Beauty vs. Beast: Save the YPT from the Economy

Posted by Randy David Sunday, January 31, 2010 2:09 PM

Let me start by saying I may not be the best person to put this story forward. I have been around Young Peoples’ Theatre of St. Charles for only the last three years. The program is celebrating its 20th year and is now affiliated with St. Charles Community College.

There are many youth theater programs but this one is special. They take the time to teach each child and help them develop their skills. At the same time every child feel like a star because they find small ways to give them a special moment on stage, even when they are part of the chorus. The children’s ages range from 8-18 so there's a wide variety of maturity levels.

There's a reason I feel the need to express this. Each Saturday, there is a parent meeting to discuss what is going on with the current production. The crew, sets, costumes, marketing, are handled by parent volunteers, so there are many people that help make the shows successful. Many of us spend upwards of 50 hours per show, not including duties during performances. At yesterday’s meeting we were discussing a "Mouse Races" fundraiser we were planning for February 20th. This one is pretty large in its scope. Many people almost came to tears when hearing about the way funding has all but dried up. Unless this fundraiser is huge a success, the program will be forced to change things in any number of ways. One would be to charge higher fees for each child. which are currently at $100-150 per show, this will allow fewer low-income families to participate and put a larger burden on families with multiple children involved. They will also consider smaller shows with fewer children, cutting back from three shows per year to one or two or worse, eliminate the program.

In my limited time around the YPT program, I have seen many of the children mature, not just on stage but off stage as well. Being part of a team environment does wonders for these young people. Many of the high school graduates of the program, have gone on to college scholarships in theater. Most make special trips back each year to watch the performances and encourage the younger children. The YPT program is true gem of our community.

Some ways you can help: The most fun would be to attend the "Mouse Races" event on February 20th or if you prefer, donate prizes for that event. Email me at and I can help with that. You can also make a direct donation at the main webpage for the program here. And of course, buy tickets for the upcoming performances of Beauty and Beast. I'm sure we will be able to sell-out all eight shows with your help. A very deeply talented cast will make this one of the best amateur productions in St. Charles this year.

Thanks for your help!


0 Response to "Beauty vs. Beast: Save the YPT from the Economy"

Post a Comment