Scarborough’s Stephen Joseph Theatre launches a brand new company for aspiring young theatre makers this autumn.
The Young Company will enjoy weekly classes in theatre-making skills and acting technique, access to support from experienced theatre professionals, complementary tickets, and the opportunity to perform in the SJT’s famous Round auditorium.
The first production will be Dennis Kelly’s hard-hitting DNA (‘…a short, sharp shocker of a play [that] cleverly piles on the twists…’ – The Guardian on the original production), the story of group of teenagers who’ve done something bad – really bad – and are panicking and desperately trying to cover it up. It will be performed in the Round in May 2024.
Membership of the Young Company is for 12 months, and the SJT is looking for dedicated young theatre makers aged 16 to 25 to audition for the inaugural company, which will meet on Wednesday evenings.
Head of Creative Engagement Rob Salmon says: “We’re really excited to introduce a new young company this year at the SJT. It’s our way of making a key contribution to the creative futures of aspiring young theatre makers in and around Scarborough, and it will showcase some of the incredible talent we have around us in North Yorkshire.”
The Young Company is designed for aspiring young theatre makers actively pursuing a career in the performing arts. Whether they’re applying for a place in higher education, studying, or at the start of their career, it’s the perfect place to grow their knowledge and understanding of a career as a professional theatre maker. They’ll deepen awareness of a range of theatre practices through exploring text, making work for a public performance, and devising new work that reflects their lived experience. There are just 10 places, so that everyone can get the mentoring and support they deserve.
It forms an essential part of the new youth offer at the SJT, which doubles the places the theatre provides in regular classes, groups, and creative opportunities for children and young people all year round.
The Saturday Morning Drama Club (Saturday mornings, with three groups: ages 5 to 7, 7 to 9, and 9 to 11) will give primary school age children a place to explore their creativity, grow in confidence, and make new friends.
There’ll be loads of games to play, stories to tell, songs to sing, and there may even be some dressing up* along the way. Each group will perform in the Round in our annual Youth Festival, and there’ll a sharing every term for friends and family to see what they’ve been up to.
*There will be dressing up!
Youth Theatre (Tuesday evenings for ages 11 to 13 and 13 to 15; Wednesday evenings for ages 15 to 18) is a great way develop knowledge and interest in the performing arts, and learn new creative and life skills.
Each group will work on a range of skills and subjects, using theatre to tell stories, share ideas, and change the world. Members will also receive a number of free tickets to see shows at the SJT, and a discount code to bring a friend. They’ll get to audition for the annual Youth Theatre production in the McCarthy auditorium, and perform in an annual Youth Festival in the Round auditorium.
All three groups run through school term times; reduced fees are available for people experiencing financial difficulty.
There’s also a new Backstage School for children and young people with an interest in offstage arts, technical theatre, or the creative skills used in rehearsal. It will run year round in school holidays.
And for children and young people with special or additional needs there’s the brilliant Fuse Youth Theatre.