Youth Theatre is a tremendous vehicle for helping young people to build their confidence and build their skills by engaging their creativity. We run several youth theatre groups, giving young people the opportunity to let their imaginations run wild and work alongside professional theatre practitioners to create compelling theatre which explores the cultural and social issues we all face.
Creatives of the Future
We want Northumberland to become a leader in Youth Theatre provision, using an approach and strategy which puts young people's creative and personal development at the heart of all the work. We work with Northumberland Arts Development (County Council), Culture Bridge North East and other arts and community partners to develop the provision of drama activities for children and young people across Northumberland, with support from Arts Council England and several private funders.
Because Northumberland is a predominantly rural county, most of its population live in geographically isolated areas. Half of the population live in South East Northumberland, which has some of the most disadvantaged communities in England.
We are pioneering approaches which help to address this. By building the confidence, skills and aspirations of our participants we aim to prevent the disengagement which leads to problems like generational unemployment. The satisfaction that comes from working hard to create something that you're proud of, as well as experiencing achievement through schemes like Arts Award, are a key part of our approach.
We believe that young people should be treated as artists in their own right, and so our young people work alongside professional theatre practitioners to create dynamic and original devised and scripted theatre productions which express their ideas and the challenges which affect their lives.
Pioneering Youth Theatre
Tyne Valley Youth Theatre (TVYT) is our flagship youth theatre in West Northumberland, with around 150 members aged 8-19 who take part in a diverse annual programme of projects and activities.
As well as the process supporting the young people in their broad development, we want our productions to be of a high artistic standard. To do this, we work with a broad range of artistic practitioners and learn from other pioneering organisations.
In 2015, we transformed community spaces into a squatters' house and a dystopian fighting arena; performed Micro Theatre in storage cupboards and disabled toilets and took Hospital Food - a compelling production about teenage cancer patients - to Northern Stage, a professional regional theatre. To find out more, watch this film and visit the TVYT website.