Stage Door News

Toronto: Young People’s Theatre announces its 2019/20 season

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Young People’s Theatre is thrilled to showcase world-renowned artists throughout its 2019.20 Season, including Canada’s internationally-acclaimed Kaha:wi Dance Theatre, New York’s Arktype, the creative team of Where the Wild Things Are, as well as direction by Sheila McCarthy, Philip Akin, Craig Francis and Rick Miller. Year-long celebrations will mark the 50thAnniversary of YPT’s Drama School, whose alumni include Drake, Kiefer Sutherland and Giacomo Gianniotti. 

“As one of North America's leading professional theatres dedicated to young people we know that children deserve the best. This season we present innovative creative companies and artists from across Canada and around the world," said Artistic Director Allen MacInnis. “We’re also celebrating 50 years as the oldest and largest drama school in Canada."

The season opens this October with the Toronto premiere of The Mush Hole - a dance performance about the intergenerational impact of Residential Schools from celebrated choreographer, director and producer Santee Smith (CBC’s The Move). Award-winning actor Sheila McCarthy directs the Canadian premiere of The Adventures of Pinocchio – our enchanting holiday musical. Craig Francis and Rick Miller (Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea) bring a wild, multimedia adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book to life, while theatre veteran Maja Ardal follows her hit show for infants, One Thing Leads to Another, with the world premiere of You and I – specially created for “walking babies” (ages 12-30 months). 

Back by popular demand is Blue Planet, a whimsical tale of youth taking flight based on Andri Snær Magnason’s celebrated children’s book. Presentation House Theatre (Where the Wild Things Are) delivers an original Spanish-English spin on the beloved tale, Jack and the Magic Bean. Bold productions for teen audiences include the world premiere of A Million Billion Pieces, a moving story of love directed by Philip Akin (former Artistic Director of Obsidian Theatre), and the Canadian premiere of ArKtype/Thomas O. Kriegsmann’s CARTOGRAPHY – a revealing look at the plight of young migrants.

YPT is committed to having Indigeneity influence its core values. This season, each production explores one of the Seven Ancestral Teachings of the Anishinaabe: Wisdom, Love, Respect, Bravery, Honesty, Humility and Truth

"Two years ago, YPT made a decision to respond to the report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The TRC specifically stated that the Arts are uniquely positioned as a platform for reconciliation," said MacInnis. "At YPT, with learning at our centre and our youngest citizens our priority, we embraced the call and have committed to the journey. This season we are learning our way into what it means to position Indigeneity as the model for YPT’s initiatives and programming.” 

YPT DRAMA SCHOOL – Celebrating 50 Years

For half a century, YPT’s Drama School has been a place for young people to explore their interest in theatre, mentored by professional and experienced artists, while making friends and having fun! Information on anniversary activities can be found here.

EDUCATORS: Book now and save with the Back to School Special - tickets $15 each until Oct. 14 only. Study guides, workshops and other teaching tools available online. Call 416.862.2222 x2.

FAMILIES: Enjoy savings of up to 25% on regular tickets with a season package. Become a YPT Insider and along with supporting YPT, you'll receive exclusive access and discounts. Book online at or call 416.862.2222 x2.

2019.20 SEASON

PDF of 2019.20 Season brochure here.

THE MUSH HOLE | Toronto Premiere

MAINSTAGE • Oct. 16-25, 2019 • Recommended for Ages 11 & up
Created, Directed and Produced by Santee Smith
Remount produced by Kaha:wi Dance Theatre

A dance performance about truths of the Mohawk Institute Residential School. From award-winning choreographer, director and producer Santee Smith and the internationally acclaimed Kaha:wi Dance Theatre comes a story of truth, acknowledgement and resilience. A groundbreaking new production of dance and theatre, The Mush Hole explores the devastating intergenerational impact of Canada’s Residential School system.

Ancestral Teaching: Truth. “The Mush Hole…offers a way to open dialogue and to heal, through acknowledgment and honouring the spirit of Survivors and families.” – Santee Smith

THE ADVENTURES OF PINOCCHIO | Canadian Premiere • Holiday Musical
MAINSTAGE • Nov. 11, 2019-Jan. 5, 2020 • Recommended for ages 5 & up 

Music & Lyrics by Neil Bartram

Book by Brian Hill
Directed by Sheila McCarthyThis rollicking new musical follows the much-loved marionette on his mischievous quest to become a real human being. Multi-award-winning actor Sheila McCarthy returns to YPT after more than 35 years to direct the Canadian premiere of this magical adaptation.

