I bump into former members of HYT youth theatre from time to time. Some of them have gone into the performing arts, whether acting or working backstage. The majority are simply out there working in interesting, enjoyable, responsible jobs and doing very well.
They have poise and confidence, thanks to their time with HYT. They have vision and they can plan. They do not shirk problems.
HYT was a youth theatre in Keighley, West Yorkshire. Sadly it doesn’t exist now. Much of the work involved improvisation and the ability and performing skills the youngsters brought to their improvisation was astonishing. They had grown up with improvisation – it was as natural to them as breathing.
We need to get the word out to mums and dads who have no connection with the theatre, who haven’t appreciated the value of training in singing, dance and acting for their children’s development.
I mentioned HYT and its members in a recent conversation with Denise Hutton-Gosney, the founder of Razzamataz Theatre Schools. She has always believed that performing arts training can boost life and social skills. Any child can benefit. They don’t have to have the dream of West End stardom to enjoy training.
Next week The Stage will be announcing 20 scholarship audition opportunities at Razzamataz schools across the country. Each scholarship is worth £700 and will cover training fees for a year’s worth of Saturday sessions at a Razzamataz school.
That will conclude this year’s round of The Stage Scholarships scheme, during which a record number of bursaries have been made available and will provide well in excess of half a million pounds-worth of performing arts training aid to young adults and children.
Also, next week Denise tells of her success with a little girl who came to the first Razzamataz school clinging to her mum and painfully shy – six months later she was reciting a poem in front of an audience. She also tells of her time on Dragon’s Den and reveals something that not a lot of people know …
So, to sum up, we need to get the word out to mums and dads who have no connection with the theatre, who haven’t appreciated the value of training in singing, dance and acting for their children’s development. We know how valuable it is, they may not.