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London’s Yard Theatre sets up youth arm to nurture new talent

Young people at the Yard Theatre, east London Young people at the Yard Theatre, east London
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The Yard Theatre in London is to launch a youth programme that will see its members work alongside established creatives.

Around 15 young people aged 12 to 16 will take part in the free Yard Youth scheme, with the focus on creating new theatre work.

Yard Youth will involve weekly sessions, leading towards yearly performances on the east London theatre’s stage, crafted from the young people’s ideas.

Participants will be able to remain involved with Yard Youth until the age of 16, after which they will be encouraged to take part in other programmes with the theatre.

Established artists, including writers and performers who have worked with the Yard, will collaborate with the participants to create new work.

Two collaborating artists are to be announced shortly for an initial period up until June 2018. The programme begins on February 5, 2018.

Katherine Igoe-Ewer, the Yard’s producer for local projects, said: “So often, theatre-making for young people is about learning lines and following orders.

“Yard Youth is different. We pair remarkable artists with remarkable young people and let them take centre-stage. We believe there is nothing quite like the experience of being in a room with young people and their ideas.”

She added: “We wish to give young makers the chance to grow these bright, strange and beautiful ideas into extraordinary things and to give audiences the chance to enjoy them.”

The theatre’s young people’s committee will be involved in the recruitment of Yard Youth, and will be visiting areas such as Westfield Shopping Centre in Stratford to try and reach potential participants.

The programme is open to young people with any level of experience who live in the boroughs of Hackney or Tower Hamlets. Applications can be made via the Yard’s website.

Yard Youth is supported with funding from the Ragdoll Foundation.

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