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TeeNEXTers Festival 2014

25th-29th November 2014, Lille, France

Our friends in Theatre Le Grand Bleu in Lille invited us and other young European performers and critics to take part in an exciting project for young critics, called TeeNEXTers in November 2014.


Together with Peter Hussey, 5 young Kildare Youth Theatre members traveled to Lille from 25th to 29th November to attend performances at the associated NEXT Festival and learn about critical reviewing and writing. 


The young people saw productions from exciting French and Belgian dance and theatre companies, showcasing post-dramatic, experimental work that left the audience divided in opinion. The young people then worked with Peter Hussey, Gareth Vile and other artists to make performace-based responses to the work which were presented in theatre le Gramd Bleu on the final night.


The irish participants (pictured below) were Megan Mc Sorley, Sarah Mc Cormack, Caolán Dundon, Evan Lynch and Lauren Kelly.

Intercity Florence 2014

22nd-26th October 2014, Florence, Itlay 

Artistic Director Peter Hussey, in collaboration with young actor and Kildare Youth Theatre member Caolán Dundon, curated a workshop with young people as part of the 27th Intercity Florence Festival, in Teatro Della Limonaia, Florence.


The workshop ultimately was a staged reading of My Book of Faces by Israeli author Inna Eizenberg, a work which looks at young people on Israel and their distrust of government.


The workshop culminated in a performance which was presented on Oct 26th at 9pm in Teatro Della Limonaia.

The work done during the workshop started from character creation and movement, both choral single, exploring the text, subtext and intentions. A portion of the workshop was also aimed at using film elements.

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A Dreamy Future Youth Exchange 

1st-10th September 2014, Petralia Sottana, Sicily, Italy 

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As seen overleaf, 'A Dreamy Future (In My Hands)' was an Erasmus+ funded Youth Exchange in Sicily, Italy hosted by Associazione Turistica Pro Petralia Francesco Tropea. It also involved the participation of  Siaures Lietuvos Kolegija of Lithuania, Het Schienvat of the Netherlands, Tmelnik O.S. of the Czech Republic and Asociacion Juvenil Intercambia of Spain - with six young actors from each company participating. 

The rural location of the exchange suites its theme perfectly - youth unemployment, and exploring theatre to discuss the emotions felt by workplace discrimination and ageism, as wella s exploring alternative systems of employment such as a 'green economy'. 

Upon arrival, each country presented a self-made short documentary showing where they come from, their style of theatre and local cultures. Throughout the week, participants from all countries split up into groups of all nationalities to devise theatre and build friendships. 

The exchange used its surroundings, Sicily, to highlight an example of a green economy, and during the exchange participants went on a nature hike, and visited the local hydroelectric plant, amongst other trips.

The exchange then culminated in a presentation from each group, showing that they had made during their 10 days. Work produced included a short play, a cartoon, a documentary and other art forms. 

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Community Drama Club Summer Camp 

7th-11th July 2014, Scoil Na Naomh Uilig, Newbridge 

The Community Drama Club was a Léargas supported initiative by Kildare Youth Theatre and our Crooked Mice group to bring theatre to a younger audience. 

It began with a series of training sessions for older Kildare Youth Theatre members on how to facilitate drama and games for young people. 

The initiative ultimately culminated in a Crooked House summer camp, which took place in Scoil na Naomh Uilig in Newbridge, during the schools' summer holidays. 

A week long camp, kids aged between 5-13 spent 3 hours a day playing games, hanging out, and learning some basic theatre. 

There were three groups, a Junior Group aged between 5-8, a Middle Group between 8-10, and a Senior Group between 10-12. 

Activities for all the groups included Arts and Craft, Drama, Dance, and Music. Each group finished the week with a small performance in front of one another. 

There were a total of 19 Kildare Youth Theatre members who helped to run the Summer Club, which was headed by Peter Hussey. 

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2nd-6th July 2014, Glenrothes Hall, Fife, Scotland 

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RE:LOCATION is a bi-annual theatre festival, first taking place in 2012. Co-funded by Youth Theatre Arts Scotland and Rogaland Theatre of Norway, RE:LOCATION 2014 took place in the same venue as the yearly National Festival of Youth Theatre Scotland, which Kildare Youth Theatre also participates in every year. 

28 participants from youth theatres in Scotland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, France, Germany, and of course Ireland, all

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camped together at a local private field in Fife, and used the nearby Glenrothes Hall shopping centre as the host venue. The complex contains its own theatre space with a stage and raised seating, and empty store fronts were used as workshop spaces. 

