YOUTH MUSICAL THEATER COMPANY

Rating: 4.58 stars   120 reviews

Issues: Arts & Culture, Children & Youth, Education

Location: 2640 College Avenue Berkeley CA 94704 USA

Mission: YMTC (Youth Musical Theater Company) is a non-profit, Berkeley-based company which produces professional caliber musical theater while providing exceptional theater training to students from the 7th grade through university level. We bring together the Bay Area’s most talented and dedicated young singer/actors with professional directors, designers, and musicians to create theater that takes on challenging and sophisticated musical and dramatic themes, and that is always accompanied by a full, live orchestra. From the time it incorporated as a non-profit in 2004, YMTC has grown into a year round production company, producing three fully mounted musicals as well as small scale workshop productions and training workshops throughout the year. Many YMTC graduates have gone on to study music and theater at some of the best conservatories in the United States and abroad; all of them, wherever they go, take with them confidence, empathy, responsibility, and the capacity to imagine. We passionately believe that when young people have opportunities to participate in exceptional training in the arts, they are becoming not only the next generation of artists and arts appreciators, but the next generation of engaged citizens: empowered to pay attention, communicate, and energetically participate in a collaborative process.

2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

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Rating: 5 stars   Featured Review

5 people found this review helpful

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.

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How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Rating: 5 stars  

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!

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Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

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

A lot

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Rating: 4 stars  

This group offers exemplary services to Berkeley's children

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Would you volunteer for this group again?

Likely

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

Some

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Okay

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Likely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

Rating: 3 stars  

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.

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

Try to improve over all organization at the rehearsal level- sometimes people would be waiting around for unnecessarily long periods of time during the early rehearsal process. As things become more specific, organization reaches a heightened level that should have been present earlier on.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Unsure

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

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Unsure

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

Payment for services. While I did approach the company as an alumni and asked if they needed help, it was frustrating to receive no compensation outside 4 comp tickets for over 250 hours of work, while musicians were paid upwards of $300.

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

I learned many new things and gained a heightened knowledge of what i want to pursue in my field.

Rating: 5 stars  

YMTW produces extremely high quality performances. I'm so impressed!

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Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Unsure

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

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Rating: 4 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

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

More Feedback

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Unsure

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Quite well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Rating: 1 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

I have been reading these reviews and see a mix of likes and dislike comments. Like one student shared, no arts company is perfect. All non profits need to work out their issues. But after doing some research on the company, I did find that YMTC requires a high tuition fee for each student that gets a role or part in their three musicals they do a year. Yes they offer scholarships for some families that can't afford the fee's and yes they invite "ringers" to be in their show. And these invited polished actors "ringer" do not pay any fee's. Some of these invited ringers are already paid actors that do the performance for free. In a nut shell - YMTC is not a deserving non profit. - I hope this helps

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Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

No

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

None

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Rating: 5 stars  

1 people found this review helpful

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!

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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?

Some

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Okay

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Rating: 5 stars  

1 people found this review helpful

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.

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How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 2 stars  

YMTC is home base of fostering entitlement to our youth. Supported by their rich parents who create an environment for their students were no one loses and no one ever gives a poor performance. Everyone is a winner. These kids later move onto college were entitled students have no clue about failure, and only understand that a fat donation or money will secure their success in anything they approach in life. I don't support a non profit that continues to foster youth/kids that have no clue about the real world, where roles and parts in plays and musicals can't always be bought by rich parents.

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Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

No

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

None

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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