All About Nottingham Youth Theatre


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Nottingham Youth Theatre (NYT) is the oldest established Youth Theatre in the City at over 35 years old and is based at College Street, the Arts in Education Centre in Nottingham. The current company is the remnant of a wide provision of Arts Education opportunities out of school/college for young people and Adults.

Membership is open to anyone between the ages of 10 and 20 and auditions are held regularly. The group is split into three groups 10+, inclusive and 14+ that meet every week of the year for workshop sessions and more often during production time.

The group is currently around 100 strong and produces a wide range of performance pieces including musical and music theatre, dance theatre, classic and modern plays, adaptations and commissioned items. For current, future and past productions see our Event calendar and archive.

There is an expectation that members are there to learn and develop through the creation of performance work for a public audience. Members are expected to work at a high standard of commitment and application as well as performance and production skills and re-audition to retain membership. Besides indicating continued commitment, we believe re-auditions also widen experience of repertoire.

The group makes visits to performances and has workshops from visiting professional practitioners, some of which are ex-members of the company.
Nottingham Youth Theatre does not aim to encourage or discourage members from pursuing a professional career in theatre or performance, but provide high quality opportunities for members to build on if they have the determination to do so. Many ex-members are working professionally in a wide range of performance-related work, from West End to Television and Radio, Ministry of Sound to world tours of Shakespeare.

Equally there are many ex-members who go on to use the skills they developed in a wide range of other employment; the law, fashion, entertainments industry, publishing, marketing, promotion, nursing and medicine, art, foreign office, teaching, police, engineering etc, etc and we are as proud of them as we are of the 'stars'.

Some History
Nottingham Youth Theatre dates back to the 1970s. The current group began life in 1987 as ACORN young peoples' theatre and dance company, became Nottinghamshire Education Theatre Company (NET) in 1991, City of Nottingham Education Theatre Company (C'NET) in 1998 and re-adopted the name of Nottingham Youth Theatre in 2000.
Until 1995, the group performed every year at the Edinburgh Festival, regularly winning the Evening News Cavalcade for their high energy performance on the Festival's opening parade and attracting an enviable record of reviews for a wide range of shows each year. There was usually a contemporary dance piece, a Shakespeare, a contemporary play and a children's piece each year with additional cabarets, music theatre and TIE touring shows.
In 1996, the Company began a run of large scale annual summer musicals, Guys & Dolls, South Pacific, 42nd St, Return to the Forbidden Planet, Sweet Charity, West Side Story, Mockingbird Hill, Kiss Me Kate, The Boyfriend together with small scale one-act seasons and festival performances at the Polish National Theatre Festival.
2006 saw more changes as the company extended into a 1013 group, the inclusive group and a 1419 group, which worked towards a rep. season of three pieces, twelve performances in 9 days, What the Dickens, Oh What a Lovely War and Dracula Spectacula.

It has been directed since 1988 by Alistair Conquer, who had previously established Reading Youth Theatre in 1978 and N.E Leics Youth Theatre in 1984. Together with Steve Parry, who was involved in running Nottingham Youth Theatre before 1988, they work voluntarily to develop performance skills, knowledge and practice in young people. In 2006 they were joined by Laura Halliwell and Vicky Beadle, who make up an excellent complement of skills, together with our core tutors in the Special Education field. Helen Barton and Gareth Morgan, both ex-members have since joined the team. Helen trained at Guilford and toured with a number of companies before returning to Nottingham to set up Sprouts- drama classes for very young children. Gareth is currently developing a portfolio of work as a dramaturg a
fter training at Bristol. He worked on the Nottingham Playhouse production of Forever Young.

Integrated Group
Since 1989,the Company has had a long-standing commitment to inclusion of young people with severe and moderate learning difficulties. Under the direction of David Stewart, Glenys Clifton, Margaret Stannard and Maria Brawn the work of the inclusive company has grown from strength to strength. An early Fringe First award in '91 was followed by performances in a national Polish Festival and commissioned performances across the UK at conferences and events. Check the events archive to select past productions of the integrated groups.

The team of staff have been very consistent over the years with a core of committed and enthusiastic tutors, including Dan Lounds and the Tech team on Technical areas.