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Youth Musical Theater Company

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Arts Education, Children & Youth, Education, Educational Services, Performing Arts, Youth Development Programs

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.

Programs: Musical theater productions. During 2013-14, ymtc mounted three full scale productions, involving about 40 students in each production either on or off stage, being trained by and working alongside 7 to 10 theater professionals. The productions were accompanied by between 6 and 30 professional live musicians. The productions spanned a rehearsal period ranging from 4 to 10 weeks each and were produced in a professional theater venue with a total of 18 performances for the public.

musical theater education workshops. Five separate workshops were offered during the year, each one training from 8 to 24 students. They were taught by professional teaching artists working in theater in the bay area. Enrollment was non-competitive and on a first-come, first-serve basis. Students were taught skills in character development, improvisation techniques, vocal techniques, movement, musical theater literature, dance, audition skills, and good rehearsal practices. In addition, ymtc conducted a workshop, with 20 students, to assist in the development of a new musical, written by an award-winning composer and playwright.

Community Stories

27 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

6 Sonia D.

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

2 Dawon D.

Client Served

Rating: 4

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

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

Andy8

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

Client Served

Rating: 5

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!

Client Served

Rating: 5

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!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

Anna-Linnéa R.

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Having trained, performed, and watched theater in various settings, I believe YMTC is the best company for giving valuable training in the process of putting on a production. The directing and production team believe we are worth the investment it takes to have the highest production quality possible. We students learn acting, singing, and dancing techniques not only from the amazing staff, but also from watching each other. In my first production (at age 14), the older actors inspired, mentored, and included me. In the next 4 years at YMTC, I recognized in myself growth as a performer, but more importantly, as one of those mentors and leaders I had aspired to be. Hearing this from younger students was among the most fulfilling experiences of my life. Yet even in my latest production, I continued to learn from other students my age and younger. Now in college theater productions, I hope to help create similar cast dynamics of mutual respect and learning. YMTC fosters an open, nurturing environment where students learn to be excellent performers and great people, building strong community and lasting friendships. It has shaped who I am as a performer and person, and for that I will be forever grateful.

Rosemary G.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I've been going to the YMTC shows for a few years--started because a friend's son was in the group. Now I know because I know I'm going to see wonderfully produced shows with talented, enthusiastic actors. The most recent was West Side Story--what a thrill to see it with young actors, all shapes and sizes, just like real life. The voices and choreography and casting were superb. I'll continue to attend these shows even though my friend's son is moving on to college.

Client Served

Rating: 5

YMTC teaches kids that love and respect for each other can make magic happen in the theatre.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

1 Judy35

Client Served

Rating: 5

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!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

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!

Client Served

Rating: 5

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!

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.