Manitoba Theatre for Young People
Artistic Director Pablo Felices-Luna
Founding Artistic Director Leslee Silverman
“Young audiences will find themselves engaged by the realistic characters and ample humour in the script and performances. But they’ll also take away the play’s still-powerful messages about compassion, fairness and living in a world where those qualities are sometimes absent.” – Joff Schmidt, CBC Radio, on MTYP’s Danny, King of the Basement
Manitoba Theatre for Young People has been creating and presenting professional theatre productions for children and families since 1982, when Actors Showcase was reformed under Founding Artistic Director Leslee Silverman. MTYP has grown to become one of the most respected professional theatre companies in Canada, for children or adults.
MTYP’s artistry has been applauded not only as a theatre for young audiences, but also as an innovative and highly creative theatre company: “It’s the best of world theatre for children… a remarkable organization…” (Robert Enright, CBC Radio). Each season, MTYP presents touring companies from around the world, as well as contributing to the repertoire of Canadian theatre through the creation and development of new work.
Pablo Felices-Luna joined Manitoba Theatre for Young People as Artistic Director in 2014.
Located at The Forks in Winnipeg, MTYP’s home is a 28,000 square foot performance facility featuring a fully re-configurable theatre, classroom studios, and production and wardrobe shops.
In addition to its mainstage season and touring activities, MTYP also plays a key role in the development and delivery of theatre-in-education programs that concentrate on using theatre as an educational tool to illustrate and express ideas about social issues. The company also operates a Theatre School where over 1,500 children and teens learn the art and craft of theatre and related disciplines, and Native Youth Theatre, which offers free classes in theatre and related disciplines to Winnipeg’s Indigenous youth.
Valerie Shantz Chair
Beth Millard-Hales Vice-Chair
Tyler Seman Treasurer | Finance Committee Chair
Louise Pujo Secretary | Governance Committee Chair | Nominating Committee Chair
Elizabeth Mitchell HR Committee Chair
Suzanne Munroe Development Committee Chair
Joel Waterman Marketing Committee Chair
Braiden Pergis (ex officio)
Ronald Mervin Sison
Artistic Director: Pablo Felices-Luna
Pablo Felices-Luna joined Manitoba Theatre for Young People as Artistic Director in 2014. He was born and raised in Peru, and came to Canada more than 25 years ago to pursue a career in theatre. Throughout his career, Pablo has worked as a director, stage manager, technical director, production manager and translator. He has worked for reputed companies like Roseneath Theatre and Theatre Beyond Words, and toured shows into Young People’s Theatre, Manitoba Theatre for Young People, Youtheatre and various Children’s Series in the U.S. Pablo co-founded Castlemoon Theatre, which he led from 2001 to 2006, to create original works for preschool-age children. He was previously Artistic Director of Carousel Players, a Theatre for Young Audiences company operating out of St. Catharines, Ontario.
Email Pablo Felices-Luna
204.947.0394 ext. 222
Debra Zoerb joined MTYP as its new General Manager on January 2, 2018. A veteran of over twenty years of arts management in Winnipeg’s arts and cultural community, Ms. Zoerb was previously Executive Director of Folklorama.
Ms. Zoerb brings a wealth of experience to her new role, having acted in her role at Folklorama for the past six years, as well as having worked for the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Dance Manitoba and Manitoba Conservatory of Music and Arts.
“I am delighted and honoured to have the opportunity to work alongside Pablo Felices-Luna and the entire MTYP team,” says Ms. Zoerb. “MTYP is the largest theatre dedicated to young audiences in Western Canada and it’s a very special place. It’s a joyful, thought-provoking gem of a theatre right here in Winnipeg. It has an important role to serve for young people to dream, imagine and grow.”
MTYP is Manitoba’s only children’s Theatre Company, presenting seven professional plays every season for children of all ages, with performances both for schools and for the public. MTYP also tours to over 100 elementary and high schools every year and has an active Theatre School with more than 1,000 young students.
