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 am so pleased to see Jennifer Boesing, Dave Moschler, and all the talented young people of YMTC featured here. YMTC is indeed a great non-profit in the truest sense of the word. Great because YMTC both demands and summons excellence; great because they create magic on stage and reset expectations for how young people can succeed; great because they give professional caliber opportunities to young artists regardless of financial ability; and great because in a world of diminishing resources for the arts, they set a high bar for themselves and their audiences. Bravo YMTC!!!
I feel so lucky to be a student at YMTC! I'm lucky to learn from the exceptional directors, staff, and volunteers, who provide endless support. I am lucky to be surrounded by talented fellow actors, whom I can trust and connect with. I'm lucky to have the opportunity to tell powerful stories to the Bay Area Public; because if there's anything YMTC has taught me, it's that if I'm dedicated and committed enough, than people will listen. And to be a teenager, who gets to be heard, is something I will never take for granted.
YMTC is successful because the expectations on the young performers are not lowered just because they're younger than most professionals. This not only allows the performers to grow artistically and personally depending on the demands of the particular material, but allows it choose challenging repertoire that is not even tackled by local professional companies. They've performed several Bay Area and world premiere performances in the last few seasons, and they only get better and better. They have a rigorous rehearsal process focused on the performers (equally on acting, singing and dancing), and they always come through with very high quality productions. There is a term they use sometimes that gets to the heart of what they do "Excellent training through excellent productions." It has a real impact on the youth they teach (they avoid the term "kids" when referring to their young performers), and audiences are completely astounded not just by the production value, but by the passion and genuineness of the performers.
This theater company offers an amazing experience for the young actors, whether they are new to the company or have been involved for years. The semi-professional productions are spectacular!
I have been in 3 YMTC shows. I feel really connected to the other kids that i'm in shows with. We have been through so much together including talks about all the issues that the shows deal with. I've learned about coal miners' strikes, racism that caused people to get killed, about families getting divorced and immigrant rights all in the process of being an actor in the shows that YMTC puts on. My cast members are black white, Asian, rich and poor kids. We all seem to get along and by the end of the show, we usually love each other. I love YMTC!
YMTC has incredible energy, and is inspirational for youth and adults. Their productions are first rate, and the talent seen in the youth is exceptional. I came in as a lighting designer for their production of "Ragtime" earlier this year, and was impressed by the professionalism and dedication of everyone, including the youth, involved. There is a great element of enthusiasm for their craft and sharing it with others, and an educational element as well in the subject matter, with a talkback of questions and answers after the performance between a few of the performers, directors and interested audience members after the show. Am truly impressed by this exceptional organization.
YMTC shows are beautiful--full live orchestras accompany fabulous singers and dancers (guys too!) who are compelling actors as well. Most importantly, participants in YMTC productions are challenged to grapple with the diverse perspectives of the characters, discuss the themes and conflicts in the play, and think about the context in which a show was written. YMTC is not afraid to move outside of the box. In West Side Story the dream sequence, danced to the song most known for the words "There's a place for us," ends with mixed and same gender couples holding hands in a procession. YMTC is a place where so many students realize their potential, while building a supportive and thoughtful community of young people.
I am consistently amazed by YMTC's ability to produce extremely high quality theater using middle school and high school actors. The training these young people get is unprecedented. I feel privileged to be involved with this company and I can't wait to see the next show!! -Kathy R
YMTC is an incredible service for both young people in our community and the general public. The experience and training they offer to the youth who participate in their shows is truly fantastic, while the quality of the performance they offer to the public is breathtaking. I have volunteered for this organization and regularly attend YMTC performances.
There is so much that is truly exceptional about YMTC - the gifted directors who are able to bring out the best in every cast member, the professionalism and commitment they require of these young people, the challenging themes that they take on, and the incredible artistic depth and quality of the performances. I can't think of a better way for my son to get through his middle and high school years than being a part of the YMTC community - he is being encouraged to stretch himself in so many ways, is part of a diverse and supportive community of young people, and is developing a passion for the theater arts. YMTC deserves to be recognized for its incredible work.
