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 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 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.
My 6 year old son was excited about theater after participating in his school play, so we signed him up for one of their two-week camps. When we arrived the first day, he refused to be in the play. The staff at PYT was great - they worked with him and got him to participate so that at the end he was so excited to be a part of the camp. He made a great friend there too. I would highly recommend this program.