Goodbye

From Katie and Alicia 

What an awesome four years it has been! It has flown by, but as we sit here and write our final editorial, we are amazed at what CYT has achieved in this time. When we started in 2015, we were immediately struck by the openness and drive of all of our young artists. This attitude and level of commitment has intensified over the years and this is why CYT is regarded as one of the leading youth theatre companies in Australia. 

CYT has accomplished so much in recent years;

  • Skin at the National Portrait Gallery in August 2015, which set the tone for the style of work that continues to this day, 
  • The rebrand of CYT in 2016, shifting the company into the contemporary space along with our new website design.
  • The incredibly successful work The Verbatim Project, which provided a platform for the young and older voices in our community to be heard. We were so pleased that we were able to share this work over two years, in Canberra and Sydney.
  • Our annual fundraising event, CYT Night Out, has gone from strength to strength with the amazing support of our community.
  • The exceptional quality of our Workshops Program where young artists have the freedom to explore what matters to them, and develop theatre where their voices are always heard.
  • Our young artists have been exposed to so many elements of the theatre industry and through the production program they have worked with professional directors, playwrights and other specialist artists. 

Most importantly, we are proud to have created a home for all of our young people where they are safe to be themselves.

We couldn’t do our jobs without the incredible people we have worked over the years, our office staff, tutors, creatives, and board who have shown fierce commitment, investment and care for Canberra Youth Theatre. Thank you to Ainslie and Gorman Arts Centres along with our wider community for all of your support and belief in what we do. 

And finally to you, our very special young people.
You are the reason we come to work every day. 
Stay strong in your voice, and look after each other. 

Big loves,
Katie and Alicia

November @ CYT !

And just like that, our 2018 productions are all done. We finished our program with the 13-18 years work, Faster, co-devised by the cast and our fantastic directors, Emily Sheehan and Kyle Walmsley. The team worked intensively over the school holidays to develop this high powered performance piece which reminded the audience of the inner turmoil experienced at this age as hormones and brain development clash. Faster was a visual feast, with a beautiful lighting design executed by our emerging Lighting Designer Ethan Hamill and tech team member Lachlan McEwen. Audiences sat outdoors in the courtyard at Gorman Arts Centre, some on beanbags, some on chairs and took in this striking work as the sun set and the wisteria spread its fragrance. 

As always, our audience left feeling emotionally charged, taking parts in lots of discussion about what they’d seen. It was a huge show logistically, bumping sound, set and lighting in and out each night, only achievable because of our hard working team. Thank you to everyone who assisted with this, we often had new supporters, making our job easier each night and we very much appreciated it! 

In October we also had a fabulous little ensemble for our Spring Holiday workshop, developing an intimate performance in C Block, supported by friends and family. We’re now hurtling towards our end of semester performances for Gorman Arts Centre, presenting two showing of each work on 19 and 20 November in C Block. This is a good time to remind everyone of the need to be in attendance at workshops!

In the office, we’re excitedly preparing for our 2019 Launch, to be held on Friday 7 December in the Courtyard at Gorman Arts Centre, where all will be revealed for next year – put it in your diaries! 

FASTER @ CYT ALICIA WYATT

We have only just closed Fading, and we are already into production time again for our final work of the year, Faster! The cast of young artists aged 13 – 17 years, have been working with their co-directors in creative developments since June, developing a new work for our audiences. You can read more about this incredible production below and make sure you book your tickets now as they are already selling fast!

CYT has had an amazing few weeks with the success of The Company Ensemble’ s work Fading at Canberra Theatre Centre. We were thrilled to sell out the season as well as participate in CTC’s Education Program, ensuring schools in the region were able to see the work created at CYT. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our community for continuing to support our young people and the work they create. A huge congratulations to The Company Ensemble for their professionalism and constant enthusiasm throughout this remarkable season. 