RE:LOCATION's participants worked together in multicultural workshops and ultimately devised a play called The Homecoming. The festival co-incided with the aforementioned NFYT festival, and The Homecoming was performed on the final night of this festival, to audience of 300 young actors and members of the public.

More can be read about RE:LOCATION 2014 on its official, publicly viewable report.

Acting Out Youth Exchange

21st-29th June 2014, Newbridge

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Acting Out was an Erasmus+ funded youth exchange hosted in Newbridge by Kildare Youth Theatre, on the theme of difference and otherness in Europe. The project used theatre as a device to discuss and raise awareness of difference and otherness in the context of European identity, and involved the participation of Associação Juventude de Candelária of Portugal, BiondekBühne of Austria, and Be Enriched Enterprises of the UK.

Some of the core aspects touched on during the exchange were the exploration of issues of cultural, gendered, ethnic, social, political and sexual difference as well as raising awareness of the factors that have an impact on 'difference' amongst young people in particular (such as popular culture, music, all types of media, peer groups, national culture and tradition, gender stereotyping, family, and school). 

At the beginning of the exchange, each theatre company brought with them a short presentation, to help break the ice. Throughout the week, participants were split into groups of mixed-nationalities to work together and devise pieces of theatre based on the topic of the exchange. Pieces were then performed at the end of the exchange by each individual group. 

Participants also spent a day touring Dublin, hosted an impromptu Open Mic, and also watched a performance of Karmazoo by Cáolan Dundon.

Watch a short edited documentary on Acting Out below:

Watch the final performances below:

Visit the Acting Out Official Facebook Group Page to look at images taken, moments shared, and memories reminisced from throughout the exchange.

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Public Displays of Infection 

31st May 2014, Crooked House

"Of all of evolution's mistakes, the greatest is love."

Four boys share their stories of entering the fray. First loves, high hopes, treasured wounds.


Four girls remake Aphrodite, Mary, Marianne and Marlyn in their own image.

Public Displays of Infection mixes short monologues with select scenes from William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, and was about teenagers in love. Each performance took place in different rooms of our Crooked House studio, with small audience numbers rotating from performance to performance. 

It was the product of an intensive and limited workshop group for older Kildare Youth Theatre who were interested in pursuing third-level acting and theatre called the 'Young Actors School'


Public Displays of Infection was a once-off performance from Kildare Youth Theatre for JuneFest 2014 in The Liffey Studio, Newbridge. 

"Then love-devouring death do what he dare;

It is enough I may but call her mine."


Europe on Stage 

10-19th May 2014, Dresden, Germany 

As can be seen overleaf, Europe on Stage was an Erasmus+ funded theatre training course intended on improving facilitation skills for older members of European youth theatres. 

Organised by Jugend & Kulturprojekt E.V. of Germany, it involved the participation of theatre companies from all four corners of Europe. 

Senior Kildare Youth Theatre Members Rachel Lally, Amy Fleming, Gillian Harrington and Emmet Faherty were chosen to travel to Germany for the skill course. 

The skills they learnt from working with other theatre cultures, were brought back to be used in future Kildare Youth Theatre workshops.

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William Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet' 

7th-8th May 2014, The Moat Theatre, Naas, Co. Kildare


Watch Act 1 Scene 1 below:

In a city dominated, and used as a playground, by two powerful banking families, one spoilt young teenager is thrust into manhood by the events that unfold after he becomes one young woman's only hope of freedom.


In 2013, the young performers in Kildare Youth Theatre staged a very well-received Macbeth. In 2014, the cast bring to the stage characters who are closer in age to themselves.


Romeo is seen as a spoilt, bored young teenager in love with being in love, writing melodramatic poetry and disillusioned with the empty and vapid life led by his friends and family.  Juliet is a prize, owned by her father and maintained in perfect readiness for marriage by her distant mother, but inside she yearns to escape the prison they’ve placed her in. When she meets Romeo all things change. He feels real love and she sees a chance to get out. His inability to do anything in moderation leads to a chain of events that she must control before she loses her escape route forever.


In this production the young are pitched against the old; the young struggle to find a place for themselves in a materialist, capitalist city where they only have value as hooks and bait which their parents use to expand their empires. Played by actors who are close in age to the characters, it becomes truly shocking to see the lengths they will go to – suicide, murder, manslaughter - in order to escape their fate.


The production was true to the text, unedited and running the full length. Music, lighting and costumes were all designed by the young company.


