Why Join a Youth Theatre?

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Why Join a Youth Theatre?

Why Join a Youth Theatre?

Youth Theatre, often associated with amateur productions, under rehearsed lines, a random gaggle of kids staring aimlessly into the crowd or worse still picking their noses, whilst trying to remember their lines and queues – often resulting in awkward pauses or silences!

To be fair this was my general perception of youth performances when I was growing up; and before I became involved with Youth Theatre, I have to admit to sitting through one or two of the afore mentioned performances as an adult/parent!

However, Youth Theatre in the new Millennium couldn’t be further removed from those days. Maybe it’s the birth of the reality/talent TV shows but certainly young performers aspirations are much higher than I ever remember as a young kid in a school play in the 80’s!

Prop Box Youth theatre was a vision that that I, along with my co-founders (Neil & Sarah) had in mind years a few ago whilst involved in running other youth theatre projects that many children just couldn’t access! We had always wanted to establish a youth theatre that stages good aesthetic looking shows in a professional environment (theatre) incorporating professional rehearsal values to enhance the young members experience of what a professional theatre company is like to be a part of…….so in  the summer of 2016 Prop Box Youth Theatre was born!
We printed 1000 flyers, hired a community centre for a week (Mon-Fri) and posted on all social media promoting our first venture – Greased Lightening – A Musical in a Week in the summer holidays. We waited anxiously with baited breath on the Monday morning to see if anyone would arrive!
Luckily we had 13 excited kids ranging from 9-15yrs arrive (phew!)  and we put on one hell of a show at the end of the week to a packed Community Centre of Family and friends!  When I look back to that week in August i am bursting with pride and happiness to see how far we’ve come and all that we have achieved to date from a small excited cast of 13, we are now on our fifth show and have a cast of around 30 members and it’s hard to believe how quickly we have grown!
We meet every Friday at The Hilldene Centre 6-9pm. Being production based means that everything we do starts with an audition and ends in a 3 or 4 night run of performances to family and friends. We always hire a theatre to perform in so our members get to experience what it is like to be on stage under the bright lights and get used to taking stage direction and performing to a big audience!  Unlike some youth theatre companies, we don’t have separate classes for different ages – you get to work with mixed age and ability peers and we don’t have long waiting lists which means you can get involved straight away – whether that be on stage or helping out behind the scenes!

If you’re thinking “I like the sound of this but…..I won’t know anyone, I’m not very confident in new situations, i’ll freak out on a big stage, I’ve never performed in front of an audience…” blah blah blah…. Don’t worry, everyone feels the same way when they first join but the camaraderie and family feel within the group soon puts you at ease….and you could always bring a friend!

We also have a mentor culture within Prop Box where older members take younger or less confident members under their wing and help to work with and develop skills and confidence in small group/1-2-1 setting.

Rest assured nobody is expected to get up in the spotlight and sing a solo (unless you want to) and we will help to push you just a little to be your best but not too far out of your comfort zone that we frighten you off! Many members start off with one line and end up star of the show by the time they have a  show or two under their belt!

The great thing about Prop Box Youth Theatre is that we encourage all our members to have an input into the creative process. We’ve uncovered many hidden talents such as great artists who can paint set or make props, members who have a talent for picking up technical skills such as sound/lighting and also uncovered some natural teaching abilities! Everyone gets involved (even the parents and carers) and there’s a real sense of community and belonging to a family which gives you so much pride and enjoyment when you look back at all you’ve achieved together.

Not only do we rehearse together every Friday for our latest production we are also invited to perform at workshops, carnivals and various community and charity fundraising events.  We also have access to industry professionals and audition opportunities and a group of tutors with a wealth of skills and knowledge of performing arts from Directors, Actors, Dancers and Vocal Coaches…to teachers! We’ve got everything covered!

If you’d like to start your Prop Box journey – get in touch! 

Email: info@propboxyouththeatre.co.uk

Tel: 07789882005

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