Native Youth Theatre

Native Youth Theatre (NYT) is a FREE after school program that is run out of Manitoba Theatre for Young People at The Forks. We offer programming that helps young Indigenous youth activate their creative nature through performing and acting classes.

We offer four different classes, for students ages 8-20. In each class we play drama warm up games that develop the Young Creatives’ skills, as they learn to think quickly and act on their feet through physical movement.

Our drama program helps our Young Creatives develop storytelling skills for presentation and creative thinking. Skills include communication with an audience, including body and vocal awareness. We nurture teamwork, as our classes work together to create a dramatic performance for the yearly Cabaret Performance in March/April of each year.

Our Instructors also provide their experience in the Theatre Industry, including acting and performance opportunities. Many of our instructors, past and present, are professional actors who have been on national stages in their careers, or involved in theatre productions across Canada and abroad!

To get a sense of the kind of programming available in Native Youth Theatre, please see this promo video from 2019. Please note that course descriptions in the video are not current!

For more information about NYT, email [email protected] or call us at 204-942-8898.

The Forks button

Native Youth Theatre 2023/24

First Week: October 23

Week starting after Holiday Break: January 9
Week Ending: April 15

NYT Cabaret: Sunday, April 21

Three ways to register:

  1. For new students, download the registration form and email it back to [email protected].
  2. For returning students, enter the access code NYT2023 online
  3. Call the MTYP Box Office 204-942-8898 Monday to Friday between 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Tuesdays| Start Date: October 24 | Time: 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Together, we will learn theatre etiquette and fundamentals, physical expression, storytelling, and voice work. With the guidance and collaboration of elders and our supportive classroom environment, our students learn to be brave and thrive in a culturally safe space. By telling their own personal stories through the lens of the seven sacred teachings. Come join us in this journey through an Indigenized artistic expression, and build respectful kinships with one another.

Tuesdays | Start Date: October 24 | Time: 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Saplings Drama Acting class focuses on growing and developing students’ skills as actors and storytellers, focusing on the physical and emotional connections that allow students to share stories, both as solo actors and as a group. Join us while we explore the different aspects of theatre such as playwriting, costume design and prop design.

Thursdays | Start Date: October 26 | Time: 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.

Next Generation will help students develop their storytelling skills in drama and theatre settings. Participants will begin exploring their imagined or personal experiences as guided by the Seven Teachings. The class offers traditional drumming, songs and cultural teachings as tools to help students develop their stories as needed. Students will inform their drama work with basic theatre knowledge including physical body and mask movement.

Fridays | Start Date: October 27 | Time: 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Students work together to evolve their storytelling skills into unique short films. Our instructors encourage students to explore film in front or behind the camera. No matter the films’ styles or genre, students in this course are challenged to express themselves and their personal or imagined experiences, while being introduced to script writing, and through their performances with the support of two dedicated film instructors.

Workshops for Schools & Community Groups

Are you an educator looking for an Indigenous-led drama program that will engage your students? Native Youth Theatre specializes in exciting and supportive theatre courses that encourage Indigenous youth to activate their creative nature. Our drama programs encourage youth to develop storytelling skills, and to grow in imagination, creativity, self-esteem, and self-confidence. You can expect lots of laughter and fun in a Native Youth Theatre class! These workshops are offered in collaboration with MTYP’s Drama Outreach Program.

For inquiries or, to book a workshop, contact MTYP’s Drama Outreach Coordinator, Heather Russell-Smith at [email protected] or call 204.954.1712.

Students express themselves through puppetry and play, and learn how different Indigenous communities in Manitoba plan their year around the thirteen moons and seasonal changes.

Capacity: up to 25 students per workshop
Length: minimum of 2 hours
Cost: $150/hour + GST
Location: at your school or Manitoba Theatre for Young People

Many Indigenous communities across Turtle Island honour the Seven Sacred Teachings: Humility, Respect, Courage, Wisdom, Love, Honesty, and Truth. Students will explore these Teachings using the actors’ tools of voice, body and imagination.

Capacity: up to 25 students per workshop
Length: minimum of 2 hours
Cost: $150/hour + GST
Location: at your school or Manitoba Theatre for Young People

Indigenous communities across Turtle Island tell stories of the Trickster. Students will learn about traditional storytelling through legends, teachings and personal stories, and use mask or puppetry to explore the stories of Tricksters and the animal forms they may take.

Capacity: up to 25 students per workshop
Length: minimum of 2 hours
Cost: $150/hour + GST
Location: at your school or Manitoba Theatre for Young People

Partner with Native Youth Theatre, and see your students shine! In this Indigenous-led program, our experienced instructor will encourage and engage, while developing your students’ theatrical skills and confidence. Students will explore the tools of voice, movement and improvisation, learn why the art of storytelling is important, and get behind-the-scenes knowledge about pursuing a career in the arts, as we incorporate Indigenous languages and ways of knowing into drama warm ups and exercises. The program will culminate in an end-of-week showcase to celebrate the relationships created and knowledge shared.

Capacity: up to 12 students per group
Length: 25-30 hours
Cost: $125/hour + GST, plus planning, travel, and accommodation fees
Location: at your school