Since launching Albany Youth Theatre back in September 2022, we have had 2 very exciting terms along with 2 fantastic performances! As we go into Term 3 this evening, we asked Youth Theatre Director, Vicky Basterfield, to tell us the story of AYT so far.
It’s been amazing to welcome so many young people to The Albany over the past 2 terms. Both groups have formed such a supportive, friendly and fun environment and leading the sessions on a Wednesday evening is always a highlight of my week!
It was really important to me that all members had ownership over the sessions, and could have full creative freedom. I wanted them to have the opportunity to learn about everything that goes into creating a show, not just the performance side. Therefore, we’ve had sessions with our technical team on lighting/sound and set design, we’ve learnt about costume design, directing skills and had script writing sessions! It’s been great that after these sessions, members of AYT have taken the roles of directors, writers and designers alongside performing in our shows.
In term 1, we decided together the theme would be fairytales, and we wanted to put our own twist on them! The Juniors devised a performance about what might happen if all of the stories we know and love got mixed up and the seniors decided to create a piece about what might have happened before the start of the story. All members did fantastic in our sell-out show at the end of term – for some it was their first time performing in front of a large audience and it was great to see how much they’d grown in confidence since the first session.
It was great to welcome new members to AYT in term 2, as the Juniors decided they wanted to work on a scripted piece and the Seniors gave themselves the challenge of writing their own musical!
The juniors decided on a mystery play, The Mystery of the Missing Medallion by the Sheridan Playwrights. We had so much fun bringing the different characters to life, working on comedic timing and learning how to build certain atmospheres for the audience. We had sessions on important performance skills, including vocal and movement work, and it was great to see how these skills developed during the term.
The seniors decided they wanted to write a musical based on Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream. We used improvisation and devising techniques before writing our script and deciding on songs. It was a real team effort for all aspects of the show, including some fantastic choreography done by our members!
After all that hard work in term 2, it was great to see things come together in another successful showcase performance! I was so proud of them all and it’s always wonderful to see how proud they are of themselves for all of their achievements in each of the terms.
What Comes Next?
I can’t wait to see all of our amazing young people again this evening and welcome new faces! It’s going to be another fantastic term for sure!