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.
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.