The Theatre Royal’s youth group, originally called Second Star Youth Theatre, was established in October 2014 by Millie Hardy-Sims. It started with a play that was the culmination of a week’s worth of work as part of a half-term project, The Lost Boy. Second Star then became part of the Workington Playgoers organisation and is now a valued part of the theatre. We aim to put on three productions a year for friends, family, other members and the public.
In 2017, Millie went away to university, and the Workington Playgoers established a Youth Council to undertake the task of running SSYT. The Youth Council is a committee made up of older group members who were originally selected by the Playgoers’ Council. Currently they are Sophie Mackenzie, Lindsey Hewitt and Ellie Wilson. All current members of the Youth Council have been DBS checked. Alongside the Youth Council is the Youth Leader who oversees the Youth Council and is the responsible adult for the youth group on Saturday mornings. This role is currently being filled by Georgia Douglas-Brown. The youth group is supported by the Safeguarding Team who oversee the safeguarding aspects of the youth group, including organising chaperones for our shows. The team is made up of: Helen Earl, Morgan Sweeney, Georgia Douglas-Brown and James Last. As Youth Leader, Georgia is also a member of the Playgoers’ Council.
In June 2018, the Youth Council decided SSYT needed a change. The youth group was rebranded as ‘Theatre Royal Youth’ or TRY, to bring the Playgoers and youth group closer together and encourage the ‘brand name’ of the Theatre Royal. Paul Adams who, as Youth Facilitator, was instrumental in setting up the Youth Council and appointing the Youth Leader, facilitated the transition from SSYT to TRY. He continued until TRY were able to govern themselves, resigning in March, and so closing the period of transition. TRY are grateful for his work.
Theatre Royal Youth is designed to help young people aged 8–18 develop confidence and teamwork skills, learn about all aspects of theatre (on and off-stage!), make friends and perform. We aim to provide children with skills including stage makeup, set building, acting, costume making, directing and much more. We also aim to give our members one-of-a kind opportunities. These have included competing in the Little Theatre Guild Monologue Slam in 2019, where three of our members reached the Youth Final and one of our members received 2nd place.
In February 2020, members of TRY aged 13+ competed in the National Theatre Connections Competition, performing a brand new play, ‘Tuesday’ by Alison Carr, written specially for the competition. We performed at our home theatre and were scheduled to perform at the Theatre by the Lake in March 2020, but were unfortunately unable to do so, due to the global coronavirus crisis. Nevertheless, we are grateful for the opportunity to take part in this project.
If you (or a family member) are interested in getting involved, please do get in touch. We are always happy to hear from you.
Contact us on:
‘Theatre Royal Youth’ on Facebook
Our sessions are held on Saturday mornings, from 10am to 12 midday.
There is an Annual Subscription of £10. This also includes tickets to see all age-appropriate Workington Playgoers productions at the Theatre Royal.
by Alison Carr
National Theatre Connections
Swallows and Amazons
by Arthur Ransome
Adapted by Helen Edmundson
Alice in Wonderland
Written by Lewis Carroll
Adapted for the Stage by Brainerd Duffield
Directed by Sophie Mackenzie
Written by Charles Dickens
Adapted for the stage by Paul Adams
A Christmas Carol
Written by Charles Dickens
Adapted for the stage by Guy Williams