Ancestral Teaching: Honesty compels Pinocchio to recognize that being human means caring about how our actions affect others.


STUDIO • Nov. 25-Dec. 13, 2019 • Recommended for Ages 13 & up

By David James Brock

Music by Gareth Williams
Directed by Philip Akin

When a touch could be a lifeline – or lethal – two 16-year-olds dare to tempt fate. Pria and Theo are isolated by a rare disease that could prove deadly if they make contact. Craving connection, they progress from flirty DMs to a precarious encounter, each with their own reason to test what it is to live – and love – like other people.

Ancestral Teaching: “Understanding Love includes believing we are each a perfectly lovable human being.” - J’Net Ayayqwayaksheelth, ROM Indigenous Outreach and Learning Coordinator


JUNGLE BOOK | Classic Story Reimagined
MAINSTAGE • Feb. 10-Mar. 21, 2020 • Recommended for Ages 5 & up
Written & Directed by Craig Francis & Rick Miller
Adapted from the works of Rudyard Kipling
Produced by Kidoons and WYRD Productions in association with The 20K Collective

A wild ride awaits in this inventive and timely take on the beloved classic! An immersive multi-media adaptation, Jungle Book will transport you from the urban jungle to Mowgli’s childhood in the forests of India – with Baloo the Bear, Bagheera the Panther, and more of your favourites along for the journey!

Ancestral Teaching: Exploring the concept of Respect challenges both the conventions of colonialism and the continuing human domination of the animal world.


YOU AND I | World Premiere

STUDIO • Feb. 11-23, 2020 • Recommended for Ages 12-30 months

Created by Maja Ardal
Directed by Allen MacInnis
Fast on the heels of YPT’s smash-hit for infants, One Thing Leads to Another, comes a brand new creation for “walking babies”. You and I is a multi-sensory, playfully interactive adventure that engages little explorers (and their adults!) in discovery through colour, sound, touch and movement.

Ancestral Teaching: Learning that we are all unique amongst others is a part of understanding Humility.


BLUE PLANET | Beautiful Eco-Story Returns MAINSTAGE • Apr. 6-29, 2020 • Recommended for Ages 9 & up
By Andri Snær Magnason
Translated by Julian d’Arcy & Andri Snær Magnason  
Presented by agreement with Nordiska ApS., Copenhagen
Directed by Allen MacInnis 

On a blissful blue planet inhabited only by children, a mysterious travelling salesman arrives to grant their wildest of wishes – the ability to fly! The children soon realize that their whimsy comes at great cost, and that only bravery and ingenuity will rescue their fragile world. Take flight with this clever and cautionary tale of “dreams coming true”.

Ancestral Teaching: Reversing environmental and spiritual damage leads to Wisdom.

JACK AND THE MAGIC BEAN | Favourite Fairy Tale Returns STUDIO • Apr. 14-May 10, 2020 • Recommended for Ages 3-8
Written by Linda A. Carson
Directed by Kim Selody
Produced by Presentation House Theatre
From the award-winning creative team of Where the Wild Things Are comes a delightfully innovative Spanish-English spin on a cherished classic. Back by popular demand, join Jack on his journey to the giant’s farmland with this interactive environmental tale, created in collaboration with Mexico City’s Marionetas de la Esquina. Winner of the 2019 Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards (Theatre for Young Audiences) for Outstanding Performance and Significant Artistic Achievement.

Ancestral Teaching: Truth about environmental and social concerns can be told in a thoroughly engaging way.


CARTOGRAPHY | Canadian Premiere MAINSTAGE • May 5-14, 2020 • Recommended for Ages 12 & up

Conceived and Created by Kaneza Schaal & Christopher Myers
Directed by Kaneza Schaal
Written & Designed by Christopher Myers
Produced by ArKtype/Thomas O. Kriegsmann
From New York’s acclaimed ArKtype comes a bold and eloquently told story of one of the most complex issues of our time. Five young people step out from behind today’s headlines to tell the human story of mass migration. Through theatre and interactive video technology, CARTOGRAPHY reveals the plight of young refugees in search of a place to call home.

Ancestral Teaching: It takes courage and Bravery to find — against all odds — what we all crave: a place to feel safe.