Speaking at a meeting of Brierley Hill Town Centre Partnership Alexa Cruickshank, general manager of the National Youth Theatre said:
“Brierley Hill was the first regional centre for the National Youth Theatre. We have been delighted by the progress to date and will be working to make an even bigger impact in the area in the future”.
The National Youth Theatre runs a Saturday morning open access workshop of the Bank Street Methodist Church and has put on acclaimed summer performances where its elite national membership work with local youngsters to write, produce and perform new works. Its 2009 performance was ‘Flight’ – a celebration of the hundredth anniversary of the first flight across the English Channel.
“Flight was an exciting development for us. Not only did we manage to explore themes of ambition and personal relationships with young people, but by working with members of Age Concern and Help the Aged we were able to promote greater inter-generational understanding.”
Now the prestigious youth theatre wants to extend its reach.
“We want to double the number of people able to attend the Saturday morning workshops and will be exploring local history and family links with our summer performance to be called ‘Perfect Tree’. We are hoping that local people will get involved with stories of their own family trees and their memories of trees in the area.
“In addition to that we will be enabling local young people to gain qualifications through drama with our accredited Playing Up courses. We very much hope that the confidence, communication and leadership skills the courses bring will help young people on to successful careers in the future” Alexa said.
Plans are also underway to work more closely with schools and to support further engagement with young people in Brierley Hill.
The National Youth Theatre’s work in Brierley Hill is funded through Dudley Council, Dudley Community Partnership, Stourbridge College, Barclays Wealth, Esmee Fairbairn, Grantham Yorke, Leeds Building Society Charitable Foundation, Clore Duffield Foundation and the Arts Council.
For further information about local activities contact creative learning assistant for Brierley Hill Kane Husbands on KANE.HUSBANDS@NYT.ORG.UK