The National Youth Theatre (NYT) is a biennial event that sees 20 young people from youth theatres across Ireland working together for a year. They develop as a company under the guidance of a professional creative team.
The ensemble is comprised of 16 members of the performing ensemble and 4 design and technical roles. These young artists work with professional artistic and technical teams culminating in a performance in a major professional theatre venue.
We are pleased to deliver the extended National Youth Theatre programme in partnership with the Abbey Theatre.
Olwyn O'Donoghue Patterson was a performing ensemble member of the 2018-2019 National Youth Theatre. Watch her vlog of the experience below these FAQs.
Youth Theatre Ireland holds NYT auditions every other year. The next year for auditions is 2022.
NYT participants must be:
- In membership of a youth theatre affiliated to Youth Theatre Ireland
- Aged 16–21
- Experienced in youth theatre. The National Youth Theatre is a very challenging experience both onstage and off. Strong individual and ensemble performance skills are essential as is the ability to cope with living with peers away from home for a month.
Step 1—Auditions (next round will be held in 2022)
The first round of auditions takes place in regional centres and take the form of a workshop rather than a traditional ‘audition’ format. Approximately 40 people are invited to return for a second round of auditions where there is a greater focus on traditional casting.
Step 2—Company Residential, Development Week, and Skills Days
The NYT Ensemble participates in a five-day residential in Dublin during the October school break to give everyone—the full NYT Ensemble, the director, the playwright and the team—the opportunity to get to know each other.
The NYT Ensemble comes together again in Dublin during the February school break. During this week, the ensemble members develop skills and work with the professional creative team to begin work on the NYT production. Design and Technical Theatre ensemble members will begin to work more directly on these aspects under the guidance of an assigned mentor.
In addition, there are two skills days between April and June 2021.
The NYT Ensemble comes together for an intensive rehearsal and creation period between mid-July and the end of August. This period sees the NYT Ensemble working, living, and playing together on a full-time residential basis in Dublin for the four-week period prior to performance.
The final stage of the National Youth Theatre journey is a production/performance week in which the Ensemble presents a professional-level production of a new contemporary play that has been commissioned especially for the National Youth Theatre and is presented in a major professional theatre venue.
National Youth Theatre Productions
1983: By Common Consent by Paul Thompson. Directed by Paddy O’Dwyer.
1984: Our Town by Thornton Wilder. Directed by Ben Barnes.
1985: A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare. Directed by Andy Hinds.
1986: Young Europeans by Gerard Stembridge. Directed by Gerard Stembridge.
1987: The Crucible by Arthur Miller. Directed by Ben Barnes.
1988: Parents (devised). Directed by Tommy McArdle and Richie Ball.
1989: Celebration by John McArdle. Directed by Ray Yeates.
1996: Strawberries in December by Antoine O’Flathartha. Directed by Brian Brady.
2001: The Old Lady Says No! by Dennis Johnston. Directed by John White.
2007: The Caucasian Chalk Circle by Bertolt Brecht (adapted by Frank McGuinness). Directed by Gyorgy Vidovszky.
2008: A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare. Directed by Gyorgy Vidovszky.
2009: The Seagull by Anton Chekhov, in a version by Martin Crimp. Directed by Wayne Jordan.
2010: A Dream Play by August Strindberg, in a version by Caryl Churchill. Directed by Jimmy Fay.
2011: It Only Ever Happens In The Movies, devised by Mikel Murfi, John Taite and the cast of NYT2011. Directed by Mikel Murfi.
2013: Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift. Adapted and directed by Conall Morrison.
2015: Salt Mountain by Carmel Winters. Directed by Jo Mangan.
2017: R.U.R. - Rossum’s Universal Robots by Karel Čapek. Directed by Cáitriona McLaughlin.
2019: Ask Too Much of Me by Dylan Coburn Gray. Directed by Veronica Coburn. 2021: Aftertaste by Ciara Elizabeth Smyth. Directed by Veronica Coburn.