Young critics was an amazing experience and it was one of the best things I've done in youth theatre.Young Critic 2014
The Young Critics Programme is part of Youth Theatre Ireland’s commitment to developing youth theatre members’ awareness and appreciation of the aesthetic of theatre. The programme brings youth theatre members together to:
- attend workshops in the critique of professional theatre
- attend professional performances at leading Irish festivals
- give their own critiques of the performances at the Young Critics Panel
The Young Critics continues to be one of Youth Theatre Ireland’s most popular programmes. It is aimed at youth theatre members who are interested in watching, critically discussing and reviewing theatre. Participants come together for at least two residential weekends during the year. The final weekend features the Young Critics Panel; a public discussion forum that takes place in October at the Dublin Theatre Festival.
COVID19 pandemic 2020 has been like no other, with a Young Critics programme to match. Between June and October, eighteen young people from across Ireland have honed their critical skills from the comfort and safety of their own homes. They were guided on their journey of critical discovery by our expert facilitators: Alan King in Dublin and theatre critic Dr. Karen Fricker in Toronto
Through regular workshops, the Young Critcis learned the fundamentals of theatre criticms, while engaging with 'theatre' through digital means. They were encouraged engage with and created critial resposes to a variety of online projects including the Abbey's Dear Ireland Project, NT Live and RTÉ Radio Drama plays.
In October Youth Theatre Ireland returned to the Dublin Theatre Festival for the 17th iteration of Young Critics. Over the course of the festival, the Young Critics engaged with several programmed events and then presented their critical responses at a special online panel on Sunday Oct 11th.
You can watch an edited version of the full panel discussion here.
Find out more about the Young Critics experience here.
This video was created as part of the Performing Arts Learning Support (PALS) pilot initiative. This was a partnership between the Arts Council, the Association of Teachers'/Education Centres in Ireland (ATECI), the Abbey Theatre, the Dublin Theatre Festival and Youth Theatre Ireland. Video Maker: Kilian Waters
How to Get Involved
Youth Theatre members are invited to apply early in the year and they must be a current member of an Youth Theatre Ireland affiliated youth theatre. Those applying are asked to submit a short review of a production they have attended. Sixteen participants are chosen. Participants must be aged 16–20.
Since 2012 the Young Critics have been contributing original written reviews to the Young Critics Blog. Since 2014, the Young Critics have also been adding video blog reviews to the site. Increasingly the Young Critics are engaging with new ways to develop the art of theatre criticism and new modes of engaging with an audience.
This video was created as part of the Performing Arts Learning Support (PALS) pilot initiative. This was a partnership between the Arts Council, the Association of Teachers'/Education Centres in Ireland (ATECI), the Abbey Theatre, the Dublin Theatre Festival and Youth Theatre Ireland. Video Maker: Peter Kelly