Get Involved

Whether you are a young person or an adult, here is a guide to getting involved.

I’m young…

I want to know more about joining youth theatre

So you are aged between 12 and 25 and you want to get involved in drama activities. Maybe you have been in a school show or have done some drama as part of school projects or youth club activities and would like to try drama on a more regular basis.

First off you can do one (or all) of four things to find out what youth theatre opportunities exist in your area:

  1. Check out the Find a Youth Theatre page of this website
  2. Call Youth Theatre Ireland on 01 878 1301 or e-mail
  3. Contact your local Arts Office for information
  4. Call your local Youth Information Centre

Your Youth Theatre Journey

In deciding if youth theatre is for you, you will want to know what you can expect. Here is a breakdown of the journey you might expect to go on in youth theatre. All youth theatres vary however, so check with your local group what specific experiences are on offer there.

This description charts the journey starting from aged 12 years. You can join youth theatre at different ages. Your personal journey might differ from the one detailed here.

12–16 Years

  • Take part in regular drama workshops in your local youth theatre with other young people your own age. You will explore your creativity in group games and exercises and begin to learn a range of drama skills.
  • You will also get the chance to take part in theatre performances. The nature of the performances vary between youth theatres. Some youth theatres have their own performance venue while others rent a theatre space. Some youth theatres devise their own productions while others use existing scripts. It may be that your early performance experiences are a showcase of work or a one-act play. You will then proceed to full length productions. Some youth theatres offer members the opportunity to get involved in other aspects of performance such as stage management, costume, make-up or set design.
  • At this stage you may also start to get the chance to participate in extra activities outside your regular workshops: you might get the chance to travel with your group to participate in the National Festival of Youth Theatres in the summer; you might go on theatre trips or; in some cases, get to go on international exchanges and meet other young people from Europe.

16 Years+

  • At this point you may move into a senior group in your youth theatre. Regular drama workshops will continue to form the core of your youth theatre experience but at a more advanced level that will respond to the needs of your particular age group.
  • Theatre Productions and the other activities listed above will also continue to be part of your youth theatre experience.
  • As a youth theatre member aged 16+ you can start to represent your local group in national youth drama activities run by Youth Theatre Ireland. These include programmes like Young Critics and the National Youth Theatre

18 Years+

  • Some people stay in youth theatre well into their twenties and where this is possible all of the activities above remain part of the experience.
  • You may begin to take on a leadership role in your youth theatre with the support of the existing adult leaders. This could include assisting to run workshop activities, directing productions or volunteering to supervise excursions.
  • You might also avail of drama facilitation and leadership training through Youth Theatre Ireland's training programmes—Young Leaders, Leading On… or Arts Train.
  • You could also volunteer with an organisation abroad through the EVS programme and experience what it is like to work with young people through drama in another country.
  • After you leave youth theatre you might, like many youth theatre alumni, decide to pursue theatre training at third level education.
  • You might also, as many more alumni have, go into a wide range of professions and life experiences not directly related to drama. In this case you will carry the confidence, creativity and social skills that you gain from youth theatre with you, not to mention a life- long love and appreciation of theatre and the arts.
I have since stepped away from drama to pursue a dream to be a successful entrepreneur and I will be launching my own business at the age of 21. The confidence Youth Theatre Ireland instilled in me has given me the opportunity to do what I always dreamed of.
Past NYT participant and youth theatre alumnus

Check here for information on the benefits of participation in youth theatre

I’m an adult…

I want to volunteer with an existing youth theatre

First off it is worth checking if there are existing youth theatres in your area that could use your help. Volunteering with a youth theatre not only gives you the opportunity to help young people reach their full potential, it can also be personally beneficial. Leaders attached to a youth theatre that is affiliated to Youth Theatre Ireland can also avail of a range of training opportunities.

To find out about youth theatres in your area you can:

  1. Check out the Find a Youth Theatre page of this website
  2. Call Youth Theatre Ireland on 01 878 1301 or e-mail

I want to start a new youth theatre

Perhaps you are a skilled facilitator seeking support to set up a youth theatre. Maybe you are someone with a little drama experience who wants to see more drama opportunities made available to the young people in your community.

Youth Theatre Ireland can help you along the way. We work with new youth theatres to help them to:

  • Think about the kind of youth theatre they would like to set up and develop aims and objectives
  • Think about who the youth theatre is for and if it is needed in the area
  • Come up a with a plan to recruit young people for the youth theatre
  • Think about who might be able to help run the youth theatre and how to recruit volunteers or staff
  • Develop youth drama facilitation skills
  • Create an annual programme of activities (including drama workshops)
  • Access youth theatre plays and other resources
  • Develop voluntary committee structures and policies (including child protection policies)
  • Link in with other local services and organisations
  • Link leaders into Youth Theatre Ireland facilitation training
  • Look at funding opportunities

Every group we work with has different interested and needs—we tailor our work to suit where you are coming from.

Contact Rhona to find out more about how we can help.

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