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2008 2011

4-Year Review

Promote YT (Scotland) is a registered Scottish charity, No SC 035765

SKILL UP 2011, Eastgate Theatre & Arts Centre, Peebles

Promote YT’s reputation and record of achievement has created interest in our work that now reaches beyond the youth theatre sector.

Introduction It’s hard to believe that 7 years have passed since I sat in on initial discussions with the Scottish Arts Council regarding the possibility of setting up a formal support and development body for Scotland’s youth theatre sector. An urgent need for such a body was quickly identified and within just 6 months, Promote YT (Scotland) had been created. Throughout the subsequent years our organisation has made huge advances, both operationally and strategically, giving rise to a highly valued and innovative folio of work. This includes our 2 flagship events; the National Festival of Youth Theatre – the largest open platform for youth theatre performances anywhere in the UK – and our leading networking and training conference, SKILL UP. Not only have we sustained the annual delivery of these key national events but we have also strengthened our support for the sector by implementing, among others; regular tailor-made training events, a membership network of over 60 organisations and freelance practitioners and our valuable information services. We have undertaken bespoke development work with individual organisations and have consistently represented our sector both nationally and internationally at key meetings and events. Year on year we’ve also created employment and volunteering opportunities for students and those new to the industry as well as freelance practitioners and artistic organisations. We have also continued to forge meaningful creative partnerships, often across art forms.

Promote YT helps us develop the quality of our youth theatres by giving them a platform to perform and connecting them with other groups. It provides opportunities for our workers to gain experience from other professionals, helping us to raise the national profile of our work. NATIONAL YOUTH THEATRE SURVEY 2011 RESPONSE

Our reputation and record of achievement has created an interest in our work that now reaches beyond the youth theatre sector. We’re delighted that our approach to delivery will be emulated internationally as a model of best practice – and Promote YT recognised as an international leader – in the staging of SKILL UP NORWAY 2011. We are immensely proud of what we have accomplished as a small organisation in a relatively short period of time. We recognise that our ability to do so stems from an absolute belief in youth theatre as well as a passion for supporting the individuals and organisations who nurture the young people it engages. We are ambitious to do more. This 4 Year Review aims to highlight Promote YT’s role and our vision for the future as the national support and development body. It also serves to showcase what we hope you will agree are the extraordinary achievements of our country’s vibrant and vital youth theatre sector. Colin Bradie Chief Executive Promote YT (Scotland)

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Youth Theatre to inspire, to challenge and to excite! Theatre ignites the imagination. It inspires awe and wonder; it makes us laugh and cry and it connects us to others. By watching and making theatre, young people are introduced to new experiences and other worlds far removed from their own. They begin to develop an understanding and tolerance of differences between cultures, people, attitudes and experience. Once drawn into the arts they start to reflect on their own identities and regard the communities they live in with a fresh perspective.

> Promote YT’s Vision Statement That every young person in Scotland has the opportunity to participate in & benefit from high quality youth theatre experiences > Promote YT’s Mission Statement We will promote and develop youth theatre in Scotland Alongside an appreciation of the creative process youth theatre fosters a range of transferable skills. We passionately believe that youth theatre can make a significant impact on young people’s lives in the following ways:

Youth theatre strives to foster inclusion Youth theatre nurtures the development of social, citizenship and life skills

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Youth theatre increases motivation and builds confidence

Youth theatre advances communication skills and cultivates positive group dynamics

Youth theatre provides a safe environment for young people to explore and articulate their emotions

Youth theatre empowers young people to be self-defined rather than defined by others

Youth theatre generates the desire to achieve and succeed

Youth theatre encourages creative thinking Youth theatre demands self-discipline

Youth theatre leads to an enduring interest in and appreciation of culture and the arts

Youth theatre develops emerging talent Promote YT 4-Year Review Page 5

Our Youth Theatre Sector In 2009 Promote YT launched a membership scheme to foster a greater cohesion amongst the diverse range of groups, organisations and individuals who make up the youth theatre sector in Scotland. Through the membership Promote YT now represents youth theatre organisations and professional practitioners working in every major region of Scotland either as an independent organisation or affiliated to a wider organisation. Provision in Scotland is also served nationally by Scottish Youth Theatre and Youth Music Theatre UK as well as through targeted organisations such as Scotland’s Deaf Youth Theatre. November 2011 will see the first Promote YT Sector Symposium held in Glasgow, with delegates travelling from across Scotland and further afield.

