Monday, May 05, 2014

MEDIA RELEASE: Derek Aasland Resigns as MTYP’s Artistic Director

MTYP’s Board of Directors applauds Aasland’s achievements and launches search for successor 

WINNIPEG (May 5, 2014) - Manitoba Theatre for Young People announces the resignation of Artistic Director Derek Aasland, effective 30 June 2014. The Board of Directors would like to thank Aasland for his service to MTYP over his 16-month tenure, where his dedication and insightful leadership have been instrumental in stabilizing the company and in helping the Board set into motion a strategic plan for MTYP’s future.

Aasland returned to MTYP in March of 2013, assuming the role of Executive Producer to guide the company through a challenging point in its history. Drawing on his experience as MTYP’s Associate Artistic Director and Assistant General Manager from 2006 to 2010, Aasland moved quickly to eliminate short-term financial strain and to foster a leadership culture focused on both stewardship and artistic excellence. Under his leadership, MTYP was able to post a surplus in the 2012-13 fiscal year, and is expected to post another surplus at the end of 2013-14.

Aasland has accepted a new position, closer to his family in Ontario.  “This has been a remarkable experience,” reflects Aasland. “The staff, board, and community rallied with incredible dedication to build a new future for MTYP. I couldn’t be prouder to have played my part.”

“Derek is a gifted and passionate leader, whose natural abilities to inspire and direct were a particular asset,” says Gloria Koop, president of MTYP’s Board of Directors. “He has worked tirelessly towards the realization of our vision to be a locally, nationally, and internationally recognized leader dedicated to the enhancement of young people’s lives through the performing arts. His skill and enthusiasm will certainly be missed, and we wish him all the best in his future endeavours.”

The search committee for a new Artistic Director, led by MTYP’s Board of Directors, has begun the process of finding a suitable candidate. Max Reimer has been named interim Artistic Director while the search is completed. Further details will be posted to the organization’s website.

- 30 -

Media Contact:

Martin Lussier, Marketing and Communications Manager
Manitoba Theatre for Young People
Office: 204-954-1702
Mobile: 204-890-6757


Posted by Martin Lussier at 5:00 PM 0 Comments

Thursday, April 17, 2014

MEDIA RELEASE: MTYP's 2014-15 Season: Journey Into the Heart of Imagination

From timeless to timely, magical to meaningful, a world of adventure and discovery awaits at MTYP!

WINNIPEG (April 17,2014) – Come away to Manitoba Theatre for Young People to experience some the greatest stories ever told! From the high-flying Peter Pan to timeless Pinocchio, the inspirational Black Violin to the powerful Jabber, MTYP’s 2014-15 season offers adventure and discovery for audiences of all ages.

The path to discovery begins with MTYP’s production of Jabber, a powerful new play for teens by Marcus Youssef, and is followed in November by Tout à Trac’s Pinocchio, a visually stunning adaptation of the story of the world’s most famous puppet.

The holiday season will see Winnipeg’s Fred Penner reprise the role of the villainous Captain Hook in MTYP’s production of Peter Pan. Sprinkled with spectacular flying and razor sharp sword fights, audiences will not want to miss this awfully big adventure!

Black Violin will get the new year off to a rocking start with their signature mix of classical, hip-hop and pop, while Dennis Foon’s exuberant and touching New Canadian Kid will examine the issues surrounding inter-cultural harmony through the eyes of ‘new kid’ Nick. The critically-acclaimed Theater Terra will bring joy to MTYP’s youngest audiences this Spring Break with their production of Spot, the most famous and beloved little dog in children’s literature. The season wraps up with Kaput starring Australian Tom Flanagan in the story of a clumsy ‘Mr Fixit’ whose hilarious, acrobatic and “dangerously clever” antics will delight audiences both young and old.

“Our 33rd season features an incredible array of theatrical experiences, drawn from around the country and the world, each with a singular artistic footprint,” says MTYP Artistic Director Derek Aasland. “We wanted our audiences to have something spectacular to look forward to all season.” 



Jabber (Oct 15-23, 2014)
Ages 12-18

When anti-Muslim graffiti sees hijab-wearing Fatima ransferred to a new high school, she meets Jorah, a boy with anger issues. They confront stereotypes, boundaries and limits in this “great show to bring any high school age student to.” Charlebois Post Review

Pinocchio (Nov 6-15, 2014)
Ages 5 and up

Embark on a thrilling and spectacular voyage as Pinocchio faces a thousand trials in his quest to become a real boy. “Thrilling and entertaining.” La Presse

Peter Pan (Nov 27-Dec 24, 2014)
Ages 5-12

Come away to Neverland this holiday season for one of the most magical stories ever told! This wondrous adventure is sprinkled with spectacular flying sequences, razor sharp sword fights, a pinch of fairy dust, and features Fred Penner as Captain Hook. “Bowens’ adaptation is magnificent.” Regina Free Press 