My 16 year old daughter is a musical theater fanatic. She had a great experience in elementary school with a fantastic drama and movement teacher which gave her a wonderful start. However, until we found YMTC, we were unhappy with the quality of experience available for middle and high schoolers in an otherwise very arts-friendly community-Berkeley, California (San Francisco Bay area). Until we found YMTC that is! YMTC, in my opinion, is hands down the best theater experience from the student, parent, and audience standpoint in the entire bay area. The productions are professional quality, with professional artists doing the direction, music, set design, make up and costumes. The music always featues a live orchestra. For their most recent (and current) production of West Side Story, they feature a 31 piece orchestra!! And the experience for the performers is without compare. My daughter's acting, voice, dancing, and general sense of discipline and professionalism has skyrocketed since we started with YMTC. YMTC is a top tier, completely professional organisation that is doing fantastic work in the community to support the arts, to support young actor singers, and to develop the next generation of artists and art appreciators! YMTC gets my vote every time!!
YMTC! Hooray! I have been voted best teacher in the San Francisco East Bay Area. So I know a thing or 2 about what's out there for youth theatre. At my first YMTC show I was expecting to be bored and was actually stunned! This was a musical I'd seen on Broadway and admired but the YMTC production had a vitality and spirit that illuminated the show in a way I had not experienced. I was first an audience member at YMTC, thanks to one of my former students Alix Feinsod who was in the shows. YMTC's choices of shows with themes such as a coal mining massacre, racism and lynching seem a bit much. So perhaps you understand my concern. As an African-American much of this touches on my own socio-emotional well being.This is not only a powerful lesson for its' young performers but for its' audience members as well. The director and cast handle the challenges inherent brilliantly. Don't get me wrong it isn't always serious. There is also much joy and exuberance in every YMTC show. Like a mirror in real life as we view ourselves we laugh and we cry. Parents often ask me what is the next step for my child, the budding young performer. I recommend YMTC time and time again. It is simply the best.---Russell Wright
As a middle school drama teacher I have had the opportunity to work closely with YMTC. They provide a level of instruction in musical theater that, to my knowledge, cannot be found anywhere else. I enthusiastically recommend that all my students interested in musical theater get involved with YMTC. Their scholarship support is outstanding, which allows many children the opportunity to receive a first class education in musical theater at a price they can afford. YMTC maintains a supportive, nurturing theatrical community despite the fact that their production values are through the roof.
YMTC is not just a youth theater company, it's a community that fosters young actors, singers and dancers and provides them with the support and training they need to succeed. I have seen people grow and blossom through the shows, from shy ensemble members to ridiculously talented performers. Jennifer Boesing treats us like professionals so that we can learn to act that way, and that kind of respect is a life changing experience as a young actor. Additionally, she provides some of the greatest vocal training and technique I've ever had, to leads and ensemble alike. The shows that are chosen aren't easy and aren't typical of youth theater, which helps us challenge ourselves in a way we definitely wouldn't be challenged at any other company. YMTC also provides scholarships to many kids so that anyone can enjoy and benefit from the wonderful work going on there. It truly changed my life, as it fostered my love of performance and brought me into one of the greatest communities I've ever known and I hope everyone in the Bay Area can experience that!
I have seen two YMTC performances and been completely impressed by both Ragtime and Westside Story. The singing, acting, choreography and direction are first rate. I was also impressed by the wonderful 30+ piece orchestra. This has truly changed the lives of several of the actors I know. I am watching them through these performances grow, mature and become professionals before my eyes. I am looking forward to the next production.
YMTC puts on fabulous theater; they teach young people performance skills; they raise the levels of expectation in audiences and student performers. But most importantly, YMTC gives young people guidance in the skills that are critical to growing into confident, caring, contributing adults: focusing on others, listening carefully, working with commitment, acting with passion, singing and dancing with joy.
YMTC changed the lives of my friends and peers who had participated in many local theater programs before YMTC and longed for a more serious group of youth actors, more dedicated and experienced directors and teachers, and more professional performance opportunities than typically available for teens. YMTC has created a home for truely dedicated young people and we are lucky to have this resource in the Bay Area. My life has been changed by Jennifer Boesing and her team at YMTC.
The shows are excellent! The youth actors and musicians are incredible! The professional training, set designing, costuming, and singing teaching is outstanding! We are lucky to have YMTC in the Bay Area so our young people have a place to take their drive and passion that is focused, directed, and produces powerful, meaningful, relevant theater. Bravo!
