Young people (13 to 19 years-old), with an interest in either performing or working on the technical side of theatre, are being invited to attend one of a series of free introductory Devon Youth Theatre workshops at the Exeter Northcott, and throughout Devon. During these workshops, youngsters will get the chance to work with DYT artistic director Erin Walcon in devising, writing and performing original pieces of theatre.
Erin told ArtsCulture: “These workshops will give young people a very different experience from most theatres and stage schools.
“Devon Youth Theatre is a young person-driven project. We use really progressive theatre tactics to devise original, cutting-edge work that challenges people’s ideas about what ‘young people’s theatre’ can look like. It’s owned by, written by, and devised by the young people who take part.”
Sessions are being held over February half term at King’s School, Ottery St Mary (Saturday, February 19), Tiverton High School (Tuesday, February 22), Bushell Theatre, Coombeshead College, Newton Abbot (Wednesday February 23) and Matthews Hall, Exeter (Saturday, February 26). All sessions run from 10am till 4pm. Those who attend the workshops will also have the chance to share their work with other young people from across the county at a Youth Theatre Showcase on Saturday, March 5 at the Roborough Studios, Exeter University.
At the Youth Theatre Showcase, participants will then be given a full rehearsal schedule for Devon Youth Theatre and invited to apply to join the company. Following an intense series of rehearsals over the Easter Holidays, this smaller company will then perform at the Exeter Northcott Theatre, on Saturday, April 16 in a show open to the public.
The performance on April 16 does not yet have a title because it will be created by members of the DYT Company.
“It’s an exciting process,” said Erin. “What will it be? We don’t know yet. That’s the magic.That it is totally created by the unique group that forms when young people decide they want to take part. Whoever walks in the door to one of our workshops will be a creative voice and a force to create an original piece of theatre for the Exeter Northcott stage.”
Technical theatre skills will also form a central part of the Devon Youth Theatre company’s work, and training in lighting, sound, set design, rigging, costumes, marketing and arts management will also form part of the process for those interested in working behind the scenes. Young people interested in technical theatre will be able to gain valuable experience working alongside the team at the Exeter Northcott Theatre.
Young people interested in attending one of the introductory workshops to join the Devon Youth Theatre should download a consent form at the Daisi site and return it to the address provided along with a parent or guardian’s signature.