Staff from the former National Youth Music Theatre have launched a new organisation aimed at offering young people opportunities in all aspects of musical theatre.
Ex-NYMT general manager Jon Bromwich, who is running Youth Music Theatre: UK, says it will fill a gap in provision. However, he insisted it would not duplicate the work of NYMT.
Said Bromwich: “This is a new organisation. It is not an attempt to do the same as the NYMT did. We shall be devising and creating new work and we are extending our access to young people from all sorts of different backgrounds. There are some common areas, such as staff with a wealth of experience, but this will be a fresh approach.”
YMT:UK was formally created in October last year when the NYMT was forced to close its offices, citing financial difficulties. At the time, a statement issued by organisation directors said it had become necessary to take “drastic steps” after they had failed to find sufficient funding to maintain the planned level of activities.
The staff of YMT:UK managed to secure sponsored offices from British Land and have since been offered both financial and practical help by a number of organisations including The Musicians’ Benevolent Fund, The Mackintosh Foundation and The Stage.
However, because of its charitable status, the company cannot access many mainstream funding sources, such as the Department for Education and Skills or the arts councils of England and Northern Ireland until it has been running a year.
Currently, YMT:UK needs to raise £6,000 a month for salaries, insurance, marketing and core costs. A further £26,000 is required to the summer schemes which include three new writing projects, four six-day workshops with industry professionals, and six studio weeks, workshops which are open to anyone, without the need to audition.
“We are a very lean machine at the moment and we need to build our credibility very quickly,” said Bromwich. “So far we have kept our overheads right down thanks to a lot of support from key sponsors, but we are going to be out there looking for more substantial core funding from later in the year onwards. We do have a few options, but it is still very much in the pipeline.”
For further details on the schemes offered by YMT:UK go to website www.youth-music-theatre.org.uk.