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͚KEd,,KZ/KE͙͛   YOUTH  THEATRE  SECTOR  SYMPOSIUM  2012   DISCUSSION  FEEDBACK      

  This  document  provides  a  summary  of  group  discussions  which  took  place  at  ^ĐŽƚůĂŶĚ͛Ɛ  Youth  Theatre   Sector  Symposium  2012  on  Friday  16  November  at  the  Festival  Theatre,  Edinburgh.       The  80  delegates  who  attended  the  symposium  were  split  into  four  discussion  groups  representing:     1. Freelance  practitioners   2.

Independent  youth  theatres.  

3.

Youth  theatres  affiliated  to  larger  organisations.  

4.

Youth  theatres  affiliated  to  local  authorities  or  arts  trusts.  

       

ĂĐŚŐƌŽƵƉǁĂƐĂƐŬĞĚĂƐĞƌŝĞƐŽĨƋƵĞƐƚŝŽŶƐƌĞůĂƚŝŶŐƚŽWƌŽŵŽƚĞzd͛Ɛdraft  Youth  Theatre  Sector   Development  Plan  2013-­‐2015͕ĂƐƉƌĞƐĞŶƚĞĚďLJWƌŽŵŽƚĞzd͛ƐKͬŝƌĞĐƚŽƌ͕ŽůŝŶƌĂĚŝĞ;ƐĞĞ accompanying  PDF  document  for  full  details).     The  draft  Youth  Theatre  Sector  Development  Plan  2013-­‐2015  states  the  following  four  aims:    

Promote  YT  aims  to:     x drive  the  professional  advancement  ŽĨ^ĐŽƚůĂŶĚ͛ƐLJŽƵƚŚƚŚĞĂƚƌĞƐĞĐƚŽƌ  by  designing  and  delivering   practitioner-­‐centred  learning  opportunities;  from  a  nationally  accredited  qualification  to  structured   and  certificated  CPD  pathways;     x raise  the  profile  of  youth  theatre  as  an  art  form  by  strengthening  its  credibility  withŝŶ^ĐŽƚůĂŶĚ͛Ɛ arts  and  cultural  sectors,  and  by  pioneering  high-­‐quality  platforms  for  the  engagement  of  new   audiences;     x inveƐƚŝŶƚŚĞĐƌĞĂƚŝǀĞĨƵƚƵƌĞŽĨ^ĐŽƚůĂŶĚ͛Ɛ  young  people  by  working  with  the  sector  to  provide   inspiring  ƉĂƌƚŝĐŝƉĂƚŽƌLJĞdžƉĞƌŝĞŶĐĞƐǁŚŝĐŚĚĞǀĞůŽƉLJŽƵŶŐƉĞŽƉůĞ͛s  capacity  as  creative  thinkers;  and     x consolidate  and  represent  ScotlĂŶĚ͛ƐLJŽƵƚŚƚŚĞĂƚƌĞ  sector  by  undertaking  comprehensive  sector   mapping,  consultation  and  review,  and  by  providing  central  leadership  and  representation  on  a   regional,  national  and  international  level.       For  each  of  these  four  aims,  groups  were  asked  to  respond  to  these  questions:     1. What  is  your  reaction  to  this  aim?   2.

How  is  this  aim  relevant  to  you  and/or  your  organisation?  

3.

What  impact  would  this  aim  have  on  your  work  and/or  your  practice?  

4.

Are  there  any  barriers  that  would  prevent  you  taking  part  in  the  projects  related  to  this  aim?  