It’s true. YMTC shows are amazing: incredible youth talent; professional direction, musicians, sets, lights, sound, costumes – all coming together for fabulous productions. However, the more important aspect of YMTC is the opportunity it offers young people to find something they are passionate about and work on a common goal toward achieving an excellent result. I have two sons who have participated in YMTC workshops and productions. My younger son had never set foot on stage and wandered into an audition for Les Miserables in 7th grade. This was the start of a truly life-changing experience for him. He subsequently participated in seven productions through his middle school and high school years, auditioned for and was accepted into one of the top college theater programs and has just graduated with hopes of making a career in the theater. YMTC lets young people aspire toward excellence, gives them an opportunity to work with other young actors, professional directors, designers, and volunteers, and form a community with a common goal of putting on the best production possible. An amazing experience.
We have had the joy of watching friends and family perform as professionals in exciting, passionalte, amazing shows for years thanks to YMTC. The young people who participate receive an incredible theater arts education from seasoned professionals. Many of them go on to collegate theater arts programs thanks to the inspirarion and training YMTC provides. What a gem for our community.
YMTC provides and demands excellence for high school and college aged young performing artists, and attracts amazing talented, passionate performers who pour themselves into exciting dynamic theater. My friends and family, who had never before seen a YMTC show have said of recent show West Side Story..."What a performance! It’s a rough score for talented adult performers; for (these kids) to have pulled it off so convincingly and so professionally is just amazing"..."My tears were free flowing!"... YMTC has made it possilbe for Bay Area kids to experience and perform in professional quality theater. What a treasure for our community!
I have been a part of this community as a volunteer for the past 3 years. I have watched talented students enter the program with a deep passion for musiclal theater. Through YMTC and its professional staff, these students, learn and perfect at the highest level a craft and artform. As members of a company, they are held accountable to standards required for preparing a professional production...learning about dedication, commitment, and delivery of product (the show). Bravo YMTC for producing exceptional theater, and as important, building adults for tomorrow. David Mayer
YMTC productions are so inspiring. To see these young actors, singers and dancers performing with such professionalism and excitement is incredible. Jennifer Boesing and her production team bring out the very best in these kids. If you haven't seen a YMTC production I encourage you to go and experience one, it's some of the best theatre you will ever see. It has been a privilege to be a part of West Side Story, both as a volunteer and as a proud parent of a "Jet".
I've been attending YMTC shows for many years, and after seeing (and being amazed by) the first show I saw 8 or 9 years ago, I started bringing friends with me. I am sure they were expecting your typical "high school musical," but without exception, every friend was blown away by the talent and professional production quality (and they have all become regular attendees also!). Usually a few minutes into the first number, they look at me in amazement, and within 10 minutes they are completely transported. YMTC is a fantastic community asset - great training and experience for the kids, and wonderful entertainment for the audience. What is really impressive is the depth of engagement the kids have with really challenging material - both technically and in terms of content: Parade, Ragtime, West Side Story, Into the Woods - this is not "kid stuff," but the young cast is so adept and well directed that the materials feels new again.
The level of creativity for artistic expression in this organization is unsurpassed. Young people are given a glimpse into the highest beauty of music, art and dance, and the power of artistic human collaboration to inspire change in society. All of the works chosen have moral and cultural impact on developing adolescents. I just saw West Side Story, and watching the silent dream dance sequence contrasting what society could look like in a tolerant world and the ugliness of our current reality was just heartbreaking. Participating in this symbolic artistic expression will have a major impact on the lives of actors and audience alike.
I am a parent of an 11 year old who has been in three YMTC shows.Through her experience in YMTC, she has gained skills that include performing on stage with extreme focus, being a team player and working in a community of wonderful and giving young people, mainly older than her. The cast learns how to work together, function as a whole and give everything they have to their performances whether they are a lead or an ensemble player. The skills my daughter learned by working with an incredibly strong director, Jennifer Boesing, and the musical director, Dave Moschler, are priceless. In addition, performing in plays such as Ragtime and Parade is like getting a living history lesson unmatched in any classroom!
I don't have any children participating in YMTC, but the children I have known who are in the productions have all come away from the experience with new confidence, composure, relational skills, and astounding teamwork attitudes - not to mention the performance boosts they get, which have improved kids I have seen over the years by many octane levels - these kids are literally wowing the audience! Learning acting and singing they way YMTC teaches them, promotes empathy, tolerance and opens the hearts of those who are on stage, and those who are watching the stage. I have seen kids get into physical shape, improve their interactions with people, learn about their society, widen their minds ... you name it, it is worked on, in YMTC! I love this organization and on a personal level I believe all who participate in it bring a lot of joy into the world.
