YST Fighting Hard to Survive in South Pasadena

Local youth community theatre continues to pivot in these unprecedented times

PHOTO: YST | SouthPasadenan.com | Ava Broneer, and Levi Srabalus in Shrek Jr. on stage at Fremont Centre Theatre

Young Stars Theatre is not going down without a fight! While Covid restrictions have made it impossible to produce shows for a live audience – YST’s main source of income – they are doing whatever else they can to keep going.

YST did qualify for some federal loans, but when those loans were depleted with no end in sight, things got very tight. “There was a very real point when I looked at our money and said to Gloria ‘We can’t pay the lease next month’”, say Jack Bennett, YST’s co-founder and Artistic Director. “The money just wasn’t there. Somehow, and I’m not even sure how, we made it.”  YST started a GoFundMe that is still running, hoping to raise enough to make it through the end of the year.  While some donations have come in, and they have definitely been helped by their landlord Lissa Reynolds, they had to continue to do what they do best: produce shows.

“The transition to doing theatre virtually has been a challenge, no question. But we don’t have a choice, and we’ve always had challenges. I just hope we can get enough support for what we’re doing online to hang on” says Jack.

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Their first streaming production, “Shrek Jr” is streaming Friday and Saturday, October 2nd and 3rd at 7pm and tickets are on sale.  The ticket link to the stream is available on their website, www.YoungStarsTheatre.org. YST has managed to produce 3 shows virtually so far, with streaming dates on the other two not yet determined.

Additionally, they are holding auditions this Saturday, October 3rd for a live Zoom production of their original adaptation of “A Christmas Carol”.  Both youth and adults are open to audition, and all the audition info is also available on their site.

“We’re just going to keep doing what we do until somebody tells us we can’t anymore, but that day seems to get a little closer all the time” says Jack soberly, “I really hope I’m wrong.”

Are you a patron of the arts? Perhaps you’ve seen one of the delightful YST productions at Fremont Centre Theatre? If you are able and would like to help them in their time of need go to their GoFundMe page here to donate today.