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The  following  notes  summarise  the  main  points  made  in  each  group:      

Aim  1:  Promote  YT  will  drive  the  professional  advancement  ŽĨ^ĐŽƚůĂŶĚ͛ƐLJŽƵƚŚƚŚĞĂƚƌĞƐĞĐƚŽƌ     x This  aim  is  seen  as  directly  connected  to  the  creative  future  of  our  young  people.     x There  is  an  issue  when  individuals  support  the  aim,  but  not  necessarily  the  projects  associated  to  it.     x There  was  a  feeling  that  training  future  practitioners  is  less  important  than  CPD  for  existing   practitioners  as  there  is  no  lack  of  opportunity  to  enter  the  sector.     x The  new  Professional  Development  Award  (PDA)  could  be  a  useful  mark  of  quality.     x There  needs  to  be  a  long-­‐term  commitment  to  the  PDA.     x The  idea  of  placements  could  be  useful  in  potentially  fostering  links  between  organisations.     x Questions  relating  to  the  introduction  of  the  ͚PDA  ƌƚƐŝŶĚƵĐĂƚŝŽŶWƌĂĐƚŝĐĞ͛  included:    

¾ Is  this  PDA  duplicating  schemes  which  already  exist?      

Promote  YT  says:  Our  annual  Review  of  Youth  Theatre  in  Scotland  has  revealed  that  an  increasing   number  of  young  people  who  have  been  involved  in  youth  theatre  as  participants  are  now  aspiring  to   work  professionally  in  the  sector.  Although  youth  theatre  delivery  has  achieved  status  as  a  credible  arts   profession,  there  are  currently  no  accredited  educational  opportunities  in  Scotland  to  support  this.       Additional  research,  carried  out  by  Promote  YT,  has  confirmed  that  there  exists  a  gap  in  accredited   work-­‐based  training  provision  in  Scotland  for  those  who  want  to  work  in  youth  theatre  delivery.     While  there  are  currently  a  limited  number  of  accredited  training  opportunities  at  HNC/D  or  Degree  level   to  study  theatre  in  participatory  contexts,  none  of  the  available  courses  offer  a  particular  focus  on  youth   theatre  settings.    

  ¾ Do  we  need  another  accreditation?    

Promote  YT  says:    /ŶƚŚĞƌĞĐĞŶƚƌƚǁŽƌŬƐ͞Skillset  Research  and  Gap  Analysis  for  Artists  Working  

in  Participatory  Settings  Phase  2  Final  Report͟ƚŚĞĨŽůůŽǁŝŶŐǁĂƐŝĚĞŶƚŝĨŝĞĚ͗    

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Individuals  who  have  been  involved  in  youth  theatre  as  participants  now  want  to  progress  to  working   professionally  in  the  youth  theatre  sector.  Although  it  has  become  a  credible  profession,  at  present  there   are  no  accredited  educational  opportunities  in  Scotland  to  support  this.     ͞dŚĞŽŶůLJƐĐŚŽŽůƐƚŚĂƚĐĂŶŚĞůƉŵĞŝŶĂĐŚŝĞǀĞŝŶŐŵLJĚƌĞĂŵĂƌĞŝŶŶŐůĂŶĚ͘    /ůŽǀĞ^ĐŽƚůĂŶĚďƵƚƚŚĞůĂĐŬŽĨŽƉƉŽƌƚƵŶŝƚLJŵĞĂŶƚ/ŚĂĚƚŽŵŽǀĞƚŽŐĞƚƚŚĞďĞƐƚĐŚĂŶĐĞƚŽƐƚƵĚLJ͘͞      -­‐  Former  youth  theatre  participant  and  1st  year  undergraduate  student         ¾ Where  will  the  PDA  take  place?    

Promote  YT  says:  Six  host  partner  youth  theatres  across  Scotland  will  provide  a  10-­‐month  placement  for   an  aspiring  practitioner.  Venues  will  include:  the  partner  youth  theatre,  Promote  YT,  Edinburgh  and   Adam  Smith  College,  Fife.       ¾ Who  is  the  PDA  aimed  at?    

Promote  YT  says:  In  the  pilot  year  (2014/2015)  we  will  target  young  people  up  to  the  age  of  25  who  have   the  aspiration  to  become  youth  theatre  practitioners.  By  equipping  young  professionals  with  high  level   skills  in  youth  theatre  delivery,  they  will  be  able  to  go  on  practice  their  craft  to  the  highest  standard  in   regional  youth  theatres  across  Scotland.  This  will  in  turn  increase  the  quality  of  youth  theatre  experience   and  performance,  fulfilling  WƌŽŵŽƚĞzd͛Ɛ  development  aims  of  investing  in  the  creative  future  of   ^ĐŽƚůĂŶĚ͛ƐLJŽƵŶŐƉĞŽƉůĞ  and  raising  the  profile  of  youth  theatre  as  an  art  form.     The  following  diagram  demonstrates  how  this  opportunity  fits  in  to  the  ͚bigger  picture͛:      

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¾ Is  the  level  right?    

