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News and Notes

PYTCo: 45 Years of Community-Supported Arts

What Can We Expect in Another 45 Years?

Our organization was created in 1978 upon a need to foster art and arts education in Penn Yan.

Since our inception, our mission has been to enhance the quality of life in our community by providing theater experiences and education in order to promote participation, appreciation, and understanding of the arts.

One of our driving motives has been to provide affordable access to quality, live theatrical productions for all members of our rural community.

PYTCo has delivered family-friendly musicals, variety shows, plays, and more to our local community and surrounding areas for 45 years. All PYTCo productions offer unique, accessible, and affordable live shows to community members of all ages.

Through our successful theatre group, PYTCo has staged over 60 major productions. Each production can expect to be viewed by 500 to 1,000 audience members - an experience that can not be duplicated by any other local organization.

Not only does PYTCo provide affordable shows, musicals, and plays to the local Penn Yan public, but we also further our mission by providing free programming to youths and adults in our community. Programming is free to participate in and provides theatre art instruction to children and adults in Yates County and beyond.

Over the past decade, PYTCo has mentored over 500 youths through our Summer Youth Theatre Camp, at absolutely no enrollment cost to campers or their families.

PYTCo has succeeded through countless hours of volunteer support and the generosity of the community. PYTCo volunteers range from ages five to seventy-five. These volunteers are taught the production process, including; performance, costume, makeup, set design and building, promotion, ticket sales, and house management.

Through the help of our volunteers, PYTCo is able to promote participation, appreciation, and understanding of the arts by:

  • Selecting plays and musicals to be performed

  • Developing original works for community theatre groups

  • Choosing works that utilize performers in various age groups

  • Providing personnel to produce and direct each project

  • Providing experiential education for novice participants

  • Performing for the general public and individual groups

  • Supporting the drama clubs and youth programs in local schools and communities

  • Awarding scholarship(s) to graduating high school seniors

PYTCo’s impact has truly been unmeasurable in our local community. It’s one of the many reasons why we have chosen to take on the revitalization of The Sampson Theatre.

Upon the full revitalization of the Sampson Theatre, PYTCo can further support drama clubs and youth programs in local schools and communities in the region and beyond. It will become a space that can be used for local theatre productions, rehearsals, educational programs, performances, and more. PYTCo has a long history of partnering with local schools to promote and present drama productions, and The Sampson Theatre will serve to enhance these partnerships.

It will also become a multi-use space for the entire community. Revitalization plans call for a brand-new space of classrooms and meeting spaces that other local organizations, committees, and businesses can take advantage of. The Sampson will also serve as a community cultural center and will provide the perfect site for conferences, seminars, community forums, trade shows, and more.

Not only will The Sampson ensure we have access to community-driven arts for generations, it will also provide a much-needed economic boost to our community through economic and workforce development.

If you’re interested in learning more about The Sampson Theatre and its impact on our community, we encourage you to check out PYTCo and The Sampson Theatre.

In recent years, PYTCo has been given the opportunity and responsibility to be a voice for racial justice and equality for all; both within our organization and within the larger community.

Since PYTCo works with youths and adults spanning various backgrounds, cultures, ethnicities, and genders, we find it imperative to provide a safe space that promotes equality and equity for all.

PYTCo pledges to pursue our mission for sustainable economic development, and excellence in arts and education by continuing to open opportunities for our black, brown, and LGBTQIA+ neighbors and friends and others of marginalized experiences. We understand that without social justice, our communities are weaker, and, therefore, so are we.

We pledge to have comfortable and safe facilities and performances for all our neighbors. We will not tolerate any actions, words, or aggressions, whether intentional or unintentional, to the contrary. We pledge to engage artists of diverse backgrounds and identities in our programs musical, visual, dance, theatrical and educational.

We commit to engaging leadership at every level of our organization to establish clear and concrete steps for success in diversity, equity, and inclusion.

PYTCo has made a vast difference in our community since 1978, but our work is not yet done. We have made a pledge to continue growing and evolving to better our community for another 45 years.

If you’re interested in being a part of our organization, we encourage you to donate. Without donations, our organization would not be able to provide affordable entertainment and free programming to our community. Become a PYTCo ambassador and donate today:


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