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 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 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'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.
I began seeing YMTC shows because of a wonderful young man I new who was performing in them. I had no idea when I saw his first show that I was going to be attending the 'Theater'. It is easy to forget that the show is primarily young people. The talent, sets, direction, music, house management is all exceptional. This company is committed to offering scholarships to young people who would otherwise not be able to be involved... i could go on and on. This company is a gift to our community and I am proud to support them and recommend that you check out one of their shows- you are sure to be moved!
My child has been in two YMTC productions, one as a cast member and one as part of the production staff. Each production was its own new community; the way in which that community developed over the many weeks from audition to closing night was a lesson for me, and I hope for the kids, in how hard work and a shared goal can create a spectacular result. Speaking of which, this is not your average "kids, let's put on a show" youth theater company: the quality is outstanding. We went to the most recent production even though our child wasn't involved, and if that's not an endorsement, I don't know what is!
Our son was a YMTC member for the final years of high school. All of his and our interactions with the organization - teachers, administration and volunteers - were thoroughly positive. He came with some experience in acting, but singing and dancing were new to him. With the help of the YMTC directors he grew tremendously through his experience. if it had not been for the generous scholarship program, he would not have been able to participate. YMTC passes on a valuable sense of community, respect for the individual and the collective art of theater that we wholeheartedly support and commend.
YMTC is the reason I do theater. In high school YMTC took me on as an assistant stage manager, despite my complete lack of experience, and showed me the ropes. Before long I was stage managing full-fledged productions for them. And now, after coming back to YMTC for many summers, I've graduated from Oberlin College with a degree in theater and a passion in life. YMTC showed me the power of theater, for both participants and audiences. YMTC taught me how to collaborate effectively, and how to stay level-headed in high-stress situations (both invaluable skills). YMTC taught me how to teach, and showed me that it's possible to create an environment wherein everyone feels respected, safe, and encouraged to discover their full potential. And not only did YMTC embrace these values, they did so while holding themselves to an incredible artistic standard. They still do, which is why I still go to every YMTC production I can. I continue to be blown away both by the amazing performances (both onstage and off), and by the knowledge that every young person on the stage, or backstage, or in the booth, is feeling some version of the excitement, joy, and gratitude that I still feel for this amazing company.
My daughter participated in YMTC productions for 3 years during high school, and I volunteered at times too. The adults behind it, whether producers, directors, choreographers, or set designers, are extremely talented and professional. What they brought out in the kids is nothing short of amazing. While these kids are only in high school, honestly, many of the productions rivaled professional theater shows. My daughter really blossomed and gained skills and confidence that will serve her for the rest of her life. Several of her peers have moved on to professional careers of their own. I am so grateful that YMTC is around to provide such a wonderful program for the kids, and great pleasure to the audiences as well.
I never truly found and fostered my love for musical theater until I performed with YMTC. I had seen my friends perform in various shows including "Les Miserables" and "A Chorus Line" and I was completely blown away by the level of professional skill and pure talent that all of my young adult peers had. After each show I saw, I would think to myself, "Wow that was amazing and I'd really love to be apart of that". It wasn't until I saw a flyer at school for auditions for "Anything Goes" that I seized the opportunity to make my dreams of being on stage a reality. Even though I was a senior in high school and one of the older members of the cast, I was welcomed with open arms. It was my first experience working with a musical theater company and I can easily say it was one of the best times of life. The directors, choreographers, and all the other staff and people in the show were so supportive, caring, and dedicated to their job with YMTC. Also, the cast of the show was one of the most talented group of young people I have ever worked with. The skills I learned, the atmosphere I was able to grow and perform in, and the friendships I gained will stay with me for life. Although it was my first and last show with YMTC, the feeling and passion this group sparked in me will stay with me throughout my future experiences as a performer. YMTC doesn't put on amazing shows and do a great job. They inspire the countless young people that are in them and the hundreds of others who see the shows, thus furthering their love for musical theater and spectacular works of art.