Motor City Youth Theatre was sponsored by South Redford Schools from 1990-1999
where they continuously offered productions and workshops, including a six-week performing arts series for community children as well as touring to schools in Livonia, Redford, and Detroit.
In 1999 the company moved to Masonic Temple in Detroit where they were sponsored by the Scottish Rite Masons for five years as a part of their family outreach program. During that time they were fortunate to be able to rehearse and perform in the 1,500 seat Scottish Rite Cathedral.
MCYT moved in to its present location in Livonia in 2005. MCYT members have performed at the Livonia Civic Center Library Auditorium, the Livonia Redford Theatre Guild, Livonia’s Concert in the Park Series, and at Campus Martius in Detroit. In 2003, during its musical production of The Wizard of Oz, TinderBox Productions was featured on Channel 7's "From the Heart" in which Erik Smith named the group "Detroit's best kept stage secret.” Since that time, Motor City Youth Theatre has grown considerably and is well known to children and families in over fifteen different Detroit area communities.
Motor City Youth Theatre is a 501 (c) (3) charitable organization and contributions are tax deductible as provided under IRS regulations.
Nancy Florkowski is the artistic director and co-founder (1990) of Motor City Youth Theatre in Livonia and teaches the drama segment of AED 5050: Integrating the Arts into the Elementary Classroom at Wayne State University.
She retired from South Redford Schools in 2004, after thirty two years as a Special Education and Drama teacher and has a BA in Elementary Education (Eastern Michigan University), M.A. and Education Specialist degrees in Special Education (Wayne State University), M.A. in Drama/Theatre for the Young (Eastern Michigan University), and recently earned a B.A. in Theatre (2013) from Wayne State University.
As an exchange student through Eastern Michigan University, Florkowski studied Children’s Theatre at Coventry College of Education in the UK. She recently participated in the WSU Study Abroad trip to Moscow and St. Petersburg as well as the Month in Moscow program at the Moscow Art Theater (MXAT).
Nancy has directed hundreds of productions at Motor City Youth Theatre, Pierce Middle School, Thurston High School, Oakland Community College, and Wayne State University. She has appeared in local radio and TV commercials and community and dinner theatre since 1977. While at Wayne State University (2010-2013), Nancy performed at the Bonstelle Theatre, Hilberry Graduate Theatre, Hilberry Studio Theatre, and in the WSU Performance Exchange touring company.
Co-founder, Fred Florkowski, MCT resident Scenic Designer and Technical Director, is an Associate Professor and head of Scenic Design for Wayne State University's Theatre and Dance Department. He has provided scenic designs and technical direction for over 80 productions in regional theatres including Second City, Detroit. Fred is currently designing the Bonstelle production of Peter Pan. Other credits include Twas' the Night before Christmas, Ragtime, The Comedy of Errors, and The Caucasian Chalk Circle (Bonstelle) Misalliance, Hamlet, and The Lady's Not for Burning (Hilberry); East Texas Hot Links, Plowshares, and Tales of Wishing and Other Silliness, The Storytellers, and Fools (Oakland Community College). Fred co-founded MCYT (AKA Redford Youth Theatre/Tinderbox Productions) with Nancy in 1990. Fred also spent A Month in Moscow at the Moscow Art Theatre School.
Motor City Youth Theatre staff is made up of talented actors or specialists who have theatre and/or teaching degrees in the state of Michigan and love working with children!
Shannon VanEsley: BFA in Theatre New School, NYC
Sarah Hawkins Moan: MFA in Theatre, Hilberry Theatre, Wayne State University
Toni Williams: Retired Special Education teacher, South Redford Schools
Rachel Thomas: Elementary Teacher's Certificate, Eastern Michigan University
Andrew Petrylka, BA in Theatre from Wayne State University
Alex Petrylka, BA in Film from Wayne State University
Alex Schott, BA in Theatre from Wayne State University
As in all MCYT workshops and productions, MCYT summer programs emphasize team work, respect for differences and a love for theatre. Students will work on character development, voice, movement, and improvisation skills in a supportive and non-competitive environment, while creating long-lasting friendship.