Current member organisations:

ACT 2 Aberdeen I Acting Out UK Edinburgh I Aberdeen Performing Arts Youth Theatre Aberdeen I Borders Youth Theatre Scottish Borders Brunton Youth Theatre East Lothian I Captivate Drama Edinburgh Carnegie College Stage School Fife I Central Scotland Youth Drama Falkirk Citizens Theatre YOUNG CO Glasgow I Clax Youth Theatre Clackmannanshire Creative Electric Edinburgh I Cumbernauld Youth Theatre Cumbernauld Deaf Youth Theatre Glasgow I Dundee Rep Youth Theatre Dundee Eastwood Park Youth Theatre East Renfrewshire I Eden Court Inverness & Highlands I Explosive Arts Edinburgh I Falkirk Children’s and Youth Theatre Falkirk I Firefly Arts West Lothian I Junction 25 Glasgow I Kinetic Youth Theatre Fife I Largs Youth Theatre Largs I Love Drama Nationwide Lyceum Youth Theatre Edinburgh I macrobert Youth Theatre Stirling Mitchell School of Drama Inverurie I Monifieth Youth Theatre Angus National Theatre of Scotland Nationwide I Perth Youth Theatre Perth Phoenix Youth Theatre Aberdeen I Platform Glasgow I Project Theatre Grangemouth I Rock Academy Performing Arts Moray I Scottish Borders Council Scottish Borders I Scottish Youth Theatre Nationwide I Strange Theatre Edinburgh I Strange Town Edinburgh I The Drama Studio Edinburgh The Dramatics! Bo’ness I The Moray Council Moray I The Scrap Happy Theatre Company Perth and Kinross I Theatre Modo Glasgow I Tron Theatre Glasgow I Youth Music Theatre UK Countrywide In addition to those listed above we also support a growing membership of freelance practitioners.

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Deaf Youth Theatre, Branches, NFYT 2011

Recent Promote YT Member Successes Edinburgh-based Creative Electric were invited to perform their theatre installation Are You Looking at My Context?! at STOFF in Stockholm in August 2011. Their work was chosen ahead of hundreds of applications from over 49 countries. The Guardian on Junction 25’s I Hope My Heart Goes First. ‘It’s not just one of the best things I’ve seen in Edinburgh this year, but one of the best pieces I’ve seen anywhere’ ‘if one had any lingering prejudices about dutifully showing up to see “youth theatre” they would be destroyed by this tour de force.’ A young member of the Citizens Theatre YOUNG CO has been mentored and sponsored by the artistic director of the National Theatre. As a consequence he’s currently training, fully supported, at The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. A member of Deaf Youth Theatre has recently integrated with a hearing youth theatre in Edinburgh after being introduced to their work when they performed at the National Festival of Youth Theatre 2011. Promote YT 4-Year Review Page 7

The National Youth Theatre Survey Each year since 2008 Promote YT has carried out an annual National Youth Theatre Survey which aims to gain an overview of the current level and diversity of youth theatre activity throughout the country. As Scotland’s broadest and most far-reaching youth theatre research project, this survey helps us to establish trends in participation, determine best practice and identify specific developmental needs. The results of this national research and its recommendations directly inform the focus and design of Promote YT’s training programmes. As a consequence we have established a quality Training Framework, offered tailored guidance, created toolkits and targeted support to the sector. The 2011 survey highlighted the following information about youth theatres in Scotland:

8 –24

Engage young people aged


Are active in every


97% 86% of youth theatres devise their own new work

region of Scotland

of youth theatres have a no-audition policy (demonstrating a 76% increase from 2008)

The majority of youth theatres are oversubscribed with a waiting list of up to 50 young people Promote YT 4-Year Review Page 8

Provide financial subsidy to disadvantaged young people and


of youth theatres are FREE

96% of youth theatres consult with their young people

50% 250 Engage an average of

of youth theatres have increased their membership over the past year

young people each in weekly activity


of youth theatres provide continued professional development training for their staff

