DELTA YOUTH THEATRE (DYT) ANNOUNCES 2019-2020 SEASON
September 27, 2019
Delta, BC – The outstanding young people’s pre-professional theatre company, Delta Youth Theatre (DYT), announces the start of its 5th season this week. Company co-directors Tony Barton and Delta native Tracy Neff will take on two dynamic musicals, Disney’s Frozen, Jr., which will run in the fall of 2019 (Nov 19 – Dec 8), and The Music Man, Jr., by Meredith Willson, which runs in the spring of 2020 (April 29 – May 3). All performances take place at the Genesis Theatre in Ladner.
“We are excited to be offering two incredibly antithetical shows to our performers and our audiences,” says director Barton; “The Music Man and Frozen are so completely different in terms of style, era, genre and storytelling”. Neff and Barton are thrilled to be one of the first companies in the Lower Mainland to produce Frozen, Jr., a modern classic from the Disney repertoire that is adored by millions of young fans who know every note and nuance of their favourite characters.
The team is also pleased to connect young performers and DYT audiences with the story and less familiar songs from the The Music Man, Jr., a classic Broadway musical about a charismatic con-man and a librarian that takes place at the turn of the 20th century in small town Iowa. “The Music Man, Jr., is a fantastic story about how music can transform a person and a community,” says Director/Designer Tony Barton, noting the show has much to teach young performers beyond it’s terrific toe-tapping songs.
The thriving young theatre company has produced two shows per season since its ground-breaking first production of Sondhiem’s IntoThe Woods, Jr., in 2015 with an all Delta student cast. This year the company’s four casts also include young performers from the Delta-adjacent communities of Langley, Richmond and Surrey.
Co-artistic directors Neff and Barton have also involved guest actors in their productions, including Jim Martens (Elf Jr., Beauty and the Beast, Jr.), and Hollywood actor Neal McDonough (Annie Jr., Willy Wonka, Jr.). McDonough recently spoke to The Delta Optimist about his experience and why he’s a huge fan of the company: “What they do for Delta youth is truly remarkable so my hats are off to Tony [Barton] and Tracy [Neff]. Once you live in a community like South Delta it is such a tight knit community and is what we love about this and why we moved here from Los Angeles. For us to use the celebrity that we have to make our community a better place, of course we are going to do that”.
A big component of the company’s show offerings every year are hugely popular mid-week school matinees held during school hours. Frozen Jr. school matinees are already in high demand with several shows sold out. Tickets to these shows can only be booked by teachers who should contact the company at 604-417-7748 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Delta Youth Theatre has also added classes in Musical Theatre and Movement to help students grow in their craft and to give students who may not be ready for the ‘big show,’ a place to develop the skills they need for auditions with DYT or other big productions. “We are big believers in process and education,” says Neff who pursued her own love of musical theatre at the Boston Conservatory of Music where she received her BFA. Barton, who has his BA in music education from Illinois State University and his MA in Opera from Las Vegas University, backs that up, “Everyone wants to ‘be in a show’, but the students who actually want to learn how to take direction and to gain skills that they can bring to the table are the students we want to work with the most”. This year the company has retained professional actor/singer/dancers Jordan Field and Emma Dotto to head up the DYT musical theatre development classes offered at All Saints Anglican Church in Ladner, now open for registration on the DYT website, www.deltayouththeatre.com. Both instructors have performed with Theatre Under The Stars (TUTS), and Dotto choreographed DYT’s Mary Poppins, Jr., stand-out number “Step In Time” last season. Field comments, “Dance is a must for a musical theatre performer, and our Movement for the Actor class is about getting those students who would not necessarily be signing up for a traditional dance class at a studio moving the way you need to in this theatre genre”.
Talking about what inspired them to start the Delta based theatre arts company five years ago, Neff – who choreographs all of DYT’s shows – points to their shared beliefs about arts education, “We try to foster a strong work ethic with our students and we push them hard”, says Neff. “We don’t know any other way”, adds Barton, reflecting on his background as a theatre artist professional and an educator, “It’s an ethic that inspired us as professionals and it’s something we think our shows foster in young people. It’s amazing to see DYT student performers not only meet the expectations we give them, but exceed them time and again in all of our shows over the years”. Looking back on the first five years of growth of their young people’s pre-professional theatre company the talented team says, “We are incredibly lucky to be living in Delta and to be doing what we love”.
Tickets to all performances of the 2019-2020 Season are on sale now through the company’s website, www.deltayouththeatre.com
Tickets: available online at www.deltayouththeatre.com
Performance dates: Frozen, Jr. November 19 – December 8, 2019
The Music Man, Jr. April 29 – May 3, 2020
Location: GENESIS THEATRE, 5005 45 Ave, Ladner (Delta), BC V4K 1K4
MEDIA CONTACT: Mike Smith – email@example.com
DYT MEDIA PAGE: https://www.deltayouththeatre.com/copy-of-faculty-bios
YOU TUBE: https://youtu.be/P8I38ATC0ac