"Young people still have a strong commitment to wanting to make a difference in this world," Knight said of the show, which runs to
Knight is marking her 25th year as founding artistic director of the company, which has helped spawn the careers of
YPC also created "The Talk: An Intercourse on Coming of Age," which won a 2006 Ivey, "Mean," a widely recognized play on teen bullying, and "Angst: The New Teen Musical," which made it to the New York International Fringe Festival in 2007.
We asked Knight five questions about her experience with YPC.
Q Have kids changed in their tastes and attitudes for theater?
A I think that kids always want and are interested in a good story.
Q Have you changed your approach to teaching, directing and mentoring young actors?
A I'm always trying to raise the bar on the quality of work that we do. My goals when I work with young artists have stayed constant. I want to train them on the skills that are important and necessary to be a successful artist and to inspire them to accomplish more than they thought was possible. And to value and honor the opportunities that they have been given.
Q How does theater for youth refresh itself over many years?
A By listening to the young people. What are the stories and issues that are important to them?
Q What's a story that illustrates the very best of what YPC has accomplished?
A I'm really proud of our original work. "Mean," our show about bullying, is a great example. We listened to what was going on with the young people in our community and created a show that I think was bold and fearless. The production was created through doing interviews with kids who had experienced bullying. Kids in the audience could see themselves in the story, and as a result the experience was authentic and truthful. There was no sugarcoating, no dumbing down.
Q The Twin Cities area has four youth theaters. How does YPC find its place in that environment?
A From the beginning we've been a place for young artists -- specifically teens. Hence our work reflects that niche. We created a structure to serve the artists in the best possible way. We have provided leadership opportunities like the
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