YMTC is a tremendous program, both for the kids that participate and for the general public. For the kids, they get a real opportunity to work hard and be part of creating something incredible. And, in a time when real feedback seems increasingly rare, Jennifer and her staff treat the kids like professionals, giving good, supportive but real critique. And, for the public in general, seeing a YMTC show reminds us that with a lot of work and dedication, we really can create something magical. Bravo YMTC!!
One of the best kept secrets in the Bay area is the Youth Music Theater Company of Berkeley. Under the expertise and guiding hand of Jennifer Boesing, these high school students put on some of the most professional, joyful, penetrating theater that I've seen since I moved to California ten years ago. The experience these young people have had over the years of working with YMTC has been life-changing for many, opened their eyes, their hearts, their talents. Many have gone on to professional lives as theater artists. Having spent a life in the theater I go to productions grudgingly and am usually disappointed in what I see. I guarantee that no one will be disappointed with the shows at YMTC. Everyone should know about them and be grateful for an evening of theater that will leave them singing.
My daughter has performed in 9 YMTC productions and it was impressive to see her grow and develop as an artist while working with professional directors, music directors, and set, costume and lighting designers. While there may be plenty of youth theater programs in the Bay Area, YMTC is by far the best organization around. With each production, I have always left the theater thinking this was the best production yet and how are they going to top it. YMTC continues to raise the bar and they continue to top the quality of their shows. Their productions are on par with some of the best professional Bay Area theater productions. Many of their student performers, including my daughter, go on to pursue studying theater in college. The entire Bay Area community is fortunate to have an organization like YMTC training and inspiring our future actors and actresses.
Having been involved in 6 YMTC productions now, I can say that I have never felt as comfortable and happy as I feel when I am in one of their shows. It is thrilling as a young person to get the opportunity to perform in such high-quality productions. Jennifer Boesing is an incredible director; I have learned so much from her. All of the teachers and instructors involved with YMTC clearly care about us, the students, and know how to treat us as professionals while also giving us help and instruction to improve and continue to grow as young performers and as people in general. YMTC feels like a second home to me now. It is a wonderful, unique institution -- completely indispensable in the Bay Area.
YMTC produces unbelievably impressive musical theater by young people. Watching their recent production of Ragtime, I completely forgot that this was "youth" theater; the individual performances and the ensemble work both were breath-taking. But perhaps more impressive than the productions themselves is the incredible education that this organization offers to young people -- in the theatrical arts, for sure, but also in teamwork and in setting ambitious goals and achieving them. A significant number of the young people receive scholarships to participate in the programs, and I urge you to join me in supporting as many youth as possible to be part of this awesome experience.
Several years ago I had heard the music from "Into the Woods" and wanted to see the production live. I ended up attending a YMTC production of "Into the Woods" in Berkeley and was completely blown away by the professionalism of the entire production: the direction, orchestra, sets, lighting, and, most of all, the performers. I couldn't believe they were young people. Passion, commitment, and real artistry were on display. I was really moved. When my own then-middle school aged child wanted to explore musical theater, I knew where to go. He began in a one-week Pocket Broadway workshop one summer, and has been involved for the past three years in over 8 YMTC musicals. He has moved from the back row of their production of “A Chorus Line”, to playing both ensemble and lead roles, most recently in “Ragtime”, and will continue his musical theatre training as a college freshman next Fall.
The young singer/actors are taught and directed by professionals. The students are treated as professionals and, in turn, are expected to act as professionals. Jennifer Boesing is an inspired director and knows how to bring out the best in her cast. Dave Moschler brings a level of musical direction that is brilliant, always conducting a live, full professional orchestra. The exceptional training my son has received through participation in numerous YMTC productions has increased his confidence and his sense of mastery. He has been part of a wonderful community of diverse and talented young people from around the Bay Area. Aside from the performers, the productions are just top notch. It's a real Bay Area treasure.
My husband and I have been involved with YMTC for a number of years. We both used to work in professional theatre and thought it would be fun to to volunteer. We have been constantly amazed at the outstanding quality of the student performers. The quality of the productions far outshines any community theatre that we have seen from children or adults. It has been so inspiring to watch these young performers as they grow and improve over the years--we love to cheer them on.
YMTC involves youths in producing outstanding musical theater. The energy and passion of the youths is remarkable and inspiring for the audience to be a part of.
YMTC offers amazing performance opportunities in musical theater to students who could otherwise not afford the chance. Their productions are top notch!
Put it this way. After seeing a number of YMTC productions, I had the opportunity to see "Wicked" at the Orphium in San Francisco. It was about 5% better than any of the YMTC productions, and that might be due to the elaborate big budget props!
