The 2011-12 Season will bring with it a playbill of dynamic theatrical experiences certain to affect positive change in the lives of young people and those who care about them. It will also denote a significant change to the theatre – our name. Beginning July 1st, Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People will return to the name it was given in 1966 by founder Susan Douglas Rubes: Young Peoples Theatre (YPT).
When Kevin Kimsa graciously donated 1.5 million dollars to the company in 2001 to help eliminate a crippling debt, YPT was pleased to acknowledge his generosity, given in honour of his mother Mrs. Lorraine Kimsa and her years of nurturing aspiring talent through her dedicated work in community theatre. The company took her name and began a decade of growth and change. The Kimsa donation has sustained the theatre through many challenges and strengthened its ability to engage young people, their families and communities with the real issues of the day, and to entertain at the highest level.
The last decade has also marked a time of renewal for the distinguished theatre, allowing LKTYP to restructure artistically and administratively. Allen MacInnis assumed the role of artistic director in 2002 and infused the company with his passionate commitment to what theatrical art can be for young people. Focused on his vision of using theatre as a tool to positively affect child development, the company’s artistic impact has grown tremendously, garnering widespread praise and allowing LKTYP to tour some of its most successful productions to other cities in Canada. Administratively, the company has centred its operations on the full implementation of its artistic vision. This led to such actions as the lowering of ticket prices by 40% on the occasion of the 40th anniversary to ensure the theatre’s work was accessible to all families. Attendance dramatically increased as a result. Other actions include the creation of the Education & Participation Department in 2007. With the generosity of leading philanthropist, Ada Slaight, this dynamic department encompasses meaningful volunteerism, targeted community outreach and innovative teacher/student resources, along with the theatre’s highly-respected year-round Drama School, which was established in 1969.
President of LKTYP’s Board of Directors for the last six years, Howard Glassman says: “There is no doubt that this theatre company thrived and survived over the past decade because of the help of the Kimsa Family. It is also true that the Kimsas backed a winner because YPT/LKTYP is unfailingly dedicated to the most important members of our community – young people. It is why really talented, inspiring people want to work there and wonderful philanthropists like the Slaight Family want to help out”
Also during the last decade, LKTYP’s Drama School established The Ensemble, an advanced program for high school students with a strong background in theatre who seek an intensive and specialized experience with a professional theatre company. Building on that success, The Junior Ensemble was also introduced this year for middle school students who share that avid interest in theatre.
Last season, a generous contribution by Gary and Donna Slaight and The Slaight Family enabled LKTYP to establish the Artist-Educator Residency Program, designed to provide artists with practical experience in both the artistic and educational aspects of the company by involving them in LKTYP’s productions and teaching programs. Six artists have taken up residencies in 2010-11 and, with funding guaranteed for five years, the residency program will undoubtedly have an enormous impact on the theatre and the audience it reaches.
Managing Director Hugh Neilson says “LKTYP returns to its original name with tremendous gratitude to Kevin Kimsa, whose contribution provided a decade of stability and growth, ensuring that Young Peoples Theatre – Toronto’s oldest professional not-for-profit theatre – will not only complete its fifth decade but thrive well into its sixth.”
LKTYP is proud to announce the 2011-12 Season line-up which is jam-packed with eight commanding, professional productions, each designed to explore the central theme, The Power of Change. As Artistic Director Allen MacInnis says, “It is vital that young people develop a sense of their own power in order to be able to function in the world. They need to feel they can affect their circumstances. They need to learn how to negotiate power with others. They need to understand the depth and the limits of their own power in order to accomplish anything. Change is also an inevitable force in the world. It is an expression of hope, evidence of vitality, and it is a fact of life for young people that can be overwhelming. This coming season is all about making connections between power and change. Through our work this year we seek to empower the imaginations, the confidence, and the independence of the ever- changing children and teenagers who see our plays and engage with our programs”.
Produced by Bouge de là Directed and Choreographed by Hélène Langevin MAINSTAGE | SEPT. 26 TO OCT. 6, 2011 | RECOMMENDED FOR GRADES SK-5 Extraordinary dance meets the ever-changing world of visual art! A paint-splattered artist’s studio is the setting for a thrilling exploration by four dancers who use their bodies, objects, lighting and projections to bring visual art to life. Experience the power of creative expression in a unique dance performance for young audiences by one of Quebec’s most exciting new companies. “[The Studio] is a layered, visually captivating tribute to the creation process, forging common ground between body and art, and paced to perfection for young attention spans.” – The Montreal Gazette
Book by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty; Music by Stephen Flaherty; Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens; Co-Conceived by Eric Idle; Based on the works of Dr. Seuss MAINSTAGE | NOV. 7 TO DEC. 30, 2011 | RECOMMENDED FOR GRADES JK-5 The popular Broadway musical returns in a new production!