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Sector Support Through 2008 – 2011 Promote YT’s activity in support of the youth theatre sector has included:

> Offering free advice and guidance to new and existing youth theatres and freelance practitioners on topics such as; setting up a youth theatre, creating partnerships, sourcing artists, effective marketing and communications, finding funding and organisational development and management issues > Brokering partnerships between artistic organisations and individuals to develop and deliver youth theatre provision > Providing a package of exclusive membership benefits including; discounted member rates for all Promote YT training events, automatic youth theatre listing on the Promote YT website, free access to members’ resources (Training Framework, child protection guidelines, marketing and funding tips. Freelancer’s Handbook), free access to a Promote YT Member’s Suite (a meeting and work space with free WIFI) > Developing and delivering tailor-made SKILL UP Xtra training events in response to sector feedback > Managing unique youth theatre projects including; Aberdeen OUR CITY, Fife Young Carers MASH UP and NFYT 2011 Deaf Access Project > Establishing a Promote YT Sector Symposium to provide all individuals and organisations with a stake in youth theatre with an opportunity to network, discuss and inform development in the sector > Facilitating sector communication through social networks, online resources, forums and printed information and reports

We are right now using the model of Promote YT to create a similar organisation in Norway. Hopefully we can encourage and develop the Norwegian youth theatre sector as much as Promote YT has done for its sector in Scotland CARL JØRN JOHANSEN – ROGALAND TEATER, NORWAY

Working in partnership with Promote YT is crucial as we endeavour to promote and increase participation in the arts. This vital partnership allows us to design creative projects tailored to work with marginalised and disadvantaged groups and provides an accessible and relevant way for young audiences to experience the power of arts FRANK CHINN - CHIEF EXECUTIVE, ON AT FIFE

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& Sector Training Promote YT’s Training Framework was introduced in 2008 to highlight the principal areas of best practice pertinent to all youth theatre organisations in Scotland regardless of scale, style, status or approach, informed by the findings of our National Youth Theatre Surveys. Designed to act as a guide to the sector each element has been supported by co-ordinated skill development via Promote YT’s key platforms including SKILL UP and the National Festival of Youth Theatre. Through endorsement of this Training Framework youth theatre organisations are able to assure their stakeholders of their commitment to the best interests of the young people involved with them. They are therefore able to assert the following statements:

> Statement 1 We have the ability to engage children and young people as active participants in our creative process > Statement 2

As ever I found the whole event incredibly inspiring, refreshing and fun. I was delighted with the workshops I chose and have already used several of the techniques and games I learned in my own practice. SKILL UP PARTICIPANT

We understand that process and product are equally and mutually beneficial aspects of our youth theatre activity > Statement 3 We strive to broaden our understanding of technique and approach to enrich the delivery of our youth theatre activity > Statement 4 We have a determination to broaden the access of those participating in our youth theatre activity as creators and audience > Statement 5 We have systems of evaluation in place to better assess our creative and operational output > Statement 6 We have an understanding of current policy and protocol in relation to safe and appropriate youth theatre practice

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SKILL UP is Promote YT’s annual training and networking conference for all organisations and individuals with a stake in youth performing arts. Now in its 8th year it is the only event of its kind in the country and attracts hundreds of practitioners from across Scotland and beyond. SKILL UP provides a broad range of quality training experiences, which appeal to all levels, skills and abilities. Through this event we continue to deliver a range of training initiatives, which focus on the principal objectives of our Training Framework. These initiatives are based upon feedback from the sector, direct requests for specific training and topics that are prevalent in today's youth theatre climate.

