creating adventures with young people in Newbridge, Ireland since 1996
The group is a drop-in session where we devise, learn performance techniques, build teamwork, and explore issues that are relevant to this age group. Anyone can come along to the session provided they are at least 11. The group devises drama based on their own themes and ideas. They also have the opportunity to take part in NT Connections, the classical play, and exchanges throughout the year should they wish to. We strive to maintain an equal number of boys and girls in the group. Young people may join at any time in the year. Oberon runs from September to July, including on bank holidays and on mid-term breaks. There is a two-week break at Christmas and at Easter. All members must complete a membership registration form with their parents. Members MUST be 11 when applying due to insurance and other reasons.
For Ages: 11-13
We regularly run informal open mic nights, for our members and also for any young person (aged 13 to 20) who is not a KYT member. These are low-fi gigs for musicians, singers, spoken-word artists, dancers, poetry readers and anyone who has a desire to perform in front of their peers. It is a supportive, vibrant atmosphere with positive feedback and encouragement. Check our Facebook page for the next one.
For Ages: 11-20
This workshop explores devising and improvisation, building performance techniques and experience as it progresses. The sessions are fun and games-based. Participants devise short scenes and stage them for each other during the workshop. The themes chosen are those relevant to this age group. Each session involves feedback and discussion of the short scenes devised. They also can take part in NT Connections, the classical play, and exchanges throughout the year should they wish to. Young people may join at any time in the year. Touchstone runs from September to July, including on bank holidays and on mid-term breaks. There is a two-week break at Christmas and at Easter. All members must complete a membership registration form with their parents.
For Ages: 14-16
Caliban is a workshop company for older teenagers. In it we develop different styles and techniques of performance in a fun and engaged way. This group devises drama based on their own themes and ideas. They stage one devised piece of theatre every year and can take part in a scripted play - NT Connections. They may also take part in the classical play, and in exchanges throughout the year should they wish to. Travel opportunities also present themselves from time-to-time, where several of the group may be selected to take part in theatre encounters and exchanges in Ireland and abroad. They also can take part in NT Connections, the classical play, and exchanges throughout the year should they wish to. Young people may join at any time in the year. Touchstone runs from September to July, including on bank holidays and on mid-term breaks. There is a two-week break at Christmas and at Easter. All members must complete a membership registration form with their parents.
For Ages: 17-19
Bachram (Senior Ensemble)
This workshop is for older performers who have committed a few years to Kildare Youth Theatre, or who are experienced stage performers. It is not open to general membership. We maintain 18 places in the Senior Ensemble and competition for a place is high. Members are invited to join, usually when existing members leave. Alternatively, young people with enough stage experience can request to be auditioned to take part in the ensemble. If successful, they will go on a waiting list and join the ensemble when a place is free. The group works on advanced performance structures, creating devised shows during the year. Most of the projects have been to date funded by the Arts Council Young Ensembles Scheme. It involves the group researching and devising a piece to be staged in Riverbank in late January or early February. The ensemble members work with Peter Hussey to make their shows which often tour to festivals abroad. Check our films section for examples of previous work (The Penal Laws, The Act of Oblivion, Venetians).
For Ages: 20-25
Exchanges are central to Kildare Youth Theatre. Every year we host a multitiude of EU funded, Erasmus exchanges to destinations all across Europe, often during the summer months, sometimes for as long as two weeks. Here, participants get to interact with youth theatres from a number of countries, devising joint theatre projects together. Previous locations for exchanges include Greece, France, Spain and Norway to just name a few. Generally, exchanges require applications from our members.
For Ages: 13-25
Recent productions have been Hamlet (2019), Macbeth (2018), King Lear (2017), The Merchant of Venice (2016), Macbeth (2013), Romeo and Juliet (2014), Othello (2015). The cast are auditioned from all the workshop ensembles, and from any schools who are interested. Auditions are also open to non-workshop members, and these are held in September. Rehearsals begin in September and happen on Wednesday evenings (6pm – 8pm) Sundays (5.30pm – 8.30pm). You are rarely needed for rehearsals every Wednesday and Sunday – it depends on the scene we are rehearsing each day. The show is staged around the first week in May for 5 performances, two of which are matinees for schools (so you need to be able to take those two days off school/college). Young people who would like to attend rehearsals to observe, and who are studying the play for their Leaving Cert, are welcome to come along. Please contact us at beforehand. See our Films section for full plays and trailer/teasers for each of the plays we’ve done to date.
For Ages: 14-25
NT (UK) Connections
Since 2002 Kildare Youth Theatre has taken part in this festival of youth theatres run by the UK National Theatre (NT) in London. Each year the NT commissions ten new plays from established writers and offers them to over 200 youth theatres and schools around Britain and Ireland to perform. KYT has performed over 30 of the new plays since 2002, including brand new work by Mark Ravenhill, Enda Walsh, Lisa McGee, Denis Kelly, Jon Fosse, and Nancy Harris. Every July, just ten of the 200+ youth theatres are selected to perform their play in the South Bank in London’s West End and three times, KYT has been selected to stage their play in The National Theatre (in 2003, 2008 and 2015). Rehearsals for Connections begin in the autumn; the play is staged locally in March and feedback is given by a director from London’s NT. Then it travels to be staged in the Lyric Theatre in Belfast in April. To be an actor/performer in this project you must audition, but there are roles for musicians, stage managers, sound and lighting technicians, designers, props and costume managers, and a host of other technical roles, all of which you just sign up for. Most of the cost of taking part in Connections is subsidised by Crooked House, but you will have to pay for a trip to Belfast (bus and hostel accommodation for 2 nights) in March/April when we perform at the Lyric Theatre. This cost usually averages €80 - €100. Further information about the NT Connections programme is available here:
For Ages: 12-19
Senior Cycle School Play
Each year we stage one of the non-Shakespearian texts on the curriculum for Leaving Cert English. Previous productions have been Wuthering Heights (2019), By the Bog of Cats (2018) and A Doll’s House (2016). Auditions for this project are usually in early summer (June or July). Rehearsals begin in July and continue through to November, when the play is staged in Riverbank Arts Centre, Newbridge. The rehearsals are usually on Saturdays, and in the summer they are often held on week-days too.
For Ages: 14-25
June Fest Plays
Each year we stage at least 2 scripted plays, or one devised play, for June Fest. June Fest is a community festival in Newbridge. The plays are performed in our own studio, unless they are made to be site-specific. They are usually under an hour in length. Auditions for these plays take place from December to January. Rehearsals are then arranged at times to suit the cast and director. Previous productions for June Fest have included The Séance (2019), Purple (2019), A Little Box of Oblivion (2018), Delicious Intent (performed in tents in the park in 2016), Car Plays (staged in cars in a car park in 2015), and Do Not Disturb (staged in hotel bedrooms in The Gables in 2014).