In this delightful musical, based on the beloved Dr. Seuss books, Horton the Elephant seems powerless to convince anyone in the Jungle of Nool that he can hear the panicked cries for help from the tiny world of Whoville perched on a speck of dust caught on a clover. But the big-hearted, faithful elephant not only finds a way to change everyone’s minds but to enshrine a new dictum … that a person’s a person, no matter how small.
“Seussical-icious! … a production that is certain to delight almost everyone…” – Toronto Sun
(WOULD YOU SAY THE NAME OF THIS PLAY?*)
Written by Berend McKenzie Produced by Small Brown Package Productions STUDIO | NOV. 21 TO DEC. 3, 2011 | RECOMMENDED FOR GRADES 9-12 Advisory: strong language and mature subject matter A gripping, true, sometimes funny story for teens, exploring issues of homophobia and racism In a series of stories based on his life, actor-writer Berend McKenzie presents his one-man show about Buddy, a boy growing up both black and gay, who is the target of taunts and marginalization. Buddy fluctuates between being an outcast, a rebel, a dropout and a survivor. Ultimately, he finds the power to face down the two very different, wounding words that affected his life. Would you say the name of his play, nggrfg?
“Playful and touching. McKenzie is an ebullient performer, it left this crusty old critic in tears, nggrfg is for anyone who’s ever felt like an outsider.” – Georgia Straight
THE GREAT MOUNTAIN
Written by Tracey Power Produced by Red Sky Performance MAINSTAGE | FEB. 6 TO 20, 2012 | RECOMMENDED FOR GRADES 1-7 First Nations adventure story that examines environmental issues using drama, dance and movement Young Nuna has started to hear things she can’t figure out. Her grandmother realizes that Nuna has inherited the ability to hear the spirits of rushing rivers and soaring mountains. So she takes her granddaughter to the river of her own childhood and entrusts her to a boatman who will bring Nuna to where a glacier is melting and the spirit of a great mountain is sorrowfully weeping. Does Nuna have the power to answer the mountain’s call for assistance? Along her journey, Nuna discovers the transformative power of nature and the importance of courage in this entertaining re-telling of the Aboriginal story of Jumping Mouse.
2011-12 Season Playbill
THE NEVERENDING STORY
Written by Michael Ende; adapted for the stage by David S. Craig Produced by Roseneath Theatre MAINSTAGE | FEB. 27 TO MAR. 17, 2012 | RECOMMENDED FOR GRADES 3-8 The adventure classic presented in an innovative new production Bastian is a bullied boy who escapes his troubles by burying himself in books. His latest – impulsively stolen in an old bookshop – has drawn him into an adventure like no other. The Childlike Empress of the land of Fantastica faces oblivion by a frightening enemy known only as The Nothing. The Empress enlists a boy of Bastian’s age named Atreyu to shoulder the daunting task of eradicating The Nothing, informing him that he will have both magical helpers and angry opponents in his quest. As the adventure unfolds, Bastian discovers that both he and Arteyu are locked in battles to find or hold onto the power to make change in their different worlds, but it is Bastian who holds the key for both.
JACK AND THE GIANT BEANSTALK
Written by Linda A. Carson MAINSTAGE | APR. 2 TO 21, 2012 | RECOMMENDED FOR GRADES JK-3 An interactive play where the problems on Jack’s farm are solved by more than just magic beans! This new spin on the much-loved story finds Jack, a farmer’s son, surrounded by land that just won’t grow anything. “The dirt’s dead” says his father, who sells-off everything they own, little by little, to buy food so they can eat. When Jack finally has to sell his toys for food, he trades them instead for magic beans, which takes him on an amazing journey of excitement and peril. Jack climbs the giant stalk from which the magic beans grow and reaches a green and fertile land in the sky. There, Jack discovers the source of the trouble with his farmland and learns how to make it fertile again. Commissioned by LKTYP and developed with help from children at Casa Loma Early Learning Centre, this production uses audience participation and a magical surrounding environment.
