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Manitoba Theatre for Young People (MTYP) is a theatre for children and young adults in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada performing at the Canwest Performing Arts Centre in The Forks, Winnipeg.[1] MTYP's annual attendance regularly exceeds 100,000 people per year.[2]

Manitoba Theatre for Young People
Manitoba Theatre for Young People at The Forks, Winnipeg, Manitoba.JPG
Location2 Forks Market Road
Winnipeg, Manitoba
R3C 4X1
Coordinates49°53′17.3″N 97°7′59.08″W / 49.888139°N 97.1330778°W / 49.888139; -97.1330778Coordinates: 49°53′17.3″N 97°7′59.08″W / 49.888139°N 97.1330778°W / 49.888139; -97.1330778
Years active1982–present

Within the theatre complex there are two performance venues: a 315-seat Main Stage and a smaller hall.[2] The smaller hall does not have theatre seating and as such it is used primarily as a rehearsal hall and multi-purpose room.[2] The building also features four classroom studios, production and wardrobe shops, a greenroom, two full dressing rooms, a box office, and lobby.[2] The theatre is 5,270 square feet in size with a 1,344 square feet stage area. The black-box style theatre seats up to 315 and is reconfigurable.[2]

Manitoba Theatre for Young People is one of only two TYA (Theatre for Young Audience) institutions in Canada with a permanent residence and is the only Theatre for Young Audiences that offers a full season of plays for teens.



It was founded in 1965 as Actors' Showcase and incorporated in 1977.[3] In 1982, Leslee Silverman became the artistic director, and it became a professional theatre devoted to young people.[3]

For many years, the theatre operated out of the Gas Station Theatre in the Osborne Village area of the city.[citation needed]

In 1999 the MTYP moved to The Forks to its new location in the Canwest Performing Arts Centre, a 28,000 square feet (2,600 m2) facility for MTYP and its school.[3]

The Company has been run by artistic director Leslee Silverman since its inception.[4]

First Season (1982/83)Edit

  • The Little Beast[3]
  • Plum Pudding[3]
  • You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown[3]
  • School Yard Games[3]
  • Crying to Laugh[3]
  • Magic & the Supernatural in Shakespeare[3]
  • Special Project: Feeling Yes, Feeling No: A Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Program[3]


The Manitoba Theatre for Young People presents a full season of theatre for young audiences via both public and school shows, as well as 2 productions per year that tour both the city of Winnipeg, and the province of Manitoba.

MTYP's Theatre School offers Fall, Winter, and Spring sessions, as well as Spring break and Summer camps, including classes for children as young as three years old.[5] The theatre school serves over 1,600 children and teens.[6] MTYP theatre school provides training for absolute beginners through to pre-professionals, including annual productions performed by teen students in its Young Company and Shakespeare Company, along with various extracurricular performances. The theatre's Drama Resource program presents performance workshops at the theatre and in schools province wide.

MTYP offers free acting, performing and film training classes to Winnipeg's Aboriginal youth between the ages of 12 and 18.[7] It is run by Native Theatre Artist Ian Ross [7] and runs as an independent division of MTYP. The program sees more than 500 students and is the largest of its kind in Canada.[8] Cultural Connections for Youth (CCAY) supplies more than half of the funding for MTYP's Aboriginal Arts Program.[8]


The operating budget for the MTYP is $2.2 million.[2] Fundraising accounts for 20% of revenue, government grants account for 30%, and earned revenue accounts for 50%.[2] Earned revenue consists of theatre tuition, ticket sales and facility rentals.[2]

The current facility cost $5.6 million to build.[9] Although $4 million was raised in a capital campaign, the remainder wasn't completed and as of 2012, the theatre has $182,000 in mortgage payments annually, as there is $1.2 million remaining debt that the theatre owes for the facility.[9]

Between 2006 and 2011, MTYP's then finance and administration manager Kathleen Owen-Hunt embezzled over $90,000 from the theatre.[10] MTYP sued Owen-Hunt and will be recouping a portion of the money.


The theatre and its artistic director Leslee Silverman have been awarded the following honours:

  • In 1991, Leslee Silverman was awarded the 125th Commemorative Medal as part of Canada’s 125th Anniversary celebrations.[11]
  • It was the first English theatre to win the Canadian Institute of the Arts for Young Audiences Award in 1992.[4]
  • MTYP's 1994 production of Comet in Moominland was nominated for the Chalmers Award.[4]
  • MTYP's 1998 production of Old Friends received the Chalmers Award.[4]
  • In 2001, Leslee Silverman received the YWCA Woman of Distinction Award in the Arts and Culture category for "her significant contribution to the well-being our community."[11]
  • In 2003 Leslee Silverman received the first Arts Award of Distinction from the Manitoba Arts Council.[4]
  • In 2004, Leslee Silverman was named an honorary member of the Association for Canadian Theatre Research (ACTR).[11]
  • In 2007, MTYP's production of Comet in Moominland was invited to open the season at New York's New Victory Theater.[4]
  • In 2007, MTYP's production of Comet in Moominland won a Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding Production in the Theatre for Young Audiences category.[4]
  • In 2010, MTYP received the Human Rights Commitment Award for "the achievement of promoting human rights and social transformation for almost 30 years."[4]
  • In 2011 Leslee Silverman was awarded the Governor General's Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Achievement.[4]


Famous former students of MTYP's theatre school include Adam Beach and Nia Vardalos.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Manitoba Theatre for Young People". The Forks. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "Manitoba Theatre for Young People". Centre of Expertise on Culture and Communities. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "MTYP History". MTYP. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i "ABOUT MANITOBA THEATRE FOR YOUNG PEOPLE". MTYP. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  5. ^ "Classes at MTYP". MTYP. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  6. ^ "Manitoba Theatre for Young People Inc". The Winnipeg Foundation. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  7. ^ a b "Aboriginal Arts Training & Mentorship Program". MTYP. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  8. ^ a b "Aboriginal Arts Program at Manitoba Theatre for Young People threatened". CBC News. 12 July 2012. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  9. ^ a b "Manitoba Theatre for Young People faces financial crisis". CBC News. 4 June 2012. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  10. ^ "MTYP recovering from $90K fraud committed by ex-official". CBC News. 5 July 2013. Retrieved 4 November 2013.
  11. ^ a b c "Awards". MTYP. Retrieved 10 October 2012.

External linksEdit