YMTC is the best youth company I have seen anywhere! Their productions are eagerly anticipated by the community and usually sold out. My daughter studied briefly with Jennifer and YMTC and her experience was life changing. She started with a little raw talent but virtually no training and in a short period of time made major breakthroughs in her vocal range and ability. She is now singing light opera in addition to Musical Theatre. We had to move out of state last year and she really misses her friends and teachers at YMTC, and I miss their wonderful productions. Highly recommended.
Youth Musical Theater Company exceeds the expectations of youth theater for both the audience and the students who are lucky enough to be a part of the program. As a student, I have had the chance to be under the direction of brilliant directors, musical directors, choreographers, and designers; who not only taught me how to perform, but also allowed me the freedom to develop my own identity as a performer. It is a very professional environment, but because we are all encouraged to allow ourselves to be vulnerable as artists, there is a level of trust that is built among the cast, something all teenagers should have the opportunity to be a part of. I have also been an audience member at a YMTC performance, and it was the shows that i saw were phenomenal. Because it is a youth group there is a certain honesty and rawness that the actors exude, and the stories that YMTC actors tell are always powerful and moving. YMTC empowers teenagers, and gives them the extraordinary opportunity of telling the community a story.
I have been volunteering as the costume designer/manager for many of YMTC's shows since around 2003-04. Before that I was a parent volunteer who helped with costumes. Both of my children were in YMTC and loved it. When my youngest went to college in Fall 2006, I kept volunteering. That's because I am so impressed with the high expectations Jennifer, Dave, Pam, and others have for the kids and how, every time, the kids meet those expectations and even go beyond them. As a costume person, I spend most of my time back stage, which is great, especially during the last couple of shows I did, which involved large, diverse casts. It was wonderful to observe kids from different backgrounds get to know and love each other. Then there's the day I finally get to use my comp tickets to sit with my now adult children (the alums) in the audience and see the show the cast and crew have all worked so hard on. Yes the production values (including the costumes!) are high, but we are always most thrilled with the story-telling, the acting, the singing, and the passionate unity of purpose.
I have been in two YMTC productions (Anything Goes and Parade), and both were wonderful experiences. I think it is very cool that seventh through twelfth graders like myself get the opportunity to rehearse and perform high caliber shows, and I hope that the tradition continues. From the teen actor's perspective, I have only positive things to say about this organization!
I've had an amazing time being in several productions of YMTC's shows. I recommend anyone who's in middle school-high school who's into acting to join them. It's a fantastic experience, and I'm glad I could be a part of it
YMTC identifies immensely talented young singer/actors, provides them with professional training, and produces outstanding community theater with a passion and depth that compares with any professional show in the SF Bay Area performed by seasoned professinals. YMTC provides opportunities and training for all capable and interested young people regardless of their means and offers compelling theater at an affordable price.
My son participated in 8 YMTC shows from 7th grade to 11th grade, including several lead roles, and had a wonderful time. Jennifer is a brilliant, amazing director, and she has gathered a wonderful group of mentor/professionals in the organization. my son learned so much about singing, acting, being part of a team, and ultimately modeling and leading for the younger students. and he gained so much confidence, which has helped him in many other endeavors over the years. YMTC is truly a priceless jewel. And I think the whole crew would really know how to take advantage of greater stability in its funding, to serve even more young people.
The Youth Musical Theater Company is so important in the community. It provides professional level acting experience for youth. I was in the audience for their production of "Ragtime," and I was shocked to learn that the oldest actor was in his early 20's. I was shocked because they were so good, so well rehearsed, and seemed to be so experienced. This production also required singing and dancing, which were also excellent. My 13 year old friend was in the production, and his parents told me that of all his experiences with different companies, this one stood out because the director held very high standards for his cast. We need this company to thrive so that not only cast members can benefit, but also audiences from the community. They are very very inspiring.
My intro to this organization was a performance of Les Miserables, which still ranks as one of the best I have ever seen. And these were middle-and high-school performers... Then, my shy daughter participated in several YMTC workshops, where she learned she could indeed sing, dance, and have a stage presence. Which led her to realize she could also speak up in school classes...I have seen numerous performances since, all of exceptional musical quality. YMTC is by far the best youth musical theatre in the SF Bay Area, and its director, Jennifer Boesing, is exceptional for her ability to inspire and educate young singers and performers, and for her own musical gifts.