SKILL UP highlights include: > Over 400 practitioners have attended SKILL UP over the last 4 years > Over 200 workshops and facilitated training groups have taken place > Participants have attended from as far afield as Norway, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Wales, England and of course from across the whole of Scotland > Facilitated by some of the leading names in theatre including Frantic Assembly, Poor Boy, Visible Fictions, Plutôt la Vie, Prof.Jonothan Neelands and the National Theatre of Scotland. > Generated over 10 spin-off SKILL UP Xtra training courses facilitated by artists including: Davey Anderson, Douglas Maxwell, Frantic Assembly, Lin Marsh and Prof. Jonothan Neelands. > In 2011 SKILL UP will be replicated for the first time outside Scotland as a model of best practice in Norway > Over 40 delegates have been supported by Promote YT through a bursary scheme which supports new and emerging youth theatre practitioners

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SKILL UP 2011, Eastgate Theatre & Arts Centre, Peebles

Promote YT’s commitment to having a truly national overview was demonstrated in the two successful SKILL UP events in collaboration with Hi-Arts. They’ve made it so much easier for a wide range of Highlands and Islands-based practitioners to take part in and benefit from all that SKILL UP offers ROBERT LIVINGSTON – DIRECTOR, HI-ARTS

The strength, richness and enthusiasm of the youth theatre sector in Scotland has increased year on year, and there is no doubt in my mind that Promote YT plays a fundamental role in this SKILL UP PARTICIPANT

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Since its inauguration in 2005, the National Festival of Youth Theatre (NFYT) has built its reputation and is now the largest open platform for youth theatre performances and training opportunities anywhere in the UK. The 4-day residential festival is a vibrant celebration of the creativity and diversity of our youth theatre sector with participation, collaboration and education at its core. NFYT offers the young people who participate the exciting opportunity to perform in front of peer and public audiences, to share in each other’s work and to learn and develop new artistic skills all within a safe and supportive environment. Highlights from the National Festival of Youth Theatre:

> Produced in 5 different regions of Scotland > Engaged over 1500 young people in structured training and performance > Staged 200 workshops facilitated by 50 industry professionals > Hosted guest performance work from outwith Scotland including England, Norway and the Republic of Ireland encouraging creative intercultural exchange > Created collaborative performance work facilitated by leading artists through the GENERATE Project > Staged outreach projects, 3 of which led to the creation of new regional youth theatre groups working with disadvantaged young people > In 2011, hosted the ground breaking Deaf Access Project facilitated by Scotland’s Deaf Youth Theatre > Created over 40 paid and voluntary employment opportunities

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My company of young people come from a culturally isolated area that is also socially and economically deprived so an event such as NFYT was literally life changing for them. It opened their hearts and minds to the possibilities of theatre and the power of creative collaboration. YOUTH THEATRE LEADER, NFYT 2011


This has been a great experience at NFYT. Meeting new people, seeing new plays and trying new things.

Creative Electric, Wearing Badges is Not Enough, NFYT 2010

One way of judging the strength of the programme was the very clear sense of festival that it created amongst all the participants and the consequent enthusiasm that surrounded every element of it.


NFYT continues to create, encourage and support a fantastic environment for showcasing the work of youth theatres. I love sitting in the audience experiencing the electric atmosphere and excitement of the young people. YOUTH THEATRE LEADER

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National Theatre of Scotland's Generate project, NFYT 2011

If it were not for the work of Promote YT how else could Scotland’s young people be offered a rich and rewarding creative and cultural experience that can be shared and enjoyed with so many people from all walks of life? GERRY RAMAGE – ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, SOLAR BEAR THEATRE COMPANY

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The Future Our Vision As this report demonstrates, our sector is passionately committed to providing high-quality artistic programmes which engage young people and showcase exciting new talent at regional, national and international level. We therefore recognise that Promote YT has a fundamental role to play in ensuring Scotland’s position as a forward-thinking creative nation. With the launch of a new National Centre for Youth Arts and Creative Scotland’s commitment to an all-encompassing National Youth Arts Strategy, Scotland is currently at a very exciting crossroads in its cultural landscape. The provision of professional youth theatre will ensure creative, dynamic and outward-looking young people who will be equipped to engage fully in every opportunity that this new landscape has to offer. In recognition of this, Promote YT is determined to sustain a high level of support to the sector, which will provide:

