OUR MISSION STATEMENT:
We aim to inspire and encourage the next generation of the theatre community by providing a safe, creative space where young people can freely express themselves and their ideas. Through this we hope to foster in them a strong sense of community, passion and appreciation for the arts.
Calgary Young People’s Theatre (CYPT) was founded in 1992 by Brian Dorscht and Jackie Pontin. Since then CYPT has prided itself on providing numerous development opportunities to young people to explore the performing arts and develop their creativity and teamwork skills through camps, classes, workshops and production opportunities.
CYPT produces a theatrical season made up of 4 productions, in which youth ages 9-17 audition for the chance to be a part of a professional theatre process and performance. We offer a mentor-ship program within our productions, giving older students or recent alumni, a chance to shadow our production team to learn other theatrical skills including directing, stage management or design.
We pride ourselves on the selection of plays we choose each year that challenge, inspire and entertain our young actors and audiences alike. Over the past few years we have aimed to engage members of the arts community by commissioning original works or adaptations by local playwrights for our season.
We endeavor to offer our participants a well-rounded arts experience through collaboration with other community and arts groups.
CYPT provides opportunities to children from all walks of life through our bursary program, which can cover up to the full amount of program fees based on an application process.
We have a number of experienced staff working at CYPT each with individual areas of theatrical expertise. Artistic Director Kristin Eveleigh and General Manager Gillian Webster coordinate the day-to-day organization and artistic planning of the company such as productions, annual programming and staffing. Instructors, Directors and Production Staff are all educational or theatre professionals and are all contracted on a project-to-project basis.
Instructors, Directors & Designers
The instructors, designers and directors that work for CYPT are all dedicated to the theatre arts in a variety of different areas. We employ a diverse mixture of professional actors, directors, improvisers, musicians and playwrights as well as drama teachers and senior university theatre students. Our instructors and directors are all passionate about instructing children ensuring that CYPT offers students a very comprehensive and fun educational experience.
Current & Past Instructors, Directors and Designers
Anton de Groot
Kristin has been working with CYPT for 8 years as an instructor and director, and most recently Artistic Director. Kristin has worked on 9 CYPT productions with artistic partner in crime, Gillian Webster including Frankenstein (2011) and The Count of Monte Cristo (2012). She also has the privilege of working as sound designer and composer on several CYPT shows with Michael her other partner in crime. Outside of CYPT, Kristin is a performer and creator, and is a member of the PIE FACTORY COLLECTIVE, who have curated cabarets and whose production of The Lost N’ Lost Department has performed at the Calgary International Children’s Festival as well as in Edmonton. She is also an ensemble member of Ocho Rojo. Up next for CYPT, Kristin will direct Holmes and Watson by the amazing Jason Long. Kristin loves her family, doing handstands, I LOVE YOU MAN, drinking coffee, playing the piano, PUNCH CLUB, dancing, Michael, basic math, laughing, floor hockey, stretching, singing duets in her band with Pat and eating Swiss Chalet. Kristin has a deep passion for TYA and working with Gillian and the fantastic youth and team of CYPT.
Gillian Webster has been the General Manager of CYPT for three glorious seasons and she has been working with the company for the past nine years as a Stage Manager, Instructor, Creation Facilitator and Prop Master. Gillian has proudly Stage Managed seventeen shows since 2005 with CYPT, eight of them with Artistic Director Kristin Eveleigh, and with each one her love for this company has grown. Gillian looks forward to taking CYPT to new heights and to continue to provide quality programming and productions for the youth of Calgary.
For Season 21, Gillian will be Stage Managing Holmes and Watson, by Jason Long, based on the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. She will also be finding, creating, painting and building all of the props for CYPT's productions this season. Gillian graduated from the University of Calgary with a BFA in Drama in 2007 and started her theatre career through Quest Theatre's internship with a primary focus in Stage Management. She Stage Managed school touring shows for Quest Theatre such as Under the Big Top and The Invisible Girl to hundreds of elementary and junior high schools around the province of Alberta. For Trepan Theatre, she has Stage Managed La Mexicanne de Perforation, Matadora and SHE. For Theatre Calgary, Gillian was apprentice stage manager for Beyond Eden and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. She also stage manages for Dirty Laundry in her spare time, Calgary's Improvised Soap Opera, and is going into her eighth season with the company. Gillian loves dwarf kittens, writing, making schedules, laughing, peppermint white chocolate mochas, reading, her husband, playing board games, prop building, daydreaming, swimming and her cats, Tipsy and Florence.