The cast was led by Caolán Dundon as Romeo, Emma Lynch as Juliet, Mo Kadem as Friar Lawrence and Eadaoin Barrett as the Nurse. The full cast of 26 were drawn from all over Kildare and were composed of pupils from nine secondary schools in the county. It was directed by Peter Hussey.


This production was funded by The Arts Council under its YPCE Programme Fund.



Romeo Montague - Caolán Dundon

Juliet Capulet - Emma Lynch

Nurse - Eadaoin Barrett

Friar Lawrence - Mo Kaddem

Mercutio - Paul Miller

Benvolio - John Cleary

Tybalt - Jerry Chikwe

Lady Capulet - Emma Finegan

Lord Capulet - David Devaney

Lady Montague - Éimhear Mulhare

Lord Montague - Eoin Harnett

Prince Escalus - Paul Miller

Abraham - Evan Lynch 

Samson - Terry Norman

Gregory - Jack Mc Hale

Balthazar - Megan Mc Sorley

Count Paris - Jack Higgins

Peter - Katie O' Connor

Potpan - Jae Suen

Apothecary - Karl Botfield

Servant - Emily Mc Tigue

Chorus - Allie Whelan

Sergeant of the Watch - Evan Lynch

Watch - Ryan Keane, Graham Butler Breen, Rachel Foran

Citizens - Gemma Lynch, Elena Walsh

Guards - Shaun Doyle, Eron Ferizi

Friar John (Soeur Jean) - Elena Walsh



Directed by Peter Hussey

Assistant Director - Mary Mc Dermott

Lighting by Keith Burke and Paul Winters

Music by Eoin Harnett, Mo Kaddem and Shaun Doyle

Projection Designs by Alice Bennett

Stage Assistant - Dylan Aspell.

Watch a documentary on how we staged the play below:

A playlist featuring more scene previews, discussions on embodying characters, and more, can be found on our Romeo and Juliet YouTube playlist

Youth Encounters 2014 

21st-26th April 2014, Lille, France 

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Youth Encounters was a youth exchange project which used theatre and artistic collaboration to explore young people’s understanding of their own culture. It was hosted be Le Grand Bleu of Lille, France. Like many youth exchanges, Youth Encounters aimed to gather young people of varying European nationalities in order to share their experiences and artistic practices.

The project involved the participation of the hosts Le Grand Bleu, as well as Rogaland Theatre of Norway, Laboratorio De Las Artes De Valladolid of Spain, a collection of local Lille-based Secondary-level art schools, and of course Kildare Youth Theatre. 

Core themes of the project included; 

  • Core values of youth European identity, and what it means to be a hero or a good citizen

  • Through the theme of heroism, the ideas of bravery, strength, and revolt

  • Sharing each countries unique style of theatre-making and performing in multi-cultural workshops

Before they arrived, each participating group devised a theme with the only prompt provided being "Utopias and Heroes".

Kildare Youth Theatre presented a play called Flawless to the Exchange - a play on "suffering for beauty". A recording of it can be viewed below.

Throughout the exchange, all participants were mixed into different groups and ate meals together, forming and bonding relationships between the differing nationalities. 

Daily workshops, featuring young people from all participating countries and lead by facilitators from their theatre companies, culminated in a collection of performances on the final night. These performances were inspired by the discussions on European identity. A day was also spent exploring the city of Lille. 

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NT Connections Festival 2014: 'Same' & 'Hearts'

11th-12th March 2014, Riverbank Theatre | 23rd March 2014, Liffey Studio | 29th March 2014, Lyric Theatre Belfast

We presented two brand new plays as part of the National Theatre (UK) Connections project, especially for teenagers by two of Britain’s most inventive new writers. They were Same by Deborah Bruce and Hearts by Luke Norris, performed one after the other in that order.


KYT have taken part in Connections since 2002, and have performed 28 plays from the Connections repetoire of new work for young performers. This year's production brings the total to 30.


"The Connections Portfolio is a wonderful collection of work," says Peter Hussey, Artistic Director of the youth theatre. "It has given us the opportunity to present not only new plays, but very often we've been the company who've brought the work of international writers to Ireland for the first time. It was a real thrill, for example, to be the first company to stage any work by Norwegian playwright, Jon Fosse, in the country. We premiered his play, Purple, in Ireland in early 2003. And while the premieres are by youth theatres and not professional companies, the fact still remains that Irish audiences get their first taste of many international playwrights through this sector. We also presented the first work in the Republic of Ryan Craig, Fausto Paravidino, Bryony Lavery, Denis Kelly, and Laline Paull. This has all been thanks to Connections.  The two new plays we present this year will also be the first time these writers' work has been seen here."