Black Violin (Jan 7-17, 2015)
Ages 7 - Teen

Hot on the heels of celebrity collaborations and dropping their second album, Black Violin returns to MTYP for a knock-out performance with an inspiring message. “Black Violin is a living advertisement for creative self-determination.” Winnipeg Free Press

New Canadian Kid (Feb 4-13, 2015)
Ages 6-12

One of Canada’s most produced plays, New Canadian Kid shares Nick’s experience as newcomer: making friends, learning a new language and adapting to change. “Looks at a serious subject in a witty and sympathetic light.” Winnipeg Sun

Spot (Mar 23 - Apr 2, 2015)
Ages 2-7

Join us for show stopping tunes and incredible puppetry in an adventure featuring the most beloved little dog in children’s literature. “You can count on Amsterdam’s Theater Terra to bring local youngsters a stage full of Dutch treats when it visits MTYP.” Winnipeg Free Press 

Kaput (Apr 15-26, 2015)
Ages 5 and up

Hilarious, acrobatic, and “dangerously clever,” Kaput is the story of a clumsy ‘Mr. Fixit’ who cannot help but fuel the catastrophe around him. “Physical comedy at its best.” Entertainment Hive



Read the full media release (PDF)



For more information, to schedule interviews, or to request high resolution photos and multimedia assets, please contact:

Martin Lussier, Marketing and Communications Manager, MTYP

Office: 204-947-0394 ext. 226 | Cell: 204-890-6757 |


Posted by Martin Lussier at 12:00 AM 0 Comments

Monday, March 24, 2014

MEDIA RELEASE: MTYP presents "Night Light" by John Lazarus, Mar 28-Apr 6, 2014

Manitoba Theatre for Young People presents:

Night Light

by John Lazarus


“One of the most intelligent and graceful
children’s plays I’ve ever seen.” – Montreal Gazette

WINNIPEG – Manitoba Theatre for Young People (MTYP) presents Night Light, an award-winning drama that tells the story of six year-old Tara and her older brother Victor as they learn to overcome their everyday fears and anxieties. Playwright John Lazarus’ script uses ingenuity and laughter to shine a light on important issues such as bullying, parental expectations, and beyond.


Synopsis: Whether it’s an imaginary monster or a bully on the playground, life can be a bit scary for kids from time to time. Goodge is a monster that lives in six-year-old Tara’s bureau. But only she (and the audience) can see him.  Meanwhile, her older brother Victor is afraid of an increasingly difficult bully on the playground. Working together, they learn how to deal with their fears in a positive way, overcoming differences and making new friends.


What Manitoba educators are saying about Night Light:

“The play dealt with issues that a lot of students have to deal with in a funny and entertaining way.  It had a good message – it led to some great dialogue in the class afterwards.  [Our] students were happy to see positive conflict resolution between Farley and Victor.” - West St. Paul School

“[Night Light was a] starter for a great conversation on bullying, as well as dealing with other difficult situations.  Artistically, the actors captured every emotion children experience.  Educationally, the play fought back with words while simultaneously validating anger – turning a physical feeling into words… It is a great experience for children, as well as adults.” - Glenelm School


With Night Light, MTYP continues its mission to bring real issues facing children today to the stage, encouraging audiences to talk openly about the challenges that they face in everyday life. The production has been touring extensively across Manitoba, and will be appearing on MTYP’s mainstage from March 28 to April 6. It will then continue its province-wide tour, playing to over 20,000 students in schools across the province. Night Light is suitable for children ages 5 to 12, and adults of all ages.



Heather Russell


Alissa Watson

Farley/The Monster

Tristan Carlucci



Artistic Team

John Lazarus


Christopher Sigurdson


Grant Guy

Set & Costume Designer

Danny Carroll

Sound Designer

Bill Williams

Lighting Designer

JoAnna Black

Stage Manager


Public Performances

Friday, March 28 at 7:00 PM

Saturday, March 29 at 1:00 PM & 4:00 PM

Sunday, March 30 at 1:00 PM & 4:00 PM

Tuesday, April 1 at 10:00 AM & 1:00 PM

Wednesday, April 2 at 10:00 AM & 1:00 PM

Thursday, April 3 at 10:00 AM & 1:00 PM

Friday, April 4 at 1:00 PM & 7:00PM

Saturday, April 5 at 1:00 PM & 4:00 PM

Sunday, April 6 at 1:00 PM & 4:00 PM


Posted by Martin Lussier at 12:00 PM 0 Comments

Monday, March 10, 2014

MEDIA RELEASE: MTYP presents "I on the Sky" by DynamO Théâtre, March 14-16, 2014

I on the Sky

Written and Directed by Yves Simard


“DynamO Théâtre is an acrobatic company that defines world class.”
– Winnipeg Free Press


WINNIPEG – Manitoba Theatre for Young People (MTYP) is proud to present I on the Sky, March 14-16 on the MTYP Mainstage. I on the Sky is brought to life by Montreal’s DynamO Théâtre without any spoken words, instead leading audiences through a story of resilience animated by acrobatics, dance, and physical storytelling. Lyrical and poetic, this universal tale of alienation and adaptation will resonate with audiences of all ages, especially those who are new to Winnipeg.

