Specialty: Music Theatre, Acting, Directing
TOBY YATSO (Master of Music – Arizona State University 2005; Bachelor of Music – University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, 2002) is a member of Actors’ Equity Association, Artist-in-Residence at Phoenix Theatre, and a member of the Megaw Actors Studio. Favorite stage credits include Alex in the one-man play Buyer & Cellar, Bert in Mary Poppins, Clown 2 in The 39 Steps, Lancelot (et al.) in Spamalot, Malcolm in The Full Monty, Leo in The Producers (ariZoni Award winner), Harold in ‘S Wonderful, Male in Forbidden Broadway, Cosme in Glorious (ariZoni and Encore Society Award winner), Corny Collins in Hairspray, Princeton/Rod in two productions of Avenue Q (Encore Society Award winner), and Joe in The Spitfire Grill.
Yatso has also played Tom in Hunter Gatherers at Actors Theatre, Ash in Evil Dead: The Musical at Nearly Naked Theatre Company (ariZoni Award winner), Mr. Mayor/Wickersham Brother in Seussical at Childsplay, Orin (et al) in Little Shop of Horrors at Arizona Broadway Theatre, Boy in If You Give a Mouse A Cookie at Phoenix Theatre’s Cookie Company, and Herman in The Most Happy Fella at Quisisana in Maine.
A regular performer, narrator, and collaborator with The Phoenix Symphony, he has narrated numerous concerts including Lemony Snicket’s The Composer is Dead, Gerald McBoing Boing, Tubby The Tuba, The Pirate King, A Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, Romeo and Juliet, The Remarkable Farkle McBride, Uzu and Muzu from Ka karuzu, and has performed roles in The Music Man, An Evening with Rodgers and Hammerstein, and Oliver! For the Hormel New Works Festival at Phoenix Theatre, Yatso has performed staged readings of Tropical Heat by Rich Orloff, Nureyev’s Eyes by David Rush, and Mozart: The Rock Opera, as well as impromptu roles for the 24-hour Theatre Project.
Yatso has received nine ariZoni nominations for acting, directing, choreographing, and music directing around the Valley, companies including Nearly Naked Theatre Company, Mesa Encore Theatre, Theater Works, Central Community Theatre, Algonquin Theatre Company, and Greasepaint YouTheatre. He has twice hosted the ariZoni Awards Ceremony. Recent directing and choreography credits include How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Smile, Bat Boy: The Musical, Oedipus for Kids!, Devil Boys from Beyond, Forbidden Broadway, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, A Supreme Evening of Statehood for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and the O’Connor House, Romeo and Juliet and Harry Potter concerts with The Phoenix Symphony, and several showcases.
Yatso has been active for a decade as an educator and coach for music theatre training programs at Childsplay, Bay View Music Festival in Michigan, and Phoenix Theatre, including four years with PT’s summer Musical Theatre Intensive, of which he is a founding acting instructor and director. Before joining the Arizona State University faculty, he was on the faculty of Arizona School for the Arts, teaching and developing acting and music theatre curriculum, and directing productions such as Runaways, Smile, Lucky Stiff, and Totally RED! As a graduate teaching assistant at ASU, Yatso was the recipient of the 2007 Herberger College Distinguished Teaching Award.
For Lyric Opera Theatre at the ASU School of Music in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, Yatso directs musical stage productions and teaches courses in acting and applied musical theatre performance. Up next in the 2015-2016 season, Yatso will again be on the Phoenix Theatre stage in the roles of the Scarecrow in Wizard of Oz and Princeton/Rod in Avenue Q. For Lyric Opera Theatre, Yatso will direct productions of Company and The Drowsy Chaperone.