> Continued professional development to advance the standards and provision of youth theatre delivery, placing creative youth theatre practitioners at the heart of our work > A high-profile national and international platform for the youth theatre sector through the National Festival of Youth Theatre to identify, nurture and champion young Scottish creative talent and to develop new cultural audiences > Project work focusing on the improvement of access to youth theatre, and the diversity of those participating ultimately giving every child in Scotland access to quality youth theatre experiences > A commitment to championing the artistic quality and improvement of artistic production of youth theatre in Scotland. > A developed relationship with the artists, facilitators and participants of youth theatre to promote partnerships and exchange > Digital services which serve the sector through providing information, empowerment and growth opportunities In support of these goals we will continue to proudly act as the umbrella body for the sector, sharing best practice and facilitating peer-development, training, knowledge and data exchange. We will advocate the role of youth theatre and continue to respond to individual requests for support. These are bold ambitions, which require us to build upon on our existing approach as well as pioneer new ways of working. We look forward to working with our sector, partners and Creative Scotland to ensure that the future of youth theatre in Scotland not only persists, but prevails.

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Supporters and Creative Partners As a charitable organisation Promote YT Scotland relies heavily on investment and partnership working in order realise our strategic aims and objectives. In addition to annual investment from Creative Scotland, Promote YT would like to acknowledge and thank the following, all of whom have supported our work over the past 4 years:

Aberdeen City Council Celebrating Fife 2010 Fife Council’s Strategic Events Investment Fund Hi-Arts Highlands and Islands Enterprise ON at Fife (formerly AttFife) Perth & Kinross Council Scottish Borders Council Shell UK Ltd. The Birkdale Trust for Hearing Impaired The Foundation of Sport and the Arts The Foyle Foundation The Gannochy Trust The Greggs Foundation The Highland Council The Hugh Fraser Foundation The MacRobert Trust The Robertson Trust The Scottish Community Foundation

And a big

thank you

to all Promote YT members

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Creative Partners have included Aberdeen Arts Centre Aberdeen Performing Arts Carnegie College Crooked House Theatre, Ireland Eastgate Theatre & Arts Centre Eden Court Theatre Edinburgh International Magic Festival Filuren, Denmark Frantic Assembly Glas(s) Performance Hi-Arts Horsecross Arts Junge Akteure, Germany Kinetic The Lemon Tree Mellow Yellow Creative Arts The Moray Council The National Association of Youth Drama (NAYD), Ireland The National Association of Youth Theatres (NAYT), England National Theatre of Scotland ON at Fife (formerly AttFife) Pilot Theatre,York Plutôt la Vie Rogaland Teater, Norway Scottish Youth Theatre Second Wave Arts, London Solar Bear The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (formerly RSAMD) ThickSkin, London Tortoise in a Nutshell Visible Fictions Youth Music Theatre UK

Governance and Financial Reporting Promote YT (Scotland) is a company limited by guarantee and is a Scottish charity registered with the Inland Revenue. The company is overseen by a Board of Directors who meet 6 times a year. Promote YT is supported by their patron, the successful Scottish actor, Ken Stott Board of Directors Acting Chair: Gillian Howie, Drama Teacher / Freelance Practitioner Acting Vice-Chair: Ben Jeffries, Marketing and Communications Director, Perth Horsecross Acting Company Secretary: Colin Bradie, Director / Chief Executive Officer, Promote YT (Scotland) Fiona Anderson, Business Director, Visible Fictions Theatre Company Claire Bloomfield, Artistic Director, Kinetic Youth Theatre Kenny McGlashan, Short Courses Senior Tutor and Producer, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Ilona Munro, Outreach Drama Worker (Lochaber), Eden Court Theatre Staff Director / Chief Executive Officer, Colin Bradie Training and Participation Manager, Caroline Donald Marketing and Communications Manager, Gary Smith Development Officer, Helen Bain

Financial Review 07/08




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Ken Stott, Promote YT Patron

Out of the Blue 36 Dalmeny Street Edinburgh EH6 8RG T 0131 538 0591 Promote YT (Scotland) is registered in Scotland No. 269952 and a registered Scottish charity No. SC 035765

Front Cover photo: Eastwood Park Youth Theatre, East Renfrewshire, Glasgow Tales, NFYT 2011

From drama groups in local village halls to large youth theatres run by theatre professionals, Promote YT is working hard to ensure every young person across Scotland can access a quality, safe and enjoyable youth theatre experience

Promote YT 4-year review 2008 - 2011  
Promote YT 4-year review 2008 - 2011  

This 4 Year Review aims to highlight Promote YT’s role and our vision for the future as the national support and development body for youth...