“We are proud to continue our tradition of bringing world class theatre for young people to Winnipeg,” says Derek Aasland, artistic director of MTYP. “DynamO Théâtre pushes the boundaries of art and athleticism in a remarkably moving production that speaks to so many issues that are at the heart of the newcomer experience.”

Synopsis: A bench in the wind, where a woman, blown in by the storm finds refuge. Like all exiles that are forced to leave everything behind, she hopes for a better life. A stranger in a strange land, she gazes into the sky, hoping to find something that is familiar. As she sits on her bench, trying to talk to passers-by, she flashes back to her the life she once had, but was forced to flee.

Written and directed by Yves Simard, I on the Sky features Laurianne Brabant, Frédéric Nadeau, Andréanne Joubert, Hugues Sarra-Bournet, and Marie-Ève Lafontaine. DyanamO Théâtre has toured around the world, impressing audiences with its unique style and sophisticated productions, and is currently on a cross-Canada tour that will take it from Québec all the way to Vancouver, British Columbia, and back.


This marks the third time DynamO Théâtre has graced the MTYP mainstage, first with Mur-Mur in the 2001-02 season and again in 2008-09 with Thrice upon a Time. I on the Sky is directed for youth ages 10 and up and adults of all ages.



Laurianne Brabant

Frédéric Nadeau

Andréanne Joubert

Hugues Sarra-Bournet

Marie-Ève Lafontaine



Artistic Team

Yves Simard

Playwright and Director

David Paquet

Dramaturgical Support

Pierre Étienne Locas

Assistant Director

Christian Légaré


Michel Antoine Castonguay


Sylvain Letendre


Suzanne Trépanier



Public Performances

Friday, March 14 at 1:00 PM & 7:30 PM (opening night)

Saturday, March 15 at 1:00 PM & 4:00 PM

Sunday, March 16 at 1:00 PM & 4:00 PM


Posted by Martin Lussier at 12:00 AM 0 Comments

Thursday, February 27, 2014

MTYP Musical Theatre Company Presents Hot Mikado, Feb 28 - March 2

MTYP Musical Theatre Company presents

Hot Mikado

Book and Lyrics Adapted by DAVID H BELL
Music Adapted and Arranged by ROB BOWMAN

Based on "The Mikado" by W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan
Originally Produced at Ford's Theatre, Washington, D.C.

Directed/Choreographed by Cheyenne Schroeder


WINNIPEG – Manitoba Theatre for Young People’s Musical Theatre Company is pleased to present Hot Mikado, February 28 – March 2, 2014 at the Shaw Performing Arts Centre. The show, featuring lyrics adapted by David H. Bell, and musical adaptation by Rob Bowman, is based on the perennial Gilbert and Sullivan classic, “The Mikado.”


Synopsis: In a land where outlandish laws sentence people to death for almost any indiscretion, jazz, and the blues, and gospel are spoken fluently. HOT MIKADO weaves a tale of hilarious proportions and despite the life or death stakes, characters still find time to tap their toes and do their fair share of scatting.


Directed and choreographed by Cheyenne Schroeder, the cast of 24 teen performers will lead audiences through a tale of East meets West, set in the imaginary Japanese village of Titi-Pu. The story is supported by a vibrant musical score in true 1940s-style, ranging from the blues, to Cab Calloway swing, to gospel, and beyond, brought to life by a live orchestra under the direction of Mike McKay. The colourful staging and costumes, along with riveting dance numbers will be sure to enthrall audience members of all ages.


MTYP’s Musical Theatre Company is a group of 24 teenage performers who successfully auditioned to be part of this 22-week training program.  For six hours a week they train and rehearse, aspiring to create a professional quality production.  The program is designed to help young performers build confidence, develop teamwork skills, and expand their minds through advanced training in acting, singing and dancing.


Hot Mikado

Presented by the MTYP Musical Theatre Company
And is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI).
All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI.
421 West 54th Street, New York, NY 10019
Phone: 212-541-4684 Fax: 212-397-4684


Dane Bjornson, Hailey Charney, Abigail Chochinov, Alexandra Chubaty Boychuk, Julia Davis, Anika Dowsett, Danielle Friesen, Dallas Gillingham, Arthur Holroyd, Emily King, Jordan Kroeker, Hannah Krostewitz, Kas Kuropatwa, Sarah London, Alanna McPherson, Augusta Redekop, Eliette Rheault, Alana Short, Jonah Simmonds, Charlotte Thompson, Victoria Turko, Jérôme Vandal, Emma Welham, Chase Winnicky

Artistic Team




Musical Director


Assistant Director/Choreographer


Assistant Stage Manager


Costume Designer


Properties Designer


Lighting Designer


Public Performances

Friday, February 28 at 7:30 PM

Saturday, March 1 at 7:30 PM

Sunday, March 2 at 2:30 PM


Posted by Martin Lussier at 12:00 AM 0 Comments