Patrick Young

Patrick Young
Affiliation: 
Founding Artistic Director
Theatre Erindale
Place of Birth: 
Beaver Lodge, AB
First Year Employed at UTM/U of T: 
1990
Department / Division: 
English and Drama

Theatre Erindale has been my entire world for 25 years. I couldn’t devote time to anything else if I wanted it to live up to the standard I wanted it to reach.

Patrick Young

Patrick Young, the inaugural artistic director of Theatre Erindale, has been a mainstay of the theatre and drama studies specialist program – a joint venture between U of T Mississauga and Sheridan College – since its inception.  In 2017, after 26 years of directing, teaching and co-ordinating the program, Young is retiring. It’s a change that may allow him a chance to take to the stage as an actor again.

“Theatre Erindale and the program have been the main focus for my existence,” Young said. “It has been hard to keep up with friends and family. They attend the shows and we go out for dinner afterward.”

Young, a University of Toronto alumnus, joined the fledgling program when it was still in the planning stages and has had a big hand in making it the success it is today. His experience directing the theatre program at Dalhousie University and acting professionally, both onstage and onscreen, were invaluable in helping the program blossom.

“Generally, when you’re training theatre professionals, you’re competing with Bachelor of Fine Arts students,” he said. “Our program gives students a leg up, because they get an honours degree.”

When the program first began, Young found himself as a jack-of-all-trades: director, production designer and costumer, as well as teacher, personnel co-ordinator and season planner. As it has grown, Young shed some of his backstage responsibilities. However, he continued to direct at least one show annually and usually designs the production, too.

His pride in the program’s success is evident.

“It’s very exciting,” Young said. “We always seem to be tweeting about some new award our alumni have been nominated for, and for years now, whenever I walk into a theatre, there are generally program alumni onstage, behind the scenes or in administration. Even the students who audition for the program are often taught by alumni.

“The community is huge and it spreads. It’s very gratifying.”

Young believes strongly that Theatre Erindale is a jewel in UTM’s crown.

“The theatre program is a huge contributor to the university’s public profile,” he said. “We constantly have the community coming in to see what we’re doing and we’re constantly reaching out to them so our students have an audience.

“We’ve worked hard to be part of UTM’s growth.”

 

Awards:

Three of Young’s adaptations of classic plays have been published by the Playwrights’ Guild.

Recipient of fellowships from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council

Young created an award in memory of his mother, Meg Young, given annually to a student who has shown outstanding progress and personal growth.

One or more Theatre Erindale productions have been on the Ontario Arts Review’s annual Ten Best List for the past 12 years, competing with companies such as Meadowvale Theatre and the Stratford Festival.