NSY members are trained and supported by adults actors from the parent company, Next Stage, as they take on challenging scripts and have the chance to perform in cutting-edge drama.
NSY was started by The Mission Theatre’s Artistic Director, Ann Ellison BEM, 26 years ago. “Since I started our youth theatre company in 1994, thousands of youngsters have enjoyed the fun and friendship the group has provided,” she explained. “There are no auditions or stressful selection processes and NSY has always been open to any 11 to 18-year-old who wants to further their theatrical interests.
“Youngsters are trained in performing arts, fight choreography, backstage work and production skills. If any of our youth members have applied to audition for theatre schools, universities, or National Youth theatre placements, we have always been happy to provide individual training and coaching if necessary. I have seen so many young people gain confidence and life skills by coming along to our Sunday sessions each week in term time.
“I think in 2020 there has never been a more important time for us to provide the opportunity for young people to meet safely in a theatre environment and work on a variety of dramatic projects. Over the summer, we have devised creative ways of running warm-up sessions, safely distanced rehearsed and improvised scenes, and later in the term all members will be working towards a production to be staged at the theatre in 2021.
“We have followed government advice in creating a safe meeting and performing area – the theatre has been fitted with screens, hand sanitisers and optional masks are available, and we have bought a fogging machine that deep cleans the auditorium after every session. I can’t wait to welcome the new class of 2020 and see The Mission Theatre coming back to life after a bleak few months.”