Promote  YT  says:  dŚĞW͕ǁŝƚŚƚŚĞĂĚĚŝƚŝŽŶĂůƵŶŝƚŽĨ͚ĐƌĞĂƚŝŶŐĚĞǀŝƐĞĚƚŚĞĂƚƌĞ͛,  will  be  validated  by   Adam  Smith  College,  Fife  and  levelled  at  the  Scottish  Credit  Qualifications  Framework  (SCQF)  level  7,   equivalent  to  HNC  or  the  first  year  of  a  Scottish  undergraduate  degree.       The  PDA  will  provide  the  aspiring  practitioner  with:       9 A  fully  accredited  Professional  Development  Award        

9 A  10-­‐month  paid  work  placement  in  an  established  youth  theatre  organisation    

9 Two  residential  training  weekends    

9 Study  visits  to  observe  the  working  practice  of  the  five  additional  youth  theatre  organisations   also  hosting    a  PDA  student    

9 DĂƐƚĞƌĐůĂƐƐĞƐĚĞůŝǀĞƌĞĚďLJƐŽŵĞŽĨ^ĐŽƚůĂŶĚ͛ƐůĞĂĚŝŶŐƉƌŽĨĞƐƐŝŽŶĂůLJŽƵƚŚƚŚĞĂƚƌĞƉƌĂĐƚŝƚŝŽŶĞƌƐ    

9 A  platform  to  share  their  final  piece  of  devised  theatre  at  the  National  Festival  of  Youth  Theatre      

9 KŶĞLJĞĂƌ͛ƐŵĞŵďĞƌƐŚŝƉWƌŽŵŽƚĞzdon  completion  of  the  PDA       ¾ Is  there  a  cost  attached  to  participating  in  the  PDA  if  so,  who  is  responsible  for  meeting  this  cost?    

Promote  YT  says:  We  anticipate  there  will  be  no  fee  payable  by  the  learner  on  the  basis  they  have  not   already  achieved  an  undergraduate  degree.  This  is  something  out  with  Promote  YT.       ¾ How  flexible  is  the  structure  and  content  of  the  PDA?  Can  large  organisations  help  to  shape  this?    

Promote  YT  says:    The  PDA  consists  of  the  following  three  units:      

x

Unit  one:  Preparing  to  Deliver  Art  Form  Development  Sessions    

x

Unit  two:  Assist  Individuals  to  Experience  Art  Form  Practices    

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x

Unit  three  (work  based):  Arts  Education  in  Practice:  Monitor,  Evaluate  and  Develop  Practice  

x

Additional  unit:  Creating  Devised  Theatre    

ŶĂĚĚŝƚŝŽŶĂůƵŶŝƚ͕͞ĐƌĞĂƚŝŶŐĚĞǀŝƐĞĚƚŚĞĂƚƌĞ͕͟will  also  be  added  to  provide  aspiring  practitioners  with   the  foundations  in  the  devising  process  to  support  their  creative  and  artistic  understandings  of  how  to  do   this  in  a  group  setting.       It  is  our  objective  that  the  partner  youth  theatre  will  share  their  working  practice  and  mentor  their   aspiring  practitioner  accordingly  through  the  work-­‐ďĂƐĞĚƵŶŝƚ͕͞Monitor,  Evaluate  and  Develop  Practice͘͟ In  addition  we  aim  for  each  organisation  will  host  a  study  day  to  allow  the  other  five  learners  the   ŽƉƉŽƌƚƵŶŝƚLJƚŽƐĞĞĂŶĚƵŶĚĞƌƐƚĂŶĚƚŚĞŝƌLJŽƵƚŚƚŚĞĂƚƌĞ͛ƐǁŽƌŬĨŝƌƐƚŚĂŶĚ͘     We  plan  to  research  and  develop  the  PDA  through  discussions  with  both  the  wider  sector  and  youth   theatre  participants  throughout  2013/14  with  a  view  to  deliver  a  pilot  2014/15     x The  option  of  a  set  route  through  SKILL  UP  is  potentially  not  useful.  It  is  good  to  be  able  to  pick  and   choose  workshops.     x A  new  structure  for  SKILL  UP  is  a  great  opportunity.     x A  set  CDP  pathway  through  SKILL  UP  is  very  important  and  supports  those  in  the  profession.     x Workshops  facilitated  by  international  guests  are  an  important  element  of  SKILL  UP.     x It  is  particularly  relevant  to  have  structured  training  opportunities  within  a  profession  which  is  largely   freelance.     x The  SPARK  COLLECTIVE  provides  year-­‐round  CPD  opportunities.     x The  increased  SKILL  UP  fee  could  prevent  freelance  practitioners  attending  the  event.  £140  in  2013   (as  opposed  to  £110  in  2012)  is  too  much.          

