29 October 2020

Delighted to Announce the National Youth Theatre Ensemble 2021

Delighted to Announce the National Youth Theatre Ensemble 2021

Following a selection process in which over 150 young people auditioned through zoom, with call backs happening both virtually and in person, we are delighted to announce the 16 Performing Ensemble members, the 4 Design and Technical Theatre Ensemble members and the 2 Creative Associates that will make up the 2021 National Youth Theatre Ensemble.  The Ensemble that were chosen represent some of the brightest sparks in youth theatre today and their tenacity, kindness and spirit is something to behold in these challenging times. Over October mid-term 2020, the Ensemble took part in their first development week, of what will become the National Youth Theatre 2021.

The Artistic Team

Artistic Director of the National Youth Theatre Ensemble, Veronica Coburn, brings a  wealth of experience to the role having spent 37 years working in professional theatre with 14 years voluntary service in the youth theatre sector. Speaking recently she had this to say “This more than ever is a time to prioritise and persevere for youth arts. This week the members of the National Youth Theatre Ensemble should be playing chasing in a real room as a pre-cursor to the devising process for NYT 2021. Instead, we are figuring out how to do so on zoom. We are in the midst of the joyous task of getting to know this year’s ensemble. They are a wonderful, diverse, interesting and engaged group of young people.”
Joining Veronica and the Ensemble in making that vision a reality is playwright, and former member of Cabinteely Youth Theatre Ciara Elizabeth Smyth, who said  "I am delighted to be working with NYT on their 2021 production and am looking forward to collaborating with the incredible cast and artistic team"

The Process

Following this week of exploration , the Ensemble will come together for a second development week in February when a first draft of the play will be worked upon. In Summer 2021 the Ensemble will rehearse the final play before premiering the new work at the Peacock in August.
The vision for the National Youth Theatre is the articulation of a youth voice in contemporary Irish theatre, a youth voice that both represents and challenges the young people who make it and encounter it. The artistic core of the National Youth Theatre’s vision is that there be 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.

“The future is scary but the past is not great either.  Everything that’s going on at the moment, everyone is a little fearful and angry, our characters are an expression of that.”         NYT Ensemble Member

Speaking during the development week, Eoghan Doyle, Director of Youth Theatre Ireland stated that ‘This is the beginning of a very exciting journey for the Ensemble, the creative team and for Youth Theatre Ireland. As an organisation we are proud to showcase the creativity of young people from our affiliated youth theatres all across Ireland. This Ensemble represents the brilliant work being done week in, week out, in Youth Theatres all across the country. We are delighted to have Veronica Coburn back as Artistic Director and we are really excited that the Ensemble will get to work with Ciara Elizabeth Smyth who has been commissioned to write the National Youth Theatre for 2021. The National Youth Theatre is one of the highlights of the Youth Theatre Ireland programme and I can’t wait to see what the Ensemble create over the next number of months.’

Introducing the National Youth Theatre Ensemble

Emma Corrigan                            Monaghan Youth Theatre
Feargal Quinn                              Droichead Youth theatre
Aoibhinn McGinley                       Complex Youth Theatre
William Mc Cabe                          Griese Youth Theatre
Caoimhe O'Farrell                        PlayActing Youth Theatre
Ella O’Callaghan                          Dublin Youth Theatre
Tristan Spellman Molphy             Dublin Youth Theatre
Sadhbh McDonough                    Droichead Youth Theatre
Seán Loughrey                            Droichead Youth Theatre
Awinn Harrington-Wieler             Rusty Frog Youth Theatre
Odhran Exton                              Limerick City youth theatre, and Limerick County youth theatre
Daisy Hartigan                             Limerick City youth theatre, and Limerick County youth theatre
Max Mufwasoni                           Carlow Youth Theatre
Samuel Ferrie                             Mr. Sands Youth Theatre
Abbi Breen                                  Mr. Sands Youth Theatre
Adam Henry                               Sligo Youth Theatre
Aileen Briody                              Backstage Youth Theatre, Longford
Matthew Eglinton                       Sligo Youth Theatre
Cara Mooney                             Complex Youth Theatre
Julia Szarota                              Free Radicals Youth Theatre
Ellen  Donohue                          Dublin Youth Theatre
Lara  Coady                               Explore Youth Theatre


The National Youth Theatre (NYT) is a programme run by Youth Theatre Ireland. It is an Ensemble of young people from youth theatres across Ireland. The twenty two young Ensemble members work with professional artistic and technical teams over 12 months, developing their individual and group performance and theatre-making skills. In an exciting addition to the Performers, the Design and Technical Theatre team and the Creative Associates make up the full NYT Ensemble. These new roles will ensure that young people will be involved in all aspects of the National Youth Theatre production, making theatre that is truly BY, WITH and FOR young people.

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