The Yonge Street Players Theatre School
The Toronto theatre school for young people, ages 7 to 17.
“My daughter will not go to any other class. She loves YSP!” – A.L
“Very positive class experience. Self confidence improved so much.
My child never wants to miss a class! ” – DC
EXCELLENT. EXCELLENT. EXCELLENT.
That’s all I can say about YSP!” – ZC
YSP. The Toronto Theatre School. Get to Know Us.
The Yonge Street Players Theatre School (YSP), is the Toronto theatre school for young children and teens. Founded in 1987 by artistic director Lisa Seward, the school emphasizes risk-taking, improvisation, creative drama, character creation and performance skills. YSP has provided a creative outlet for over a thousand young children and teens in the greater Toronto area since it opened its doors. YSP also won the YTV Award For Comedy, judged by Eugene Levy and Jim Carrey.
Lisa has a Degree in the Theatre Arts from The American Academy in New York City and a Honours Degree in Psychology from York University. She spent a year working towards her MSW at U of T before deciding to pursue her own direction with drama therapy in private practice.
Lisa started Yonge Street Players (YSP), a Toronto theatre school for youth in 1987 because she believed that children and teens needed a creative outlet, and that many had the ability to be downright funny. Lisa tapped into a wealth of talented youngsters and teens that later became her Pint Size Players and elite Teen Improvisors. It was not until YSP opened its Friday Night Live performance at the original Fire Hall Theatre at Second City downtown, that others began to see that Improv and young people were a perfect combination. Just for Laughs and The Comedy Channel were the first ones to sponsor Lisa’s Yonge Street Players in those early days.
Lisa is forever grateful for their support and belief that young people could excel when taught to find their own "humourous take on life".
Every Saturday, Lisa provides a one of a kind, creative venue for young people interested in learning improv and comedy. Lisa’s son, Ty, who has been at YSP since he was six years of age, is now a working actor, a valued member of the YSP team and a mentor to many of the students.
What We Do
Since our focus is on creating original characters and sketch comedy reviews, each class is full of energy and fun, fostering a positive attitude on the part of every student. YSP welcomes all kinds of young people, from age 7 to 17.
Each class combines warm-up exercises, improvisation, scene study, monologues, commedia del’arte, and performance techniques. The YSP program encourages each student to contribute to the ensemble with an emphasis on friendly critique and peer direction techniques.
Frequently Asked Questions
” The first class my son was nervous to get out of the car. He wasn’t sure that he wanted to try a class. He is the funniest child in our family , but he was reluctant. It was not an easy morning. But when I returned to pick him up – he did not hesitate to tell me that “Yes! He definitely wanted to come back next week!” It was an incredible relief for us and he still loves YSP- 2 years later. Thank you Lisa. – S.B. & C.B
“My teenage son rarely wakes up before 1 pm on the weekend. Last year, he not only woke up by 11-but he ran to the subway to get to his class on time. Now that’s incredible!” – R.J-D
“AMAZING! Lisa created comfortable environment so that my son could participate fully. Exceptional!” – DG
“My son (age 13 yrs) has really enjoyed the Improv experience. He looks forward to going and is always full of stories about what he did that day in class. Rare because he’s not one to much about school stuff.”- MD
“Very positive class experience. Self confidence improved so much. My child never wants to miss a class! ” – DC
“My son (age 14) enjoyed YSP thoroughly and found that it helped him in every public speaking experience at school this past year.” – RD
“My children have been attending The Yonge Street Players classes for years. Initially, I put my daughter into the programme hoping to help her build her confidence. She loved the classes so much that my son, age 12, insisted that he also join. It is NOT easy to impress boys of that age (at least not mine!) but he loved Lisa and her approach also. My children leave Lisa’s classes bubbling with happy energy, eager to share their experiences.I am an elementary school teacher myself.
Lisa is a truly gifted teacher!” ” – SJ
“My daughter (a teen) had a fun, entertaining and supportive learning experience at YSP. She enjoyed all her fellow “actors” and would like to continue growing her acting and improv skills by returning for her second year! Supportive, fun and challenging!” – MK
“My 11 yr old daughter has enjoyed her weekly classes . She looks forward to coming to class and “thinking” on her feet!” – MN
“My child is quite hard to engage sometimes but was very happy with this experience. She really enjoyed being there. She is studious at school and used to taking dance classes, but not theatre. She can be very shy and this class really helps.”- RM.
“My son (16 yrs) loves this class & respects the talent of the leaders & his other classmates.Thank you for the past 4 years! –NE
YSP SPRING CLASSES 2020
Spring Classes are postponed due to the COVID-19 Virus. Lisa will be in touch with all returning and new students once a new start date has been determined.
* No classes over Easter and Victoria Day weekends
Class Start Times: YONGE & LAWRENCE LOCATION
25 Wanless Ave. Toronto (Main floor - St. Leonard's Church)
Please call Lisa for openings in these classes:
Ages 9 - 12 10:30 - 11:40 am
Teen Class 11:45 - 1:15 pm
(Teens with some experience in drama classes and/or improvisation)
Private Sessions 1:30 pm +
(Please call Lisa for more information)
The first class is a trial class for all new Players.
Please call Lisa to discuss your child's class @ 416-823-5343 or register online and receive a confirmation call.
By filling out this form, you’ll provide us with the details necessary to arrange a place for your child in one of our classes.
Please call Lisa @ 416-823-5343 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
St. Leonard's Church
25 Wanless Ave.
Near the corner of Yonge St. and Lawrence Ave.
Call Lisa @ 416 823-5343