MANDATE & HISTORY
MORE INFO ABOUT YOUTHEATRE
Canada's oldest Theatre company
Youtheatre’s aim is to engage its audience through compelling theatre which provokes, questions, challenges and entertains. Our major area of focus is the creation, development and production of new works for young people by the finest Canadian playwrights.
Founded in November 1968 by Wayne and Doreen Fines, Youtheatre is Quebec’s oldest professional company producing theatre for young audiences. Over the past 50 years, Youtheatre’s productions have been performed to over two million young people throughout Quebec and Canada.
Perhaps one of the most significant changes in the company’s long history came in 1992 with the arrival of Youtheatre’s current Executive Director, Michel Lefebvre. “For me a theatre company must support the voices of Canadian playwrights,” said Lefebvre, “new work should be the focus”. Youtheatre’s mandate was changed in 1994 to incorporate this new vision and the company has since created over 30 new plays for young audiences.
In 2008, Michel returned to the stage in the one-man-show Simon & The Egg, a multi-media production, which he devised surrounded by a creative team of nine artists. More recently, The Pencil Project (2009) and Dreaming Now (2013) reflect his current preoccupation with the integration of new media in his work with the hope of making theatre for young audiences relevant and contemporary.
Each year, the company produces work for local audiences and frequently tours nationally. Since 2000, Youtheatre has also been producing productions in French, becoming Canada’s first truly bilingual theatre company for young audiences. Youtheatre has performed at many important venues in Canada including the National Arts Centre, Young People’s Theatre, Grand Theatre, Imperial Theatre, Manitoba Theatre for Young People, Théâtre la Catapulte and Théâtre la Seizième in Vancouver.
On an international level, Youtheatre has performed at The Birmingham Rep, Unity Theatre, Sherman Theatre and The Grand Theatre in Swansea, Wales. The Canada Council has recognised Youtheatre as a leader among Canadian theatre companies producing work for young audiences, citing the company’s “achievements in maintaining high production standards” as well as, “the depth of its commitment to developing new work and original voices”.
In 2018 the company celebrated its 50th anniversary of creating shows for young audiences. For the 2019-2020 season a new artistic and administrative team made their debut with the company. Véronique Bossé and Jeremy Segal stepped into their roles as new co-Artistic Directors of Youtheatre, and Simon A. Abou-Fadel became Youtheatre’s new General Manager.