SUNDAY, April 15 saw another exciting step forward for youth arts in Offaly with the official launch of Offaly Youth Theatre at Birr Theatre & Arts Centre.
Established following a very successful pilot programme in 2010, it advocates the inherent value and the unique relationship between young people and theatre and is committed to extending and enhancing their understanding of this by raising artistic standards across the county.
Open to all young people between the ages of 14 and 18, weekly workshops run for two terms annually, developing participant’s acting abilities in innovative ways with an ethos of placing more emphasis on the Process of developing theatre skills, more than the product or pressure of putting on a performance.
At present there are 34 members between three chapters; in Birr, Banagher and Tullamore with plans underway to expand into Edenderry in late 2012.
This project is facilitated by committed local theatre professionals (Macdara Deery, Angela Ryan and Anne Clarke) who have experience in developing theatre with young people.
There is also a board of directors; Cllr Molly Buckley (Chair), Marcella Corcoran Kennedy TD, Sinead O’Reilly, Arts Officer Offaly County Council, Brendan Hanamy, Eddie Alford and Emma Nee Haslam.
Cllr Molly Buckley said, “Offaly County Council is delighted to be in a position to support Offaly Youth Theatre. It was one of the main objectives of our Arts Plan for 2007-2011 and now in our new Arts Plan for 2012-2016 we have prioritised youth arts development even more.”
Guest speaker Sam Keeley who starred in “The Other Side of Sleep” which recently had it’s premiere in Birr Theatre & Arts Centre and RTÉ drama “Raw” spoke about impressed he was with the talent and creativity displayed by the members of Offaly Youth Theatre. He also said how much he would have liked to have been involved in such a group when he was younger had it been in existence.
Offaly Youth Theatre is delighted to have Birr native; singer-songwriter, artist, illustrator and graphic designer Roesy on board as their in-house designer.
New members are always welcome and should contact Janine on (087) 2071258 or firstname.lastname@example.org