most certainly deserving of their parts in the production. One person who posted previously said that kids leave YMTC with a sense of entitlement, and that roles can be bought- this is a grossly erroneous claim. Many of the actors that I have worked with have proven time and time again through timeliness, proper decorum, and an ability to receive feedback, that they fully understand what is expected of them as actors. The one person I do know who was part of the YMTC community and had a gross sense of entitlement, had this sense long before entering the community, and after graduating has yet maintain high standing with any group they work with. The process the actors are put through, while extremely condensed and not as well organized, bears a striking resemblance to the processes of professional and college companies I have also worked with. The product, which is more often than not slightly substandard, is one community theater, and should not be judged so harshly as one might judge a regional or commercial theater production. Ticket prices I cannot defend. However the things I learned by watching people work and getting involved myself during the rehearsal and technical processes has been invaluable to me and many others over the years, and I have YMTC to thank for that.
I was in the previous YMTC show RAGTIME! AND I LOVED the opportunity to be in a professional theater production! While being cast as the lead of this show in the role of "Coalhouse Walker Jr." I got to see the show from so many perspectives. One, being that i a former foster child got to play the lead, even though i had never done a musical, that was big for me personally. Two, i noticed that there wasn't a lot of diversity in the cast, I'm not sure how to view that, however, regardless of that the people in the cast are amazing and talent is not even a question when it comes to there shows and productions, i even stayed at one of the cast members house while the production was in play because i had become homeless at the time. Three, i feel as though YMTC has a lot to offer and deserves to be noticed by many, but they should think about how they run the organization, i'll just say that. In closing, overall YMTC is an amazing theater company in which i learned so much from and grew as an artist and a person. YMTC is sadly not apart of my life anymore but i thank them for everything that they have done for me. ~Dawon Davis
YMTC produces three astonishing musicals every year. They audition kids from middle school through high school and then, over just a few weeks, blend those kids into an almost-professional troupe of actors, dancers, and singers. Every show is amazing. The director, choreographer, and costume designers put together shows that are a pleasure to behold. I have seen "Fiddler," "Jesus Christ Superstar," and most recently, "West Side Story" during the past few months. YMTC is a Community Treasure and should be regarded as such. We are unbelievably lucky to have them right here in our very own East Bay community. Long May They Perform!
YMTC has been inspiring me for many years, since long before I became a part of the company. I have seen or been involved with every show since 2008. Every performance is practically perfect in caliber and, what's more, the actors bring a freshness and an emotion to their characters that I have rarely experienced even in many Broadway shows. I have left the theater after every YMTC show I have seen filled with many emotions, a huge deal of inspiration, and a sense of wonder at how a group of teenagers and younger can be counted on to produce such a work of art. I have also performed in many shows with YMTC, and each one of them was a life-altering experience for myself and my peers. Although I could not afford to pay full tuition for these shows, I was never denied the same opportunity to perform that was granted to the actors paying full tuition. I know I am not alone in saying that YMTC has monumentally changed my life for the better.
I have thought long and hard about whether to write a review for YMTC, obviously, I have decided that a review is worthy of my time. I am not a parent, relative, actor, or professional judging this company, I am a teenager who has done backstage work for YMTC going on three years now. At first, looking at all the glowing reviews from parents - I was a bit aggravated, YMTC is not perfect, there are many flaws in this program, and people suggesting that it's life changing and so incredible and professional - while valid, doesn't exactly ring completely true. However, I do not agree with the people on here saying that YMTC is a complete and utter waste, and should not be supported, yes, YMTC has its flaws, it isn't perfect, no company is, but to say that because they flooded your inbox they're a bad Youth Theatre company? I don't think so. For me, YMTC has been a good, if not great way to gain experience. Yes, many of the kids who study with YMTC have money, and yes the tuition is a lot, but whoever said that it's for rich kids must not have heard about Ragtime - over half the students were on tuition assistance. As for the quality of the YMTC shows, it's community theatre, not broadway. It isn't going to be as perfect or as polished. I personally have seen some incredible YMTC shows, Ragtime being among them. Now YMTC does have it's problems - communication being one of them. I have continually felt that I was given far too much responsibility and not enough credit for nearly every show I've worked on with YMTC. I have worked incredibly hard, only to be demoted time and time again. Now this is partly my fault - but I also feel that the people in charge of YMTC have so much on their plate that sometimes they let everything else slide. Still, I have gotten great experience working backstage on YMTC shows, and I am proud of the caliber of the productions i have worked on and helped to produce. Is YMTC perfect? No, absolutely not, but it's growing and changing, and to sell it short and not give it and the people who run it the benefit of the doubt would be a complete and utter travesty.
YMTC's West Side Story was spectacular! The dancing, the singing, the acting! It was better than the movie--which was fantastic--because it was a huge cast of young people who had so much talent, the audience was entranced! What a treat! I could have come back and seen them again the next night, but they were sold out!
I've been thrilled to be a part of three YMTC shows (and plan on being in many many more). Never before in any aspect of my life have I been treated with as much respect as a professional despite my 15 years of age. Beyond this, I now have three distinct new families to rely on and grow with. Being in a YMTC show provides a perfect blend of meeting new people and quickly falling in love with them and a very real and very professional theater experience. Jennifer Boesing is, hands down, a genius in her unique interpretation and execution of all shows obsqure and well-loved; she provides Broadway quality musical theater with a fraction of a Broadway budget by inspiring and relying on the kids in her shows instead of doubting their ability on the basis of their age. It has been an absolute blessing to be a part of the YMTC community these past few years, and I am certain that the geniuses now running the company will continue to astonish bay area natives and kids alike as they work to create masterful theater.