Kiruna Stamell, 10 January 2016

1st year at DandD, and I called a session…

How can we change the stigma of - it's just theatre for/by kids?

What can we do that gets the work recognised?

Where are the projects being talked about on a national scale?

During this session we looked at the questions above, and discussed some great

projects which are being planned, and discussed - but it never really progresses past

this, this seems to be largely down to funding (or the lack of it) because the people

working in Youth Theatre's all over the country are working really hard and have all the

ambitions to make it work, but when push comes to shove - they just don't have the

funds available.

Does this make it okay to just do musicals every year, and churn out a musical year

upon year upon year, and become a slave to this - YES, i agree there is certainly a

place in the world for this work. But what I am most interested in is does it excite the

Young People, and engage the ones which hide in the corner at school, but arrive at

their youth theatre and is full of beans… I'm unsure

With all these funding cuts hitting from above, below, sideways we are seeing more

and more youth theatres across the country closing, because they simply cannot

afford it, which poses the biggest question of all:

What is the point of Youth Theatre?

* Is it about the end product?

Is it about who has the lead?

Is it about the fancy costume and the pretty lights?


Is it about giving the young person the belief and confidence to chase what they want

to do, whilst equipping them with vital life skills along the way.

We are all doing great work, but we all struggle to get it seen - how can we improve


Ian Nicholson hit the nail on the head. “It comes from the top”, yes I can sit here

getting frustrated as a lonely Youth Theatre Manager that nobody is seeing or hearing

about the AMAZING work that the young people are producing, but until more people

with that attitude are in control of buildings that will not change.

What a shame, and sad but right truth…

Why would a venue take a risk on a 3 week run of youth theatre work?

Why - let me tell you why, because it is as good as your 1984 / Jane Eyre It is just

sometimes a little more relevant and has a lot of young people in… I am not saying

that they should be playing 54 year old women, but why cant 14 year olds be played

by 14 year olds? Sorry that was a rant - I didn't actually say that in the session… Just

went on a tangent! Oops!!

In summary - let's shout about the theatre of the future and not just hide them in the

background… Let's be proud of what they do!

If we work together, we can strengthen the sector for good :)

Session & report held by Ashley Elbourne @aelbourne1


1984, Theatre, youth, shout, funding cuts, youth theatre, Youth Theatre, Jane Eyre,

Youth, THEATRE, Shout, Funding Cuts, theatre