Aim  2:  Promote  YT  will  raise  the  profile  of  youth  theatre  as  an  art  form       x The  proposal  of  CHRYSALIS  ʹ  festival  of  emerging  talent  is  the  most  important  element  of  the  Sector   Development  Plan  as  it  would  gain  respect  for  youth  theatre  as  a  discipline  and  an  art  form  and  offer   aspiring  young  artists  a  unique  opportunity  on  an  international  platform.  It  would  also  celebrate  and   acknowledge  innovation  in  youth  theatre.     x In  principle  it  is  a  good  thing  to  promote  quality  work  and  to  open  it  up  to  a  wider,  more  mainstream   audience.     x CHYRYSALIS  could  provide  a  bridge  for  young  artist  to  move  from  youth  theatre  into  a  professional   career.     x ,Zz^>/^ĐŽƵůĚƐŽŵĞŚŽǁƌĞƉůŝĐĂƚĞƚŚĞ͚DĂĚĞŝŶ^ĐŽƚůĂŶĚ͛ŵŽĚĞůǁŝƚŚƉĞƌĨŽƌŵĂŶĐĞƐĐƵƌĂƚĞĚďLJĂ programming  panel.    

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x An  age  range  for  CHRYSALIS  of  16-­‐21  would  make  sense.     x Raising  the  profile  of  the  art  form  will  increase  the  validity  of  the  profession  and  this  aim  is  broadly   ŐŽŽĚĂƐĂĐŽŵƉŽŶĞŶƚŽĨWƌŽŵŽƚĞzd͛ƐǁŝĚĞƌƐƚƌĂƚĞŐLJ͘     x How  does  Promote  YT  propose  to  support  ongoing  work?       x Questions  relating  to  CHRYSALIS  included:    

¾ Where  will  it  take  place?    

Promote  YT  says:  The  main  aim  of  CHRYSALIS  is  to  introduce  innovative  youth  theatre  work  to  new   audiences.  On  this  basis  we  are  looking  for  a  venue  partner  for  the  pilot  of  CHRYSALIS  in  autumn  2013.   The  venue  should  have  a  proven  appetite  for  new  work  and  an  understanding  of  its  role  in  supporting   and  championing  innovation  from  groups  and  artists  across  artistic  and  generational  boundaries.       ¾ What  will  the  age  range  be?    

Promote  YT  says:  The  age  range  is  likely  to  be  16-­‐21.     ¾ Why  will  there  be  an  age  limit?    

Promote  YT  says:  Due  to  venue  licensing  restrictions.     ¾ Will  more  high-­‐profile  work  have  more  of  a  chance  of  being  selected  than  smaller-­‐scale  work?    

Promote  YT  says:  All  work  will  be  considered,  however  a  key  factor  for  selection  will  be  innovation.     ¾ How,  and  by  whom  will  it  be  curated?    

Promote  YT  says:  In  its  pilot  year,  the  CHYRYSALIS  programme  will  be  decided  by  an  independent  panel   of  specialists     ¾ Can  the  sector  be  involved  in  the  selection  process?    

