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NYT establishes £37k fund offering grants and bursaries to schools lacking drama provision

NYT rep company 2018
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National Youth Theatre has announced a new £37,500 fund to give young people access to drama in the wake of arts cuts in schools.

The audition access fund will provide support for 30 schools and youth groups that have lost drama provision, in the form of bursaries, grants for NYT audition fees and free training workshops, for the next three years.

NYT patron and alumnus Hugh Bonneville is supporting the initiative, which was announced as part of NYT’s summer season.

The youth theatre has also launched a new partnership with arts equality organisation Diverse City, in a bid to become more accessible to young disabled actors. The programme includes new initiatives, with every pupil at Highshore School, a special educational needs school in Southwark, London, to take part in a free NYT workshop.

NYT artistic director and chief executive Paul Roseby said: “As opportunities for young people to engage in drama in schools have sadly decreased, the demand for National Youth Theatre opportunities are up and we’re responding to that by working in more venues around the country than ever before this year.

“While this puts increased pressure on fundraising, we’re grateful to all those enabling this expansion, not least our generous patron and alumnus Hugh Bonneville who is supporting a new free auditions initiative around Great Britain.”

The season will include the world premiere of Josh Azouz’ Victoria’s Knickers, directed by Ned Bennett and a production of Evan Placey’s Consensual, performed by the NYT rep company at Soho Theatre in London.

The rep company will also perform a gender-fluid production of Macbeth at the Garrick Theatre in London’s West End, abridged by Moira Buffini and directed by Natasha Nixon.

A summer programme at the West End’s Criterion Theatre has also been announced, which includes a new play about Facebook called F-Off, directed by Paul Roseby, and the premiere of Sophie Ellerby’s Function.

NYT’s stage production of Mohsin Hamid’s novel The Reluctant Fundamentalist, directed by Prasanna Puwanarajah, will run at Bradford Literature Festival and the Edinburgh Fringe.

The youth theatre’s social inclusion course Playing Up will stage Tortoise by Mark Weinman at the Bunker Theatre in London, directed by Matt Harrison, from July 11 to 14.

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