Email Debra Zoerb
204.947.0394 ext. 232
Marketing and Communications Director: Greg Klassen
Development Director: Heidi Struck
Box Office Manager: Joanne Hawkins
School and Tour Sales Coordinator: Kerri Potter
Accountant: Phu Nguyen
204.947.0394 ext. 234
House Manager: Susan Bohn
204.947.0394 ext. 223
Artistic Associate: Katie German
204.947.0394 ext. 239
Production Manager: Brooklyne Alexander
204.947.0394 ext. 637
Assistant Production Manager: Katherine Johnston
204.947.0394 ext. 238
Technical Director: Curtis Cushnie
204.947.0394 ext. 241
Head of Wardrobe: Kevin Maguire
204.947.0394 ext. 236
Head of Properties: Janelle Regalbuto
204.947.0394 ext. 237
Venue Technician: Eric Bossé
204.947.0394 ext. 242
Scenic Carpenter: Christian Hadley
204.947.0394 ext. 241
Theatre School Director: Kent Suss
Assistant Theatre School Director / Summer Studio Director: Theresa Thomson
204.947.0394 ext. 225
Drama Outreach Coordinator / Matthew Armet
204.947.0394 ext. 227
Theatre School Administrators: Erica Hastings, Shae-Lynn Papiz, Anika Dowsett
204.947.0394 ext. 230
Native Youth Theatre Program Director: Ian Ross
Native Youth Theatre Assistant Program Director: Nova Courchene
204.947.0394 ext. 246
Manitoba Theatre for Young people is a professional theatre company devoted to young people. Our home, a venue built specifically for young audiences, is a recognized centre for the creation of theatre and participation in the arts. We produce and present professional theatre, provide training in theatre and related arts, and support the development of new and re-imagined works that portray the experiences of children and youth. We are a decisive voice in Canada’s artistic and cultural life.
To empower all young people to transform the world with imagination and creativity.
CORE ORGANIZATIONAL VALUES
We will put children and youth at the centre
Our work focuses on the lives, interests, problems and passions of children and youth. All programming and organizational decisions must be made considering the impact that they have on the lives of young people.
We will be brave
Artistic and organizational excellence are achieved through decisive action. In order to engage, we must challenge. To be relevant, we must be bold.
We will reflect our communities
MTYP represents and celebrates our diverse society. An inclusive disposition allows us to open up new horizons for all members of our local, national and international communities.
We will collaborate
Our work thrives when we engage in meaningful partnerships. We know that collaboration begins at home so we cherish our relationship with local artists and community partners.
We will meet you where you are
Reaching outwards ensures that every Manitoban has the opportunity to forge memories with MTYP. Our programs must be accessible to young people regardless of social, economic or geographic barriers and physical or developmental ability.
We will honour your trust
Our audiences, partners and supporters rely on the vitality of MTYP. Sound practices and proper stewardship of our human, financial and environmental resources honour the trust placed in us.
Over the course of the next four years, MTYP will redefine the standard for diversity, access and inclusion in our community. We are committed to being a theatre that represents the fullness of our society; we will not cease to assess ourselves, probing our shortcomings and building on our strengths. These goals will set us upon an exciting path and everyone is welcome on this journey.
1. Be home to a full range of artistic forms for young audiences.
There is no single, unfailing and repeatable style of theatre for young audiences. The same play cannot engage 5 year olds, inspire 10 year olds and challenge 15 year olds. The repertoire for young audiences is rich in form and content and we must reflect that in all of our performance offerings.
2. Develop new writers and new works.
As young people take an interest in the world around them, they develop a moral compass that helps them navigate the fundamental issues we face as a society. Our productions need to ask relevant and provocative questions. To do so with integrity and knowledge, we must support and invest in the new voices that will create these works.
3. Grow and diversify our audiences.
Seeing yourself on stage, seeing your life with all of its joys and all of its challenges in front of you is an empowering moment for anyone. We must ensure that people of all identities, backgrounds and experiences see themselves reflected at MTYP.
4. Engage a diverse community through our training programs.
Participation in the arts helps many young people find others who share their loves and interests. Even in groups of people who have little in common, the act of working together towards a common goal forges deep and valuable bonds. We must be prepared to expand our training programs in ways that are inviting to those who do not yet see themselves as participants in the arts.
5. Eliminate the debt.
It is time to be free to dream again.
When we look back, we will see an organization that inspires children and their families through its programming, a repertoire that instills empathy and asks provocative questions, a theatre that is unafraid to tackle challenging material with the same passion that it celebrates life, joy and light. We will see a theatre with training programs that invite young people of all backgrounds to engage with and participate in the arts. We will see a renewed building that is home to a range of young artists, theatre practitioners and arts lovers. We will see an MTYP that, having freed itself of its legacy debt, prospers and relishes in the confidence of a community that engages and supports Winnipeg’s own professional theatre for young audiences.
MTYP 2019/2020 Annual Report
MTYP has received numerous honours, including being the first English theatre to win the Canadian Institute of the Arts for Young Audiences Award in 1992. MTYP’s 1994 production of Comet in Moominland was nominated for the prestigious Chalmers Award and, in 1998, Old Friends received this same honour. In 2003, Founding Artistic Director Leslee Silverman received the first Arts Award of Distinction from the Manitoba Arts Council, recognizing the highest level of artistic excellence and distinguished career achievements by a professional Manitoba artist. In 2007, MTYP’s production of Comet in Moominland was invited to open the season at New York’s prestigious New Victory Theatre and, that same year, the production won a Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding Production in the Theatre for Young Audiences category. In 2011, Leslee Silverman was awarded the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Achievement, Canada’s highest honour in the performing arts.