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What some of our students and parents say about studying with YPTW:

YPTW helped me find my niche in high school. I went to a small private school where not many people understood my love of the arts and theatre, but YPTW was different. I made lasting friendships, grew in confidence and found myself. I'm a Theatre major in college now, and I would never have pursued my dream if it weren't for YPTW. 

~Sharon Limpert, YPTW Alumni

I will tell you that YPTW taught me SO much. You taught me about discipline and professionalism. You were so wonderful at highlighting everyone's individual gifts and allowing everyone else to learn from them; showing us the importance of  supporting our fellow performers not wishing bad upon them (something that, sadly, happens all too much in the professional world). Though it took me a little while to develop my confidence, YPTW was definitely where I learned that you have to throw your insecurities out the window when you are up on stage. You guys provided such a supportive and loving environment that when a kid was ready to break out of their shell they could do it and you were there cheering them on the entire way! It was always a safe place to come to each weekend

Carey Brown, YPTW Alumni, Broadway and Regional Credits

YPTW was the singlemost important part of my childhood and adolescence. I started as such a little thing and it carried me through my late teens. It was a central part of my identity. My directors and fellow actors were my extended family. I learned so much about myself during those years and it gave me a strength and confidence that has stayed with me ever since. I can't possibly say how much YPTW has meant, and continues to mean, to me.

~Michele Munoz-Miller, YPTW Alumni

YPTW was an integral part of my life for most of my childhood and teenage years. The mentors and peers who nurtured me there provided a safe haven for me to discover and embrace my identity as a musician, as an actor, and as a human being. I first encountered the beauty of risk-taking and vulnerability through my time at YPTW, and those treasures of authenticity and connectedness continue to shape my life as a young woman in Chicago, both on and off the stage. YPTW helped my find my niche, particularly in the art of cabaret, in which "the acting of singing" and storytelling are crucial. Thanks to YPTW, I pursued a Bachelor of Music degree in Musical Theatre and have been performing in various capacities ever since. Much love to all the teachers who contributed to making me the person I am today.

~Katie Davis, YPTW Alumni

YPTW has had a significant impact in my life. The staff has encouraged and challenged me and helped me grow as an actor as well as a director and stage manager. Without YPTW, I would not be the person I am today. Because of this program I have created long-lasting relationships, learned many valuable tips and lessons, and created many memorable moments. YPTW prepares young actors for the real theatre world. If a elementary, middle, or high schooler has a passion for the performing arts, a hunger to learn, a thirst for knowledge, and a desire to have fun, this is where they need to be. The directors and staff of YPTW truly care for the students. They dedicate so much of their energy and time and invest that in the students so that they can learn and grow. This is where the students will truly "take the stage". Thank you so much for this life changing experience!

~Hannah Wilcox, 2011 YPTW Alumni

My daughter has found her niche at YPTW. She can be herself (dramatic) and its ok. She has found a special extended family and I expect YPTW to continue to be a critical part of her development personally and professionally :) It's a big deal!

~Laura Taddei, mother of current YPTW student

YPTW was part of my childhood and I am now thrilled that life has come full circle and my children are able to experience the magic of this program. Not only does YPTW provide an enriching environment where children can create, grow and develop their theatrical skills, it provides essential life skills which stay with them far beyond the stage. The professional staff who work with these children are dedicated, talented and inspirational. They truly teach these children what it means to be part of an ensemble, to mentor one another, and to strive towards excellence. Bravo YPTW!!!

Aimee Taxin Rubin, YPTW Alumni and parent of current student

YPTW was probably one of the greatest things I did growing up. I was involved in classes and otherwise from age 6-18. I was never a star but absolutely loved being apart of it. For me, it was not really about one person being better than the other. A show is a living organism and all parts must work together for it to function. Each team member is critical, whether you are the leading lady, in the stage crew, part of the chorus or doing the lighting design. The collaborative effort is what makes live theater a unique art form.I did not become an actor, however, as marketing consultant I draw on my theater experiences daily working in teams, with clients and doing presentations. The ability to communicate and connect with others is critical to my life now and is something I learned at YPTW. I felt a lot of love and encouragement when I was there which gave me the confidence to be successful. The funny thing is, I'll be making my silver screen debut in Morgan Spurlock's new documentary: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold. I interview him using our market research technique. So you never know what can happen!! (sorry for the plug!)Love all you guys so much.

Abby Rendin, YPTW Alumni

I was blessed to be apart of such an amazing collection of peformers during my years at YPTW. I was able to grow as a performer watching Josh Young, Marcus Stevens, Greg Bell, Liz Serpentine, Carey Brown, Brian Lowdermilk, ETC. Everyone one of them to this day are brilliant performers who started at YPTW. I learned from my instructors, and watching those people who were stage READY! Being an actor is the hardest thing in the world. We all hear the word NO and we are never satisfied; "I want a solo, i want a speaking part, i want the lead, write a show about me!!" We as actors can not help ourselves. it's important to keep in mind that creating art is the basis of every play, musical, concert, cabaret, etc. Sing, act, and love what you do...

Mike Jansen, YPTW Alumni, Grad Student in Villanova Theatre Dept.

There were times when I got frustrated. Claudia, Darrin, Joe, everyone was aways there during every stage of my growth, while I changed and developed as a person, something that is never easy to navigate, how could there not be the occasional frustration? From Best Xmas Pageant Ever to Millie I had to learn and grow from criticism, but more so than that also from the love and passion from those leading me. The thing is, the person I am today and the way I grew up is directly related to my YPTW experiences. They are inextricably linked. High expectations from early on gave me the confidence . As a youth and then an adolescent, aside from my parents, there was no one I wanted to please more than the directors of YPTW. I remember my nerves for auditions and call backs, even though I was staring at faces I'd known for years, that process never got easier as each year there was always more to live up to. The opportunities I was given through YPTW do not exist anywhere else. They really do not. You do not always understand how lucky you are or how much you are learning when you are immersed in something. I loved it completely, but it is hard to get perspective when its been integral for so long. But a few years out.... doing nothing theater related... I can completely see how truly unique and important YPTW has been for my life and for the people above and below me. I had the most talented figures to emulate and I wanted so badly to rise to the occasion, every time. That deep-seated desire to succeed, to handle any situation with attempted grace, to shine and deliver will never go away and I am humbled. I don't think the people who led me in achieving this will ever know what lasting impact they had, with all their vigor, charisma and talent, but I hope this helped give an inkling. I am eternally grateful :-)

Jessica Jenkins, YPTW Alumni

As I have told you over the years all the YPTW staff  helped me become who I am now. Outside of the acting field you encourage and supported me and told me when I needed to take a step back. You helped me learn to be mature. I would not be succeeding in college if it wasn't for the push that you gave me and all the expectations you had. I cherish all the time that I got to spend at YPTW over the years. It was absolutely my home away from home. since the such a young age I always felt I had somewhere that I belonged. I will forever remember my time with you all and look back on it fondly.

Erin Carr, YPTW Alumni

Kids not only learn how to present themselves (vital lessons for all of us), but they learn LIFE Skills as well - how to work as a team, how to take responsibility for themselves even while IN that team, and "the curtain will go up on Opening Night whether you are ready or not, so you'd better be ready." YPTW takes children and molds them into great young adults... confident and ready to take on life. It's a great group! 

~Charlie Seymour, Jr.  YPTW Parent








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