You can contact us on our Contact page link.
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Primarily under the leadership of the tenacious Nancy Florkowski, Motor City Youth and now Adult theatrical productions have served the entire Detroit Metropolitan area for over 25 years.. Students flock from the far reaching suburbs to study in one of the Motor City classes in acting, singing, dancing, improvisation, set design, and play writing. One is enriched in terms of accomplishment as well as increased self esteem when they find that they are capable of standing on a stage, performing in a play. For the young participants, especially, this kind of experience can be life-changing. Attention must be paid to organizations that touch so many young lives- such as The Motor City Youth Theatre. After finally establishing a theatre home of their own, these hearty and talented folks receive many congratulations. Laura Gumina, 2014
Kids!! MCYT is a special place where everyone can be themselves and it's a wonderful feeling! A big thank you goes out to Erin and Alyssa for stepping up in Noah's absence! Noah TRULY appreciated your helping him out and the whole team for MCYT! He wanted me to personally let you all know that he missed being a part of the cast and being with his special MCYT friends! Thank you to the friends who contacted me last night checking in on Noah and giving me an update! Noah and I really appreciated it! Way to break a leg!! See you all soon!
Kathy and Noah Wisniewski (Captain Hook, 2014)
You can request to be facebook friends with" Friends of Motor City Youth Theater and Grantland Street Players" and/or check out their website at www.mcyt.com where you can request to be put on an email list to get audition notices and event information. It's a great theatre, with a positive and encouraging atmosphere for all kids. My girls have been involved for 5 years now. Nancy Florkowski, is the theatre director and a retired teacher. She's awesome! Rebecca Borsodi, 2014
Dear Nancy and Fred,
My Brother and I would like to take some time during this Holiday Season to reflect on how much you and the MCYT have meant to our Mother (Carol Chapman) and family. Alison, Will and Nick enjoyed being a part of your Troupe and have many fond memories. Mother loved helping out and always made sure that the children had a chance to participate. The last conversation I had with Mother was about the MCYT and she was very proud of the work you are doing... Thom Chapman, 2014
To Bill Joyner, Musings: My daughter Brianna has been involved with the (MCYT) theatre for over 2 years and it has been the BEST investment and best hidden treasure we have found in Livonia. I have 4 daughters and 3 of the four are involved with MCYT with the youngest itching to get involved. The way you described the theatre and performance was awesome....exactly how I feel every time I watch all of the kids perform. Christie Facione, 2010
MCYT was a great experience for me. It prepared me for play auditions and a speech festival. I had sooo much fun! Nadia Johnson (9 years old, "Acting for the Serious Student).
Evelyn Goll, (Grade 2, Mustardseed in A Midsummer Night's Dream, summer, 2015) says, "I like attending MCYT because it feels like another home with a bunch of my friends." Her family likes it because MCYT teaches our daughter many new things in a fun, exciting way. They also allow her to try new things in a non-threatening way with peers of all ages. "The plays are serious with a bit of humor at the same time." Brendan Goll
MCYT operates in the true sense of a community theater. My daughter has been able to explore her voice, and her abilities under a very qualified and knowledgeable set of volunteers and teachers. I love that MCYT fosters a sense of personal responsibility, and autonomy, while allowing the children performers to play and explore. It's one of our favorite places! ~Jessica Savageau
MCYT builds confidence in myself and teaches me everything about theater. I am learning to be a better actress and how to choreograph scenes. But, the best part of MCYT is all the friends I've made. It's not easy moving when you're 12, but MCYT has made it better. Taylor Duncan
MCYT is a family that works together to create a loving, nurturing, and educational environment. We just happen to put on a show in the process. MCYT is home. Rachel Thomas
Motor City Youth Theatre accepts all aspiring actors with varied levels of experience and welcomes children with special needs.
Nancy Florkowski, Artistic Director since 1990
Mitch Albom interviewed Nancy Florkowski on February 28, 2018. Watch it here:
Motor City Youth Theatre
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celebrating 26 years!