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.
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.
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!
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.
I love everything about the good work of YMTC. I think they put on stellar musical productions and that they are a major part of the education and training for many young musicians in this part of California. They deserve all the accolades that a grateful community has given it over the last decade. Thank you Huffington for recognizing the achievements of Jennifer Boesing, Dave Moeshler & others in guiding Berkeley's Youth Musical Theater Company.
YMTC is a Youth Musical Theater Company, with emphasize of “Youth.” Nevertheless, their productions are amazing! For example, last winter they preformed Ragtime. In my humble opinion, it was better than the original Broadway production. The director (Jennifer Boesing) and her stuff are doing wonderful job in bringing the young actors to perform at the highest level.
This companychanged changed my life. I had been seeing shows of theirs for many years, but i never could have imagined that I would be in one. They gave me a chance, and now im headed towards my fourth show through them. YMTC has helped me become a greater, less self-conscious person, and has let me express myself through the stories of others.
My first exposure to YMTC was in 2004, when my younger daughter performed in YMTC’s first production of ‘West Side Story.” She went on to perform in six shows over the next four years and went to on pursue a degree in theater, in part because of how inspired she was by working with YMTC. I have been volunteering in support of fund-raising for YMTC (usually by baking) since 2004, and believe strongly in their mission to make top-flight musical theater training broadly available to young people. I have always been impressed with the passion and professionalism that Jennifer Boesing, Pam Crane, Dave Moeschler, and all the other people who direct the work at YMTC bring to every production, and how, every time, the kids rise to the occasion with extraordinary performances. Even after my daughter went to college I maintained my connection to YMTC. It has been a real privilege to watch so many young performers grow up in the company, maturing both as people and as artists. Many of them go on to do exceptional work in college and beyond. YMTC has great production values, and its shows are nothing short of inspirational.
Wow - what an incredible group of kids. I have provided props for YMTC for many many years and have always been empresses with the level of professionalism and pure joy that these kids get from their experiences. If I could give them more stars I would.
I was blown away by the quality of the productions and the training that the performers received.
Ours is a family of three generations of professional artists (literary, musical, dramatic and visual) and arts patrons, and though we've had many experiences with nonprofit arts organizations, none have impressed me more than YMTC in terms of the quality of productions, professionalism, artistic and personal mentorship, board involvement, parent/volunteer involvement, planning and organization, and audience satisfaction. Both of my children (now 23 & 15 years old) have been involved in theater since they were small, working with virtually every youth theater program in the San Francisco Bay Area, and I can say without qualification that no other program holds a candle to YMTC -- and that includes the "big" Bay Area theater companies with national and international reputations. My 15-year-old has been singing and acting professionally in musical theater since age 7 and is now in the cast of her 6th YMTC show -- there is no comparison between the other companies she worked with and what YMTC does with its young performers. Once we found YMTC, there was no reason to go anywhere else. As others have said here, YMTC's shows are not great theater *even though* the performers are young -- YMTC's shows are simply great theater. Artistic Director Jennifer Boesing and Musical Director Dave Moschler, together with the crews and live orchestras they put together for each production, repeatedly create a perfect storm of talent, dedication, vision and professionalism that inspires every performer to grow as an artist and as a person, and inspires the rest of us -- parents, volunteers -- to do anything we can in support of YMTC's efforts. YMTC is an exemplary model of what a nonprofit arts organization can and should be.
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!!
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!
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.
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".
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.