2017 You Were Awesome! From, Katie Cawthorne & Alicia Wyatt

As we sit to write this final editorial for 2017, we cannot believe that the year has come to an end! This year has been remarkable for many of our young people and we are proud to see the level of development in all of our young artists. We can’t wait to see what they have in store for 2018!

As you all know, the year was jam packed and we explored the concept of ‘being me’. We kicked off the year with the inaugural i’m me festival performed by 7-12 year olds for 7-12 year olds. It was a huge success – seven brand new works of theatre were presented to our enthusiastic audiences as they enjoyed crepes, flower crowns and danced the night away under the big tree in the courtyard. We are looking forward to reimagining this in 2019!

We were thrilled to tour our successful 2016 production, The Verbatim Project to Sydney in July and through the support of our community, we were able to take the cast of 16 to the Australian Theatre for Young People for an amazing season. It was exciting to have our second season of the show supported by Canberra Theatre Centre in the Courtyard Studio and again sold out this incredible work. 

After Sydney, we were straight into The Company Ensemble’s work, poem every day at Ainslie Arts Centre. Responding to Joshua Bell’s poetry, our audiences were immersed in the work as the cast performed around them, taking them on a journey, celebrating weirdness and individuality.

versions of us was our final work of the year and a fantastic collaboration between the playwright, Emily Sheehan, co-directors and cast. This work reminded audiences of the nuances, challenges and joys of being a teenager. 

Our productions were made even more successful due to the commitment and expertise of our Technical Theatre Team, supported by their specialist tutors.

The 2017 Workshops Program also focussed on ‘being me’. It’s been thrilling to see the calibre of work devised within all age groups and the bravery of our young people in telling their stories. We would like to thank our brilliant tutors who work so hard to support our young people’s voices. 

Finally, Canberra Youth Theatre would not have seen this success in 2017 without our dedicated community. Thank you and we can’t wait for 2018!

CYT Night Out! From GM, Alicia Wyatt

It is November already! It is crazy to think that 2017 is almost over after an incredible year for all of our young artists. Things are still buzzing here at CYT and we still have a number of exciting events and performances taking place in the last two months of the year. 

After the incredible success and support of our inaugural CYT Night Out in 2016, we have decided that this night of fun and laughs has to become an annual event! Read below to get all of the info and make sure you book your table quickly, before they are all gone! Again, the local businesses of Braddon have been generous and contributed some amazing prizes. I am sure you won’t want to miss out!

The End of Semester performances are only weeks away and we are so excited to see what each Ensemble has been working on. CYT prides itself on the work coming directly from our young artists, ensuring that they all have a voice that is heard. Make sure you read below all of the important information regarding the performances commencing the week of Monday 13 November. If you have any more questions, just call our fabulous Workshops Coordinator, Stef on 02 6248 5057.

Over the past year, Katie has been refining all the details for the 2018 Artistic Program and we can’t be more excited to present this at the CYT Christmas Party on Friday 8 December from 5.30 pm. Invites will be getting to members soon, so please put this date in your calendar, send through your RSVP to Jess and get ready to hear about the amazing work that will be taking place in 2018!

I say this every year, but Katie and I are immensely proud of every single one of our young artists. The level of commitment to their learning and respect of their Ensemble members makes CYT a very special place to be.

Chookas! From AD, Katie Cawthorne

versions of us is here! Rehearsals began last week on this beautiful script that has been written especially for us by Emily Sheehan. As always, the process is rapid and intense but our amazing cast and creatives are enjoying the privilege of being able to totally to immerse themselves in a work to truly get to know it.
As Artistic Director of Canberra Youth Theatre, it is such a pleasure to observe this creative team of the playwright and our two Co-Directors Jess Baker and Jamie Winbank leading this production, mentoring our young artists as they produce this work that they have collaborated on from start to finish. This process truly demonstrates the ethos of CYT, with the content generated by our young artists with our professional artists working to shape and distill the piece.
A reminder that tickets sell fast for our shows, so please book now to see this affecting new work. Please note also, that this piece is not appropriate for audiences below 13 years of age. It contains coarse language as well as mature concepts such as suicide, self harm and sexual themes.
A huge chookas to this amazing team, which includes our young technical artists and their Technical Theatre tutors for a fantastic season!

Villains, Poems and Yellow Chairs Go Travelling From GM, Alicia Wyatt

July has been a busy time at CYT and we have spent the entire month working on all of our remaining productions for the year. We commenced the month with our 13 – 17 years cast of versions of us working with their co-directors Jess Baker and Jamie Winbank and playwright, Emily Sheehan for the second creative development. Over the three days, the cast explored the concept of the differing versions of ourselves that we become according to whose company we’re in. Through these developments, the cast are working with their directors and playwright to develop a new fictional work. 

Alongside this creative development, we also commenced our final rehearsals for The Verbatim Project. With another season at the Canberra Theatre Centre before we headed on tour, our cast were thrilled to be back together, working on this beautiful production. You can read all about our tour below!

The July school holidays also meant it was time for the Winter Holiday Workshop for 7 – 12 year olds. Our young artists worked with CYT alumni and tutor Casey Elder for five days where our young people explored character work, focussing on what it means to be a villain! This resulted in some very amusing characters presented in their performance to family and friends on the last day of the Workshop!

Semester 2 Workshops have now commenced for both our Gorman Arts Centre and Primary School Workshops. It is wonderful to see everyone back in their Workshops excited for the remainder of the year. We are thrilled to welcome new young artists and their families to CYT as well as welcoming new tutors to the company. Pablo Latona is tutoring our Turner Thursday Workshop and Zoe Swan is working with our Lyneham School young artists. We also would like to welcome back Errenn Ball from maternity leave who is tutoring the North Ainslie Primary School Workshop and the 13 – 15 Years Ensemble. Here is to an exciting and creative Semester 2!

Finally, we are excited to be heading into production for The Company Ensemble and their new work, poem every day. Information about tickets and performances can be found below and we look forward to seeing everyone there!

Keep warm everyone! 29 days until spring, (but who’s counting!!)

Production Season at CYT! From GM, Alicia Wyatt

It is the busy season at CYT! While the days are getting shorter and colder, things are definitely warming up, bursting with creativity and energy here at CYT!

This week we have welcomed CYT Alumna, Emily Sheehan and award winning playwright, to work with twelve young people for the upcoming production of versions of us. Alongside Co-Directors Jess Baker and Jamie Winbank, the cast have been participating in an intensive three-day creative development process. This fictional new work will explore the differing versions of ourselves that we become according to whose company we’re in.  Rehearsals will continue for this amazing new work in September with the performances taking place in October. We can’t wait to see this new work!

Next week begins the intensive rehearsals for The Verbatim Project. We are excited to present a new development of this remount after a year of growth from our cast. Many of you saw this beautiful work last year, but there a few changes, so we know you don’t want to miss out on seeing the cast of ten young people and six GOLD Company Members! See below for ticket details.

Our Winter Holiday Workshop starts next Monday where 15 young people aged 7-12 years will be working with CYT Tutor, Casey Elder. Our holiday programs are designed to build confidence and fundamental skills in voice, movement, character and story and we can’t wait to see their performance on their final day.

Semester 2 Workshops are already filling up fast! Workshops commence Monday 24 July for both Primary School and Gorman Arts Centre Ensembles, so head to the CYT website to secure your enrolment and avoid disappointment.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our CYT families who support our young people during production time. With numerous rehearsals and meetings that are often scheduled, we appreciate the time taken to ensure everyone is at their rehearsal on time and ready to create!

Such a busy time at CYT and we wouldn’t have it any other way!