Promote  YT  says:  Not  on  this  occasion.     ¾ If  your  youth  theatre  is  not  selected,  does  this  mean  that  you  are  not  producing  quality  work?    

Promote  YT  says:  No.     The  CHRYSALIS  programme  will  be  intentionally  limited  (especially  in  the  pilot  year)  with  the  aim  of   presenting  a  snapshot  of  what  the  youth  theatre  sector  produces.  It  is  more  about  innovation  and  risk-­‐ ƚĂŬŝŶŐƚŚĂŶ͚ƋƵĂůŝƚLJ͛͘     ¾ Will  NFYT  become  the  poor  cousin  to  CHRYSALIS?    

Promote  YT  says:  No.     These  are  different  events,  aimed  at  different  audiences.  NFYT  will  always  provide  an  open  performance   platform  with  the  aim  of  peer-­‐to-­‐peer  sharing,  learning  and  socialising.  CHRYSALIS  will  be  targeting  new   audiences  with  the  aim  of  raising  the  profile  of  youth  theatre  as  an  art  form.     ¾ Could  CHYSALIS  change  the  focus  and  aspirations  of  YTs?      

Promote  YT  says:  We  hope  that  every  performance  experience  will  increase  the  aspirations  of  a  youth   theatre  group.      

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¾ Would  performers  be  paid?    

Promote  YT  says:  No,  however  we  hope  to  cover  participation  expenses.     ¾ Is  too  much  value  being  placed  on  something  which  may  become  elitist?    

Promote  YT  says:  CHRYSALIS  will  be  incorporated  into  WƌŽŵŽƚĞzd͛Ɛ  wider  programme  of  work.  While   the  individual  objectives  of  each  element  of  this  programme  (as  detailed  above  in  our  Sector   Development  Plan)  are  different,  they  all  contribute  in  equal  measure  and  with  equal  value  towards  our   ongoing  purpose  of  supporting  and  developing  youth  theatre  in  Scotland.       ¾ Could  lower  age  groups  be  incorporated  after  the  first,  pilot  year?    

Promote  YT  says:  Yes,  subject  to  venue  restrictions.     ¾ Will  raising  the  profile  of  the  art  form  overtake  developing  young  people?    

Promote  YT  says:  We  do  not  regard  these  aims  as  mutually  exclusive  and  they  are  both  of  equal   importance  to  Promote  YT.          

Aim  3:  Promote  YT  will  invest  in  thĞĐƌĞĂƚŝǀĞĨƵƚƵƌĞŽĨ^ĐŽƚůĂŶĚ͛Ɛ  young  people     x Investing  in  the  creative  future  of  your  young  people  is  the  most  important  element  of  the  Sector   Development  Plan  but  critical  development  is  equally  as  important  as  creative  development.     x /ƚ͛ƐŝŵƉŽƌƚĂŶƚƚŽŝnvest  in  the  creative  future  of  our  young  people  to  help  them  develop  their  own   identities  and  self-­‐confidence.     x Is  this  about  all  young  people  or  just  those  who  want  to  perform?  Should  it  read  ͚͙ŝŶǀĞƐƚŝŶƚŚĞ ĐƌĞĂƚŝǀĞĨƵƚƵƌĞŽĨĂůů^ĐŽƚůĂŶĚ͛ƐLJŽƵŶŐƉĞŽƉůĞ͛?     x Questions  relating  to  the  NATIONAL  FESTIVAL  OF  YOUTH  THEATRE  (NFYT  included:    

¾ ¾ ¾ ¾ ¾

How  will  performances  be  selected?   Should  the  age  limit  be  reduced?   Should  Promote  YT  make  decisions  on  age-­‐appropriate  material?   Could  CPD  sessions  for  group  leaders  be  introduced?   As  a  freelancer  working  with  more  than  one  YT,  how  do  you  decide  which  group  to  take?  

  x Being  able  to  see  every  performance  (as  opposed  to  having  to  choose)  would  be  preferable.     x Being  able  to  participate  in  NFYT  without  the  pressure  of  taking  a  performance  is  a  good  thing.     x Introducing  scratch-­‐style  performances  is  a  good  idea.     x Formal  feedback  for  the  young  people  would  be  preferable  to  an  open  forum  on  Facebook.     x The  agenda  and  priorities  of  individual  employers  may  prevent  freelance  practitioners  from  engaging   with  NFYT.     x There  are  significant  financial  and  time  implications  for  youth  theatres  from  more  geographically  

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remote  regions  (e.g.  the  Highlands)  to  attend  NFYT.  This  may  prove  a  barrier  to  engagement.     x A  lack  of  support  from  managers  in  local  authorities  to  take  groups  to  NFYT  is  a  barrier  to   engagement.      

