Teens take to the stage – New Youth Theatre to open at St Mary’s University

  Posted: 12.10.21 at 15:40 by Rory Poulter

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A call has been issued for teens who love the idea of performing, but have never had the chance, with the launch of a new Youth Theatre.

Richmond, Twickenham and the surrounding areas have a rich history of drama, not least providing the locations for many popular TV shows and films, from Fleabag to Ted Lasso.

The new Drama St Mary’s Youth Theatre is a free Saturday drama club open to young people aged 13-16.

St Mary’s University has teamed up with the National Saturday Club to offer the weekly Saturday Club to teenagers from underrepresented backgrounds. This is part of the university’s commitment to widening participation in Higher Education and the Arts.

The Youth Theatre will be led by newly appointed Director Samuel Adebayo, who’ll be supported by three final year Acting students Eden Maye, Daniela Roberts Santos and Michael Hill.

Nancy Bentley, Widening Participation Manager, said: “Teenagers in the Youth Theatre will be acting and creating every Saturday morning, becoming more confident and making new friends.

“Having prior experience of drama and acting doesn’t matter, just being enthusiastic to join the Club and get creative right away.”

Free places for the Youth Theatre will be prioritised for young people who are underrepresented in Higher Education and the Arts.

It said this includes, but is not limited to, students eligible for Free School Meals, students with a disability, or students from an ethnic minority group, including Gypsy Roma and Traveller communities.

Head of Drama, Mark Griffin, said: “We’re really excited to have launched the Youth Theatre as we continue to look for ways in which Drama St Mary’s can expand its reach and reputation as a centre of excellence with a genuine focus on widening participation.

“We’ve appointed a brilliant team of young leaders who I know will ensure that every Saturday morning participant is given a fantastic opportunity to be part of a creative and supportive company. I can’t wait to see what they produce.”

Across the UK, the National Saturday Club enables 13–16-year-olds to take part in creative subjects they love at their local university, for free. Drama St Mary’s is leading the Youth Theatre as part of the Saturday Club ‘Writing & Talking’ strand.

Young people can apply online here by selecting St Mary’s University from the drop-down list.

The Youth Theatre launches on Saturday, November 6, and will take place on up to 30 Saturdays this year. To find out more and apply to join please email [email protected]

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