Youth Theatre Ireland
The County Limerick Youth Theatre is a member of YTI - Youth Theatre Ireland. See www.youththeatre.ie/about for further information.
YTI deliver year-round programmes of drama workshops and performance opportunities to young people aged 12 - 21 from cities, towns and villages across Ireland and are commited to youth-centered drama practice.
A National Youth Theatre (NYT) is a large-scale production created with a cast of young people from youth theatres across Ireland. The young people work with professional artistic and technical teams over a four week period, culminating in performance in a major theatre venue. The underlying aim is of achieving artistic excellence.
An NYT is an opportunity to showcase the artistic talent and professionalism of young people, and secures the place of youth drama on the main-stage in Ireland.
National Youth Theatre and Young People
The National Youth Theatre surrounds the young actors with a professional team, with the focus on creating a strong group ensemble; the young people respond by committing to the process, working together as a group of actors towards creating great theatre.
The young actors take the process very seriously. They already have a solid grounding in drama and theatre skills through their participation in their own youth theatre. They understand the workshop process, feel comfortable with devising and developing new work, and respect theatre as an art form.
Step 1 - Auditions
YTI holds open auditions for young people from youth theatres affiliated to YTI. The young people must be aged over sixteen years of age. Auditions take place in regional centres and take the form of a workshop rather than a traditional ‘audition’ format.
Step 2 - Rehearsals
The successful actors then come together for a 3-4 week rehearsal period on a full-time residential basis, usually during the summer on a university campus. This intense rehearsal period sees them work all day every day, unwinding in the evenings with an entertainment programme.
Step 3 - Performance!
The final stage of a National Youth Theatre production is a production/performance week; this is based in the venue so that the young people feel comfortable with the stage and set. The run is normally for seven performances, and always sells out!
Step 4 - Finale
In short, an NYT is a wonderful experience for the young actors involved. It is also YTI’s opportunity to showcase all that is great about youth theatre. The model of youth theatre in Ireland has developed over the last 25 years, and the work of YTI is unique across the world.
Irish youth drama has its own distinct place in the spectrum of theatre - and the National Youth Theatre is an opportunity to show it off!
The Young Critics Programme:
The Young Critics programme is part of YTI’s commitment to developing youth theatre members’ awareness and appreciation of the aesthetic of theatre.
The Young Critics Programme brings youth theatre members together to:
- attend workshops in the critique of professional theatre;
- attend professional performances at leading Irish festivals;
- give their own critiques of the performances at the Young Critics Panel.
The Young Critics Panel takes the form of a public discussion forum and has taken place in October for the last number of years, as part of the Ulster Bank Dublin Theatre Festival.
See www.nayd.ie for more information
If you want to look at previous NYT performances see the short films at
Health and Safety
All events have dedicated welfare officers. Their job is solely to look after the health and wellbeing of the young people; they are in addition to the artistic and production staff. Welfare staff are with the young people 24 hours per day, they eat with them and stay overnight with them and follow them throughout the day to all locations. They are Garda vetted; ensure all dietary and medical needs are met. The Young Critics programme has a day welfare officer and a night welfare officer, the NYT has a team of welfare officers including a day welfare officer and two night welfare officers. Alcohol and sleepovers are banned, participants will be sent home if caught drinking even if they are over 18 years old.