Everyman and Playhouse throws open its doors to young people
Young Everyman Playhouse (YEP) launched this week as the Everyman and Playhouse threw open its doors to young people for an initiative that will nurture the writers and actors, the technicians, the audiences and the cultural leaders of the future.
YEP is a major expansion of the Everyman and Playhouse’s existing and renowned Youth Theatre, transforming the traditional structure of engagement with young people into a collaborative and dynamic future for the theatres.
The programme encompasses the existing Young Actors and Young Writers of the Everyman and Playhouse but will now provide opportunities for young people to develop their skills as Young Communicators, Young Technicians, Young Programmers and Young Directors. YEP will put young people at the heart of the Everyman and Playhouse and enable all aspects of the organisation’s work and practice to become more youth orientated.
It will increase accessibility to theatre for young people under 26 by offering £5 tickets to see shows, regular information on all the activities for young people, give guidance on careers in theatre and, crucially, offer a chance to meet new people and try new things.
The new Everyman will open in 2013 and will include a dedicated space for youth and community work. During this time the Everyman and Playhouse will grow the YEP programme before developing it further with the new possibilities that the new building brings. An innovative ‘pyramid model’ that enables the widest point of entry and representation aims to develop and apply leadership skills within YEP and the theatres’ wider operations which will eventually see a YEP representative become a member of the Everyman and Playhouse’s Board.
Matt Rutter, Director of Young Everyman Playhouse, said: “In 2006 the youth theatre had 40 members, today there are 100 Young Actors and this exciting new initiative, which will influence every aspect of the Everyman and Playhouse’s work, will engage with more than 400 young people over the next year across all of the strands. YEP will provide them with a rare opportunity gain valuable insight and training in all aspects of theatre and help them gain the skills to become the young cultural leaders of the future.”
Anyone aged between 11 and 26 can join and in the first six months can experience the opportunity to explore the different strands of YEP including: performances by the Young Actors, establishing the Young Communicators group to promote those performances which will be supported by the Young Technicians programme and YEP Steering Group. The Satellite programme will ensure that young people can participate in a diverse workshop programme without having to join a waiting list, and Community Engagement Residencies will work with groups of young people who may never have experienced theatre before.
The launch of YEP is informed by over ten years of youth and participatory theatre research, delivering accessible, unique experience and training in a range of disciplines. During that period the Everyman and Playhouse’s Theatre and Community department has extended the experience of theatre beyond the stage to reach diverse communities across Merseyside – from Toxteth to West Everton and Norris Green to Alt Valley.
Funded by Arts Council England’s Grants for the Arts, YEP builds on this legacy of strong relationships within these communities. This spring, there will be four performances by the Young Actors, including Intimate at Camp and Furnace on 24th to 26th February, You Are Being Watched at Static Gallery on 10th and 11th March and Illyria by Bryony Lavery in the Playhouse Studio in April.
Forthcoming Young Everyman Playhouse performances
INTIMATE at Camp and Furnace, Greenland Street on 24 to 26 February
YOU ARE BEING WATCHED at Static Gallery on 10 and 11 March
EXCUSE ME? around the Albert Dock on 24 to 25 March
ILLYRIA at Playhouse Studio from 17 to 21 April
Young people wanting further information about YEP should email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0151 706 9119.
Youth Theatre Background
Both the Playhouse and the Everyman Theatres have had thriving youth theatres in their histories. The original Everyman Youth Theatre, founded in the mid-seventies, became one of the most successful youth theatres in Britain and started the careers of many successful actors, musicians, writers and theatre practitioners including Ian Hart, David Morrissey and Cathy Tyson. While at the Playhouse, the Youth Theatre started the career of Gillian Kearney, amongst others.
With the liquidation of the Everyman Theatre in 1993, the Youth Theatre closed. A group of devoted volunteer Board Members set up the New Everyman Youth Theatre five years later, once again providing a quality and accessible youth theatre offer for Liverpool’s young people. Following the creation of Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse Theatres, the new management running both theatres, the youth theatre returned to its home at the Theatres in November 2006 as the Everyman and Playhouse Youth Theatre.