14 November 2018

Announcing The National Youth Theatre Ensemble

Announcing The National Youth Theatre Ensemble

It is with great pleasure and excitement that we announce the National Youth Theatre Ensemble for 2019.
Following our audition workshops in which over 120 young people from 35 youth theatres applied to take part, sixteen young people have been selected to make up the National Youth Theatre Ensemble.  We look forward to working with them all over the coming months.

Artistic Team

Leading the helm as Artistic Director of the National Youth Theatre Ensemble is Veronica Coburn. She brings a vast wealth of artistic excellence to the role. Speaking recently she has this to say:

“My task as inaugural Artistic Director of the National Youth Theatre Ensemble is twofold.  To guide and shape the creation of a new piece of theatre that both challenges and reflects the young people who perform it and to investigate the structure that would enable a future where the work produced by a National Youth Theatre Ensemble is written by a young person or group of young people.
The artistic core of my vision for the National Youth Theatre Ensemble is that there is a relationship between the young people who you see on the stage and the work.  The idea that the work, if you like, is an articulation of the people who perform it. “

Joining her in making that vision a reality is playwright and theatre maker Dylan Coburn Gray.  He too is no stranger to National Youth Theatre having preformed in The Seagull back in 2009.

The Process

Dylan and Veronica will work with the Ensemble to create an original play around the theme of ‘Faith’. We kicked off that process with a four-day residential where the Ensemble met for the first time to work and play in Dublin over the October midterm break. Under Veronica’s guidance they explored themes, generate ideas and material that Dylan will draw upon to write the play.

"I am very excited for the challenges this opportunity may bring me"- NYT Ensemble member Blaithín Ward (18)

The Ensemble will then come together for a second residential in February when a draft of the play will be worked upon and given a works in progress sharing as part of a development phase at the Peacock.

Then finally the play will be rehearsed over four weeks in Dublin during the summer for 2019 culminating in a week-long performance at the Peacock Theatre from August 19th – 24th

Speaking at the first residential, Acting Director of Youth Theatre Ireland, Eoghan Doyle stated: “I can’t wait to see what Veronica, Dylan and the ensembles create over the coming months. The National Youth Theatre is one of the highlights of Youth Theatre Ireland’s programme and shines a light on the brilliant work being done by Youth Theatre leaders and members across Ireland, nurturing a new generation of artists and theatre makers.”

The National Youth Theatre Ensemble are:

Joe Brown (18) Kildare Youth Theatre
Sammy Cahn (18) Cabinteely Youth Theatre, Dublin
Caitlin Hebron (16) Mayo Youth Theatre
Sarah Kelly (18) Kilkenny Youth Theatre
Seán Kenneally (18) County Limerick Youth Theatre
Daniel Madden (16) Monaghan Youth Theatre
Pippa Molony (18) Dublin Youth Theatre
Penny Morris (17) Dublin Youth Theatre
Abigail Mulcahy O’Connell (17) County Limerick Youth Theatre
Darragh O’Donnell (20) Limerick Youth Theatre
Olwyn O’Donoghue Patterson (16) Activate Youth Theatre, Cork
James O’Leary (17) County Wexford Youth Theatre
Daniel Penrose (17) Backstage Youth Theatre, Longford
Emory Ramsay (18) An Grianán Youth Theatre, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal
Michael Tient (16) Dublin Youth Theatre
Blaithín Ward (18) Mr. Sands Youth Theatre, Bray, Co. Wicklow

"I have thoroughly enjoyed my previous theatrical experiences at a local level and feel like this experience will be on the next level. I am really looking forward to the challenge"–NYT Ensemble member Daniel Madden (16)

About The National Youth Theatre 

The National Youth Theatre is an initiative of Youth Theatre Ireland, the national development organisation for youth theatre, in partnership with the Abbey Theatre. First produced in 1983, the National Youth Theatre is Youth Theatre Ireland’s opportunity to showcase all that is great about youth theatre with a cast of young people from youth theatres across Ireland, working with professional creative teams.

The National Youth Theatre is funded by the Arts Council of Ireland and is supported by the Creative Ireland Programme’s National Creativity Fund and the Department of Children and Youth Affairs.

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12 September