Young Actors’ Summer Theatre (YAST) started in 1986 and it continues to be popular. YAST is a different approach to theatre. In addition to the many theatre games and activities that are shared, the young actors also create a play that is performed at the end of the two week sessions. What is wonderful about YAST is that the young actors get to be very involved in the creative process of developing the play. Certainly the director is there to guide and “direct” the show, but he relies a great deal on the creativity and input of the participants. The shows truly become theirs.
Due to the nature of the program Donald can customize his approach for each actor based on their skills and comfort level. For some kids it’s just great that they are there, and they need a lot of support, whereas others are ready to delve deeper into the theatrical experience. He has almost 40 years’ experience with children’s theatre and working with kids in general to draw upon.
In addition to learning about the process of creating and producing a play, the young actors also gain skills in feeling comfortable expressing themselves in front of others. Maybe most importantly, the kids learn how to work with others and appreciate the talents and contributions of others for the common goal.