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Start date: Aug 1, 2016, End date: Dec 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

This is an EVS project with Kildare Youth Theatre in Newbridge. Two young people from Austria and Denmark will come to us for one year from September 2016 and work alongside their peers in creating drama, facilitating workshops, developing new theatre and film projects, and becoming involved in the day-to-day running of the youth theatre.The project is driven by the needs of the volunteers. They wish to gain experience of working in theatre in an English speaking context. They want to deepen their knowledge of drama facilitation. And they wish to develop their own performance and acting skills.The volunteers are themselves members of youth performance ensembles: one is from Austria's largest youth theatre and the other is from a circus in Denmark and is now studying acting. They are 19 years old.The volunteers will shadow professional drama facilitators and professional directors each week at workshops and rehearsals. They will also take part as performers in groups brought together to create new drama. And they will work on their own performance material, especially in preparation for audition to third level acting courses, with the help of a dedicated theatre teaching team. Each will be supervised and mentored, and supported in keeping learning journals and reflection tools. They will be introduced to some of the theory underpinning the use of drama as a medium for youth development, and especially to its use as a tool for improving mental health in young people. They will share their learning via online blogs and some video work.This project comes in response to the expressed need of young people in our partner organisations across Europe to gain youth drama facilitation experience, and acting experience, in an English-speaking theatre organisation. They want this in order to progress to third level (in the latter case) or to employment (in the former case). They recognize that this industry (theatre and film) is dominated in Europe by English-speaking institutions and bodies, and that some of the most recognised third level degrees are from UK universities. Competition for a limited number of places on these courses is fierce and open to the whole world. The young people from our partner youth theatres are at a disadvantage in that their level of English, their experience of classical acting in English, and their dramatic fluency in English, is not at the level of the majority of those applying for places in the courses. So this project is a beginning. It's the start of a process that will hopefully have useful impact over time. The idea is to bring young people (who want to train as actors or drama facilitators) from non-English speaking countries to work for a year with us and to gain experience, skills and abilities that will help them apply for places on third level courses that are currently a little out of their reach. In time, we hope that we will be able to expand this service to include more young people. At the moment we are starting with two.
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