It doesn’t seem to slow down here at CYT and we are excited to welcome our Holiday Workshop young artists next week from 8 – 12 October. They will be working with their tutor to develop a new work, presenting this to their family and friends next Friday afternoon. They might even get to see a sneak peek of the rehearsals of Faster throughout the week!

Workshops commence back at CYT from Monday 15 October and we are heading into the final weeks of the Gorman Arts Centre semester with our young artists working on their performance piece for presentation in November. We are so excited to hear what they have to say and see their ideas come to life!

PRODUCTION WEEK @ CYT KATIE CAWTHORNE

It’s production time again! Fading opens in five days and we can’t wait for audiences to experience this beautiful play written by Laura Lethlean in collaboration with the 2018 Company Ensemble. Laura has written, about the play; 

Under the pressure of independence and the expectations that come with adulthood (make money, move out of home, choose a career, vote, drive, drink, gamble, make new friends, wonder who your old friends are, navigate sexual relationships, stay safe, take risks, explore the world outside your home town, keep up with family, decide what your politics are…etc) we can come to feel like we are standing beneath a cascading torrent of advice and choices and decisions. We begin to forget how to disentangle what other people say from what we want to say. In all the chaos, we forget how to listen to ourselves. So what do we do?

Well, this is a play about that – about when we come out the other side of school, when we are plunged in to the fractured, chaotic, abstract and metaphorical space between childhood and adulthood. Fading is about dealing with that pressure, whilst at the same time straining to hear our own voices through the chorus of exterior advice and expectations. 

You will see our performers delve headfirst into this space; into their own pasts, into the world of their own reflections and even go on elaborate bear hunts to try and figure out their own way forward. And, if they’re lucky, they might have time to stop, take a breath and look behind them to see how far they have come. 

Book your tickets now to see this poignant new piece of theatre at the Canberra Theatre Centre from 12 – 15 September. 

We still have lots on the horizon after Fading – our annual Audition Intensive is on the first weekend of the school holidays and is a must for those preparing for Drama school auditions, which will begin to take place around the nation in October. Our Faster rehearsal intensive takes place throughout the school holidays, with this provocative new work being performed for three nights only in the Gorman Arts Centre courtyard from 18-20 October. 

If you’re serious about theatre and listening to young people’s voices, don’t miss these opportunities to see important and brave new theatre! 

SEMESTER TWO @ CYT ALICIA WYATT

Welcome to Semester 2 at CYT! It is great to kick off CYT Workshops this week, welcoming so many new members to the CYT community! Our Gorman Arts Centre and Primary School Workshop Programs are already bustling with creativity and enthusiasm and we can’t wait to see the incredible work that we know will be produced. We are so excited to also welcome new tutors this semester! Joel Horwood and Bec Mestroni will be teaching at Gorman Arts Centre and Christopher Carroll, Jemma Collins and Claire Holland will be working across our Primary School Program. We are thrilled to have such incredible artists working with our young people.

CYT also runs programs during school holidays and we had long-time CYT tutor, Cathy Petocz teach our Winter at CYT Holiday Program from 16 – 20 July. Our group of 7 – 12 year olds created a thought-provoking and sometimes hilarious new work based on the UN Convention on the Rights of The Child. These young people worked hard over the course of the week and Cathy and myself were so impressed with their development of ensemble so early in the process. 

It wouldn’t be CYT without a busy few months ahead! The Company Ensemble is in rehearsals working on Fading which will be opening on Wednesday 12 September at The Courtyard Studio, Canberra Theatre Centre. You can read more about this work and the playwright, Laura Lethlean below!

Our final production of the year Faster, has the second creative development with the co-directors and cast this month! Stay tuned to our Facebook and Instagram pages for updates about this exciting new work with our 13-18 years’ cast!

Finally, here in the CYT Office, we would like to say a huge ‘goodbye and see you soon!’ to our amazing Administration and Marketing Coordinator Errenn! Errenn is heading off on maternity leave for the reminder of the year and we can’t wait to meet the newest CYT family member! We look forward to lots of visits and cuddles with the little one soon!