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Would your 11-17yr old join a youth theatre like this?

(14 Posts)
Adair Tue 28-Jun-11 11:13:49

I am considering setting up a youth theatre in our local area.

Probably Saturdays morning/early afternoon. 11-14yrs and 15-17yrs - 1 and a half hour sessions. Was thinking £70 for the term or £60 if booked early.

10 weeks to devise/create a short original show (and do some games, improvisation activities etc). Performed in front of friends and family and locall community.

No scripts, no big musicals, no 'star parts' and 'small parts', no exams (not that i am anti any of that just want to do inclusive devising here!)

What do you think? Any feedback welcome. Is an Arts Centre approach really but we don't have an arts Centre here...

Thanks grin

MoominmammasHandbag Tue 28-Jun-11 12:23:06

Adair, my 15 year old and her friends attend a similar thing on a Saturday morning. It is pay as you go, £4 a session, which seems to work quite well; they have been going for years. They do a few sketch-show-written-by-the-kids type performances a year. There is also a more formal kind of production once a year for those interested, but that has separate rehearsals. Oh yeah, they do summer schools/holiday clubs as well.
Have to say my daughter absolutely loves it though she is not particularly talented. smile I think the original sketches can be a bit tedious challenging for the audience though.

Adair Tue 28-Jun-11 12:30:00


yes, i know what you mean. I think my bemused parents have sat through many of these as I was growing up blush... This is the kind of theatre I know and love - but everything round here seems to be Stagecoach/musical theatre stuff...

Do you think the prices are too expensive then? Was comparing to wildly expensive Stagecoach type groups... I don't think I could afford to do pay as you go (too risky) unless I get funding r something... Would a term cost put you off? Where are you based?

Sorry for all the questions! Thanks/

MoominmammasHandbag Tue 28-Jun-11 12:53:33

Adair, I can't do links but try googling Willpower Youth Theatre. It has been going for donkey's years and has a massive membership now but I imagine they started up along the lines of what you would like to do.
£70 isn't really alot of money but sounds a lot if the group is an unknown quantity, if you see what I mean.
How about starting with week long summer schools, advertised in local schools and build up a membership base from there? I pay about £70 for a weeks summer school for my daughter, plus the show at the end. I think that's quite a bargain.

Adair Tue 28-Jun-11 12:58:39

Thanks - yes that's absolutely what I envisage.
Very good point about people being scared to commit if an unknown quantity and hadn't thought about doing the summer school FIRST... Was thinking of doing a taster day or two. But that's a very good idea. Hmmm.... thinking caps on.

MoominmammasHandbag Tue 28-Jun-11 13:06:07

Good luck, I think its a great idea; getting kids together, making new friends, being creative. Once you get going I'm sure it will sell itself by word of mouth.

Adair Tue 28-Jun-11 13:07:30

Thanks for the vote of confidence! Must get on and write the business plan.

MadameCholetWasMyFavourite Tue 28-Jun-11 13:36:42

Hello Adair,
I have joined MN especially to respond to your query so this is my first post - please forgive any breaches of MN etiquette.
I wanted to respond as I have just attended the Summer shows of our local youth theatre group, both of my girls attend in different classes and it is run by some young people with heaps of enthusiasm and experience but not many qualifications. Our local clubs are run on a weekday evening. Children are split into 8-11s, 12-15 and 16-18. The youngest class is 1.5 hours, the two oldest, 2 hours. The cost is £35 per ten week term for class 1 and £45 for class 2 & 3. We live in Cornwall so this may be cheaper than other parts of the country.
I would definitley recommend not paying weekly, if you are running it as anything more than a hobby. You may find that running 3 shows a year could be a bit exhausting but working towards a performance is quite key, I think and I was quite emotional watching how some of the performers have developed in confidence and ability over the years. I was also very envious that there was nothing similar around when I was young. If you have a gap in the market for a youth theatre in your area I would suspect it could be very popular but the idea of taster sessions first and some leafleting of the local schools/community will be worth investigating.

Adair Tue 28-Jun-11 20:03:38

Thanks, MadameCholet, and welcome to Mumsnet smile.

I am a drama teacher and worked with youth theatre before I qualified so have a good idea of how the sessions will work. Agree with you on termly payments, we are in London (albeit suburbs) so will need to charge a bit more but have support from several people (including the person who runs the hall) so will try to see how low we can make it...

It is so nice to hear you (both) say how much YOU get out of your children doing these events. More food for thought. Thanks.

startail Thu 30-Jun-11 15:06:17

There is very little for this age group unless they want to do creative sport or already dance.
I'm suspect my DD1 (13) might well enjoy it, especially if it ran latish on a Sat morning while DD2 is at ballet.
DD1 finds making friends hard and prefers something organised to unstructured youth groups.
Stage coach here is Sat afternoon for 3 hours. Too expensive, too long, no family time/homework time and hard to start if you never did ballet or tap.

GrungeBlobPrimpants Thu 30-Jun-11 17:20:29

Yes, deffo

My dd does something similar to this at our local arts theatre - was so glad to have found it as she's just not the stagecoach 'type'. I think there's also the option to explore things like directing, scriptwriting and the technical side if you love theatre but don't necessarily want to tread the boards

I think it sounds really really good and I suspect there will be high demand. Good luck!

Adair Thu 30-Jun-11 19:40:55

Thank you - am really excited now!

Hulababy Thu 30-Jun-11 19:52:13

Sounds similar to the theatre company group my DD goes to. She's 9y and goes to the junior group of it. There is also an older group for 13y+ and they also works towards their Arts Award at the same time. They do a bit of singing and dance in amongst the drama. We have an end of term show which is small short sketches, singing, etc. where the three groups come together. It seems really popular and at present DD expects to go onto it as soon as she is old enough.

Georgelassosthemoon Thu 30-Jun-11 21:26:52

Yes, my DS (13) would love this, loves Drama, hates singing/dancing/musicals. We've been looking for something that is not 'Stagecoach-like' as there are a few groups of that type locally. Pricing sounds fair to me.

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