BEYOND THE CUCKOO’S NEST
Written by Edward Roy MAINSTAGE | MAY 7 TO 17, 2012 | RECOMMENDED FOR GRADES 9-12 Advisory: Strong language A powerful new play addressing mental health issues among teens Commissioned by LKTYP, this riveting play explores the topic of teen mental health. Patricia, Jude and Trey are meeting regularly at an early intervention clinic for teenagers newly diagnosed with a mental health issue. In a series of scenes in the clinic, along with flashback scenes from their personal lives, we get to know the teens and their individual struggles. During the course of the story, the play reveals just how normal the teens really are: school workloads, worried parents, peer pressure and broken hearts. But the obstacles they confront are even more challenging because of their diagnosed conditions and the stigma associated with mental illness. This uplifting play serves to reinforce that stigmatization is one of the biggest barriers to finding and holding hope for improvement. And for teens, hope of improvement is crucial. Beyond the Cuckoo’s Nest provides an effective teaching tool for the TDSB’s Mental Health Awareness Week (May 7-14).
Written by Hélène Ducharme Produced by Théâtre Motus and SÔ Company (Mali) STUDIO | MAY 8-17, 2012 | RECOMMENDED FOR GRADES SK-7 An epic African story comes to life – it’s HD, 3D and in person In this West African folktale, an ancient baobab tree stands tall amidst a persistent drought. One day the tree brings forth an egg and from the egg is born a little boy. The villagers recognize that this little boy is the only one who can undertake the quest to bring water back to the land. But there are three tests to be passed before success is possible. Can a little boy change the history of the world? Using puppetry, masks, and the rhythms of the drum, Baobab makes powerful change come to life. “… In short, this Baobab is thoroughly delightful. You’ll thank your children for being born and allowing you to be part of this heart warming celebration!” – Le Devoir
“Surviving ordeals in pursuit of a goal, a boy becomes a man …it’s a gripping adventure, full of weird and
wondrous creatures…. “ – Seattle Post Intelligencer
LKTYP will also present the Drama School’s senior company, The Ensemble, in The Studio from May 2 to May 5, 2012.
Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People extends heartfelt thanks to its lead Education Partners for the 46th Season: BMO Financial Group and RBC Foundation.
It is with great gratitude that LKTYP recognizes the incredible support of Ada Slaight, providing access to our Education and Participation programs through scholarships and other initiatives. As well, we are very thankful to The Slaight Family for supporting LKTYP’s Artist-Educator’s Residency Program.
LKTYP’s renowned Drama School turns 42 this year and registration is currently underway for Summer Drama Camp with a variety of camp options available at the Downtown location for ages 4 to 18. The Drama School features year-round programming at three locations in the GTA and also offers a limited number of scholarships to qualifying applicants. For more information visit lktyp.ca or call 416.862.2222.
Single ticket prices for weekend family shows are just $20 for adults and $15 for children (under 18) and grandparents (age 65+), with HST and service charges extra. Patrons can save on already low ticket prices with LKTYP’s Show Combos, offering discounts of up to 25%.
This season, the overwhelmingly popular First Saturday Savings return, offering $10 tickets for the first Saturday in the run of most Mainstage shows.
Weekday performances for school groups are $15 for students and teachers, with one FREE teacher/chaperone ticket provided for every 20 tickets purchased. Early bird savings of 20% (all tickets just $12) are available to teachers booking by June 30th, 2011.
New for schools this year is The First Bus is on Us – a subsidy program providing a credit for up to $250 for schools that have been unable to attend LKTYP in three or more years. Interested teachers should call 416.363.5131 x241 to see if they qualify.
With the generous assistance of Sun Life Financial, LKTYP is once again offering Pay-What-You-Can (PWYC) performances for all productions this season. PWYC tickets are available at the Box Office for weekend family shows on the day of performance only, with a suggested minimum contribution of $5 per ticket.
Change your world. One play at time. Join Young Peoples Theatre for its 46th Season: embracing the past and looking ahead to a future filled with possibilities.
LORRAINE KIMSA THEATRE FOR YOUNG PEOPLE/YOUNG PEOPLES THEATRE is the largest Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA) company in Canada and a significant institution in the Canadian professional theatre community. Over our 45-year history we have produced many of the most important works that now form the canon of plays for young audiences in this country. Learning is at the centre of everything we do and LKTYP is renowned as the showplace for presenting important TYA work developed elsewhere. In addition to being a producer and presenter of theatre, LKTYP has also been home to a year-round Drama School for youth since 1969. At the centre of LKTYP’s artistic policy is a desire to have a positive and lasting impact on the emotional, social, and intellectual development of young people in order for them to grow into the unique and wonderful people they were born to be. At LKTYP we also believe that the more challenging, the more hostile, the more ‘isolated within-the-crowd’ our world becomes, the more we need art to help us interpret the universe, connect with each other, and imagine a better future. If adults need this, kids need it more.