By Norah O’Donnell, YPT Community Volunteer Manager
As YPT’s Community Volunteer Manager, I always strive to find ways to engage more deeply with young people through our volunteer program. As a theatre FOR young audiences we are very well suited to cater our volunteer program to high school-aged students. But for all that we do, we always ask ourselves how we can do better. How can we inspire students to go beyond the 40 hours of required community service?
To find out how we might improve our work with youth volunteers, I reached out to Volunteer Toronto’s Youth Audit Program. Their team of students (ages 14-18) advises organizations on this exact question. Here is what the Youth Auditors (Maheen, Seher and Helen) reported, after investigating the following areas of our volunteer program.
Everyone has a different story of how they got started in theatre, whether as an actor, writer, designer, or patron. A long, long time ago in a city not so far away, my grandfather took me to Showboat, and, a few years later, I was cast as a wise-cracking warthog in a certain Disney musical (nailed that role, obviously).
Highlights of YPT’s Artist Educators Training in 2016. Video by Ali Sultani.
The deadline to register for YPT’s Artist Educators Training is right around the corner (Friday, Jan. 20 at 4:30pm)! The training sessions on Feb. 2 & 3, 2017 are open to all artists interested in arts education who have a desire to further develop their skills through practical training.
[Youth Artists for Justice is a 15-week program that combines performing arts and community activism with youth participants at both Young People’s Theatre and the Teen Leadership Council in Boston. In this hybrid/online community-based action research project, youth at each site will have the chance to collaborate in creating original artistic work and critiquing barriers to social justice.]
The Youth Artists for Justice research project has officially begun. I am on the plane from Boston to Toronto after conducting two workshops at the Boch Center with the Teen Leadership Council, which is made up of 18 high schoolers from all throughout Boston.
Learning how to learn is a life-long pursuit – we all grow up experiencing various teaching methods, tactics and learning strategies as both students and teachers. We all share the experience of working with incredibly brilliant educators in our lives who have left indelible marks. On the other hand, we also remember particular teachers that made learning a disciplinary, rigorous and sometimes terrible routine. Educational methods are as varied as the spectrum of cultures in our city.
Welcome to At The Centre – a resource for artists, teachers, artist educators and theatre practitioners to explore the many connections between arts and learning for young audiences. This is an informal place to share, learn and grow together.
The Ada Slaight Education Centre at YPT
The creation of The Ada Slaight Education Centre at YPT is a milestone in the evolution of educational programming for Young People’s Theatre.
Our Centre, made possible by a donation from The Slaight Family Foundation, allows us to expand, deepen and enrich our already extensive educational initiatives.
YOUNG PEOPLE’S THEATRE (YPT) is the oldest professional theatre company in Toronto and is a national producer and presenter of theatre for young audiences – the first and largest of its kind in Canada. To visit YPT's official website, click here.