Established in 1980, Youth Theatre Ireland is the national development organisation for youth theatre.
What We Do
Youth Theatre Irelands latest strategic plan was launched in March 2021 by Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sports and Media, Catherine Martin TD. The strategic plan outlines the aims and vision of the organisation for the next 3 years.
The plan provides a framework for empowering young people in Ireland through accessible and effectively resourced youth theatre and can be found below.
We are unique in our commitment to youth-centred drama practice and know that youth theatre is a place to develop young artists and young citizens. We promote youth drama opportunities that focus on the artistic, personal, and social development of young people by supporting the following:
A network of youth theatres who deliver year-round programmes which include drama workshops and performance opportunities for young people aged from 12 to 21 in cities, towns, and villages across Ireland.
Supporting the sustained development of youth theatre by working in partnership with local and national stakeholders to advocate the benefits of youth theatre participation and provide leadership for the sector. We develop new youth theatres in partnership with local groups and agencies.
Supporting youth theatre in practice by offering:
Opportunities for young people through our annual programme activities including the National Youth Theatre, the National Festival of Youth Theatres, and the Young Critics Programme.
Support for youth theatre leaders and directors including training and mentorship, commissioning new writing, publications, resources and other services as well as research and policy development
Drama as a medium for learning and as a means of expression for young people the advancement of the artistic, personal and social development of young people through drama and performance-related skills
Youth theatre as a medium to extend and enhance young people’s understanding of theatre as an art form
Our Core Values
Youth Theatre Ireland is committed to:
Quality in provision and experience for all young people
Equality of participation for all young people
Ensuring our work is young person-centred and that the voice of young people is represented in all aspects of the work of the organisation
Ensuring a balance between the values of artistic quality and youth participation
Training for youth theatre leaders and directors
Advice, guidance, and support to existing youth theatres
Advocacy for youth theatres to champion the benefits of youth drama for all young people
A Garda Vetting Consortium for youth theatres
A platform to push forward youth theatre practice through research and debate
A range of practical and artistic resources for Youth Theatres
Up to 3000 young people annually participate in approximately 4000 hours of drama activities with 55 affiliated youth theatres across Ireland
Reaching hundreds of young people directly every year across seven high-quality national programmes including the National Festival of Youth Theatres, Young Critics and National Youth Theatre
Over 2000 hours of advice and guidance are given annually to affiliated youth theatres, emerging youth theatres, other youth services and individuals developing youth drama activities in Ireland
"I think youth theatre is hugely important for confidence, for discovering ourselves, and each other, and building friendships. To turn up and commit to something is a huge ask for a teenager, but actually, you’re committing with your heart. It is a choice to be there and that fills you with a huge love for something. Youth theatre gives people a chance to have that experience." Eileen Walsh, Actress and Youth Theatre Ireland patron