Minister Madigan announces support for development and expansion of Youth Theatre in Ireland

Support from Creative Ireland Programme will see new partnerships and local Youth Theatre groups being established

Josepha Madigan, TD, Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht today, 21 August, announced a pilot initiative by Youth Theatre Ireland to support the roll-out of a new nationwide structure for the development, training and start-up of youth theatre groups.  The initiative is being supported under the Creative Ireland Programme.

Speaking on the occasion of the opening night of the National Youth Theatre (NYT) ensemble production of “Ask Too Much of Me” at the Peacock Theatre, Minister Madigan said: “Through the Creative Youth Plan, this Government is committed to supporting measures to expand participation in drama and theatre outside of school, primarily by expanding the youth theatre network. Youth Theatre Ireland already undertake tremendous work the length and breadth of the country, supporting both local groups and nationwide initiatives such as the National Youth Theatre ensemble, and I am delighted to announce this new partnership to further expand the existing network.

Welcoming the funding from the Creative Ireland Programme, Eoghan Doyle, Acting Director of Youth Theatre Ireland said:

Commencing in September, Youth Theatre Ireland will appoint a new dedicated Special Projects Officer to establish new partnerships and relationships with local groups and youth services to expand youth theatre into new areas, and provide “taster” workshops for young people. Youth Theatre Ireland currently have affiliate groups in 24 counties and the new initiative aims to support the establishment of a new group in Dublin and in each of the counties where no affiliate currently exists  through provision of seed funding.

The project will also benefit the continued expansion and development of the youth theatre network through a bespoke new structured training programme (including QQI accredited training in youth drama facilitation practice) to support the development of quality youth theatre practice.

Minister Madigan added: “The Creative Ireland Programme recognises the important role of activities such as youth theatre in supporting and developing young people’s mental wellbeing, critical and active citizenship, imaginations, and creative thinking. I am particularly pleased that this support from the Programme will not only seek to establish new youth theatre groups over the coming 18 months but also put in place a blueprint for the continued development of youth theatre provision in Ireland.

The Creative Ireland Programme has approved a funding commitment of over €175,000 over 2019 and 2020 to support this new initiative.

Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, 23 Kildare Street, Dublin , D02 TD30. Tel: 01 631 3800 / LoCall: 1890 383 000

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