Young Performers Theatre (Anthony Manning Kunin Foundation) is a non-profit children’s theatre located at Fort Mason Center in San Francisco. In 1982, theatre educator Matilda Kunin founded YPT to honor her son Anthony, who was killed in a tragic accident. Since then, YPT has presented over one hundred mainstage children’s productions of classics such as Peter Pan and Winnie the Pooh as well as premieres by local playwrights, including The Adventures of Six Toes, written by San Francisco author Danny Martin and The Baker Street Irregulars by
Theatre Arts Academy
YPT’s Theatre Arts academy teaches children as young as three years old the fundamentals of dramatization and instructs older children in acting, performance and musical theatre. Advanced students from the age of
nine are invited to audition for main-stage plays, where they have the opportunity to work alongside adult actors in a professional production. The Academy also sends teachers into schools to conduct acting and creative play workshops.
Children in Need
Founded on the belief that all children need exposure to live theatre, YPT maintains a Children in Need Program. Over the past eight years, the Program has donated more than 20,000 tickets to over 30 Bay Area community organizations, giving children in need the rare chance to see live theatre with kids just like them on stage.
Theatre in Education
Beginning in 1998 with funding from the Miriam and Peter Haas foundation, YPT launched a Theatre In Education program, sending theatre professionals who specialize in early creative education into schools that do not otherwise offer classes in theatre. Because of the current lack of formal creative play or drama discipline in the San Francisco city schools, TIE will work not only on short-term theatrical projects in the classroom, but on educating teachers about the value of creative drama exercises in their students’ regular schoolwork. In this way, TIE hopes to impact and enrich city school curricula for the long term.
YPT is the only full-time children’s theatre in the San Francisco Bay Area, and one of the very few theatres in the country offering introductory acting classes to children as young as three years old. Over YPT’s thirty-year history, the theatre has demonstrated an unparalleled commitment to involving children in theatre at the earliest ages, and sustaining their interest in the arts for a lifetime.