Hearts by Luke Norris is about football. It is set in the changing rooms of a local, unimpressive, football team. It explores the tensions and rivalries of the team, and of the girls who support them. The play is about perseverance, struggle and hope – a sharply observed comedy appealing to anyone who has ever struggled to get a football team off the ground.


Same by Deborah Bruce is set in a nursing home for the elderly. It has a set of characters in their 80s and some in their mid-teens. It looks at the similarities between the two groups and how, ultimately, we are all the same. It also deals with family, death and loss in a touching, real and humorous way.


Peter Hussey directs the plays, which feature a cast of 22 and a crew of 10 young people from all over Kildare. Some of the group are very experienced, having been in several plays over the last three years; while for others this marks their stage debut.


The Young:

Emma ... ... ... ... ... ALANNAH RYAN

Fay ... ... ... ... ... ...  HAZEL EGAN

Harry ... ... ... ... ...  SÉAN O' BRIEN

Sarah ... .... ... ... ... SARAH MC CORMACK

Callum ... ... ... ... .. ERON FERIZI

Jo-Jo ... ... ... ... ... ... SOPHIE RYAN /

                                 EMILY MC TIGUE


The Old:

Clare ... ... ... ... ... ...EMMA FINEGAN

Marion ... ... ... ....  ÉADAOIN BARRETT

Sadie ... ... ... ... ... . EMMA LYNCH

Alf ... ... ... ... ... ...    CAOLÁN DUNDON

Eddie ... ... ... ... ...  JOHN CLEARY

Grace ... ... ... ... ... AOIFE TAYLOR

Josie ... ... ... ... . ... MEGAN MC SORLEY

Harry ... ... ... ... ... JERRY CHIKWE-IWU






Directed by PETER HUSSEY

Lighting by KEITH BURKE












Mo Kaddem


PRODUCED by Crooked House Theatre Company





The Boys:

Pie ... ... ... ... ... EVAN LYNCH

Harry ... ... ... ...CAOLÁN DUNDON

Reedy ... ... ... ...JOHN CLEARY

Mary ... .... ... ... JERRY CHIKWE-IWU

Langers ... ... ...JACK HIGGINS

TJ ... ... ... ... ... ... JASON SUEN

Leon ... ... ... ... .PAUL MILLER

Blackhall ... ... .EOIN HARNETT


The Girls:

Bella ... ... ... ... ...MEGAN MC SORLEY

Simone ... ... ...   ALLIE WHELAN

Jade ... ... ... ... ... KATIE O' CONNOR

Jo ... ... ... ... ... ... GEMMA CAREY

Tiff ... ... ... ... ... .. RACHEL FORAN

Becky ... ... ... ...  MOLLY KIELY



Since 1995, the National Theatre in London has been commissioning plays from established writers specifically to be performed by young people across the UK and Ireland. Founded by Suzi Graham-Adriani, with Helen Prosser, Connections invites groups to perform one of the ten new plays at Regional Festivals held at a professional theatre in their area. In Ireland the annual regional festival has been held at the Lyric Theatre, Belfast; the Everyman Palace, Cork; Riverbank Arts Centre, Newbridge; and the Grand Opera House, Belfast.


A random performance group from each play is then chosen to stage their production at the end of the programme in July at the National Theatre itself. In 2003 Kildare Youth Theatre was one of the ten selected, and premiered Mark Ravenhill's Totally Over You. In 2007 the young company was again selected and performed Ravenhill's Scenes From Family Life at the National. Since 2003, Kildare Youth Theatre has performed 28 new plays from the Connections portfolio, including many by Irish writers. 2014 marked the first year Kildare Youth Theatre chose to select and perform two Connections plays, running them back to back with unique casts. 


Any young company from the UK or Ireland, school drama group, or youth theatre (whose members are aged 13 to 19) may apply to take part in Connections, the world's largest festival of youth theatre. 


In 2014 Connections was supported by the Arts Council of England.

Reviews of Hearts and Same can be read on our Awards & Reviews Page


See below a collection of some other noteworthy moments for KYT in 2014:

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From the 8th-13th July 2014, a collection of younger Kildare Youth Theatre members traveled to Kilkenny for the Ireland's National Festival of Youth Theatre. 

150 participants and staff from all over Ireland participated in the festival, located in Kilkenny College, where they all stayed in the college's dorms. Throughout the week, the participants shared meals, worked alongside one another and bonded over evening events, all organised and funded by the National Association of Youth Drama. More can be read about NFYT here.

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