  Aim  4:  Promote  YT  will  ĐŽŶƐŽůŝĚĂƚĞĂŶĚƌĞƉƌĞƐĞŶƚ^ĐŽƚůĂŶĚ͛ƐLJŽƵƚŚƚŚĞĂƚƌĞ  sector       x It  is  essential  that  our  sector  has  a  united  voice  and  that  we  shout  loudly  about  all  our  achievements.     x WƌŽŵŽƚĞzdĂĚĚƐǀĂůƵĞŚĞƌĞǁŚĞƌĞŝŶĚŝǀŝĚƵĂůLJŽƵƚŚƚŚĞĂƚƌĞƐĂŶĚĨƌĞĞůĂŶĐĞƉƌĂĐƚŝƚŝŽŶĞƌƐĐĂŶ͛ƚ͘     x Promote  YT  has  an  important  role  to  play  in  representation,  lobbying  and  advocacy  (with  Creative   Scotland  and  the  Scottish  Government).     x Sector  mapping  is  less  immediately  valuable  to  the  sector  than  it  is  to  Promote  YT  but  it  was   acknowledged  that  it  is  crucial  to  achieving  aims  1  and  2.     x It  would  be  helpful  to  know  the  questions  for  the  annual  Youth  Theatre  Sector  Survey  in  advance  to   allow  time  to  collate  the  information  required.     x The  questions  in  the  annual  Youth  Theatre  Sector  Survey  are  aimed  at  youth  theatre  managers  and  so   can  be  difficult  to  answer  if  this  is  not  your  role.     x There  needs  to  be  further  promotion  of  the  youth  theatre  sector  within  the  further  education  sector.     x There  are  significant  financial  and  time  implications  for  youth  theatre  representatives  from  more   geographically  remote  regions  (e.g.  the  Highlands)  to  attend  the  Sector  Symposium.  This  may  prove  a   barrier  to  engagement.       And  finally,  each  group  was  asked:    

Has  Promote  YT  missed  anything  in  its  Sector  Development  Plan?     x dŚĞƉŽƚĞŶƚŝĂůŽĨWƌŽŵŽƚĞzdĨĂĐŝůŝƚĂƚŝŶŐĂ͚zd:Žď^ǁĂƉ͛ƐĐŚĞŵĞďŽƚŚǁŝƚŚŝŶ^ĐŽƚůĂŶĚĂŶĚ internationally.     x Setting  up  more  platforms  (possibly  digitally)  to  facilitate  networking.     x ŶĂĐĐĞƐƐĨƵŶĚƚŽƐƵƉƉŽƌƚLJŽƵƚŚƚŚĞĂƚƌĞƐƚŽƚƌĂǀĞůƚŽƐĞĞĞĂĐŚŽƚŚĞƌ͛ƐǁŽƌŬ͘     x More  platforms  and  funds  to  enable  cross-­‐organisational  working  opportunities.     x Access.     x Sharing  work  digitally.     x There  was  an  acknowledgement  that  Promote  YT  needs  to  manage  its  resources  and  priorities.     Page  8  of  9  


x WƌŽŵŽƚĞzdŶĞĞĚƐƚŽĐŽŶƚŝŶƵĞƚŽĨŽĐƵƐŽŶĚŽŝŶŐǁŚĂƚŽƚŚĞƌŽƌŐĂŶŝƐĂƚŝŽŶƐĂƌĞŶ͛ƚĚŽŝŶŐ͘      

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SECTOR SYMPOSIUM 2012 Feedback from Group Discussions