There is more to Harrogate Youth Theatre than treading the boards

PUBLISHED: 21:44 28 October 2012 | UPDATED: 22:15 20 February 2013

There is more to Harrogate Youth Theatre than treading the boards

There is more to Harrogate Youth Theatre than treading the boards

There is more to Harrogate Youth Theatre than treading the boards as Hannah Draper head of Education and Outreach reveals

Being based in a real theatre with the buzz of performing in a velvet space is a real lure for those thinking of joining a youth theatre, something I know well. We have the opportunity to perform in front of a huge audience and use a whole range of technological wizardry to bring stories to life - you just cant do that if youre not in a theatre.

But many emerging theatre companies devise work and perform in non-traditional theatre spaces, allowing them to engage more directly with audiences, and Harrogate Theatres Education team has wisely taken note. We look for projects that push expectations of what and where theatre can be.

When you dont have a theatres amazing resources to engage young people and the audience, you have to get more creative. In the past year, HYT have performed flash-mob style on the Royal Hall steps, told spooky tales at Halloween in the Valley Gardens and in December take over the Royal Pump Room Museum for Pumped!, a history of Harrogate.

Its vital that HYT members understand that the future of theatre is not necessarily in a theatre building.

Its important that young theatre makers are exposed to all the ways theatre engages with audiences. Its not a clich; these really are the creative professionals of the future. From working with professional theatre directors to performing while battling the cold in October to seeing them simply help each other learn lines Im proud of the opportunities that HYT offers - and even more so of the way the members develop as adults during their time with us.

The summer show (this year we put on the swashbuckling adventure Treasure Island) was a chance for members of Harrogate Youth Theatre to take their first steps in this business. It was also when I noticed life-long friendships begin to develop and where I saw the biggest surges in confidence over the shortest time-frame.

Members come to HYT to develop performance skills, but theyre also becoming effective communicators and creative thinkers, which in turn makes them highly employable. More importantly, though, HYT members have fun and make friends.


About Harrogate Youth Theatre

Harrogate Youth Theatre (HYT) is one of the largest and most respected youth theatre programmes in the country and was chosen to perform at the National Theatre in London.
HYT offers young people the opportunity to work with theatre professionals in Harrogate.
The group doesnt audition instead aims to offer opportunities to young people whatever their background


Membership which is open to young people up to 18 years,includes weekly workshops, holiday projects, large scale productions and theatre projects


For more information go to harrogatetheatre.co.uk to see video clips from HYT productions and learn how you can join in the fun.

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