ABOUT CENTRAL YOUTH THEATRE
Since 1983 Central Youth Theatre (CYT) has been Wolverhampton’s leading youth theatre. Founded by its current director, Jane Ward, hundreds of young people have passed through, many of whom have gone on to study drama and are now working professionally in theatre, film and television.
The Local Educational Partnership supports the youth theatre to ensure it is affordable for all young people from across the City.
CYT is a registered charity (No 1130961) members, parents, friends and former members play an increasingly vital role in helping us to raise funds and support the ambitious work of the group.
The youth theatre currently has two bases – one at the Newhampton Arts Centre – where our facilities include an administrative office and shared rehearsal rooms.
We also have a base at the former Antique Market Hall next to the retail markets in Salop Street. Our – CYT@The Arts Market (see link) now houses our extensive collection of more than 10,000 theatrical costumes (which we hire out to the community) and also has offices, and rehearsal space..
Provide opportunities for young people aged 8-25 to learn a broad range of skills associated with the dramatic arts.
Stage theatre productions of the highest possible standard. Develop interest in, and understanding of, all aspects of the production process, so that the final performance becomes the responsibility of young people. e.g. lighting, sound, stage-management etc.
Expand young people’s flexibility through group work, ensuring each young person works co-operatively and with respect for the view of others. Through this awareness encourage self-discipline.
Maintain an emphasis on “group development”, but at the same time offer support and encouragement to individuals who express an interest in exploring further education opportunities beyond the youth theatre.
Promote interest in, and knowledge of, different theatre forms through workshops, seminars and visits to theatres throughout Great Britain and internationally.
Respond where possible to the needs of young people from different cultural backgrounds, and those young people who have special needs.
Encourage more mature members of the youth theatre to assist in the development of the artistic work and the day to day management of the youth heatre, providing them with valuable experience and further training.
OUR ARTISTIC WORK
CYT has a strong reputation for the diversity of its production work and is unique in the UK for the amount of international work we undertake.
Here is an example of just some of the work we have undertaken:
WEST MIDLANDS 2012
We were the onlyouth Theatre in the UK to stage a huge Cultural Olympiad International Theatre Festival to mark London 2012 and the Olympics. Entitled Everybody Dance Now the project was a celebration of the history of social dance. It involved the site specific transformation of Low Level railway station into a Ballroom, a large scale International Youth Theatre Festival and performance work by six European Countries (See link).
European Youth Camp – Hall, Austria – 2003 & 2009
Focus International Theatre Festival – 2008 – Berg Im Drautal, Austria
Inscenario Festival – 2006 – Baden, Austria
Austrian Theatre Festival– Hall, Austria – 2005
Youth on Stage Festival in Leuven, Belgium – 2003
Soukani Festival – Ostrov Czech Republic – 2001, 03, 05, 09 & 2013
Buratino Children’s Festival – Stollberg, Germany – 2010
International Theatre Treff –- Lorrach, Germany – 2004 & 2006
Days of European Culture Festival – Paderborn, Germany 2004
Cabinteely International Youth Drama Festival – Ireland – (94, 97 & 2000). In the 97 festival the group scooped twelve awards for best group and individual performances.
Hollawind Festival – 2005 & 2006 – Brixen, Tyrol, Italy.
Sapperlot International Youth Theatre Festival – Brixen, TyrolItaly (in 2000, 2002 & 2004) CYT won the prize for best production in 2000.
Rezekne International Festival – Lativa – 2004
Fitag International Theatre Festival – Girona, Spain – 2010
International theatre exchanges to Russia (89 & 90), Lithuania (89) Estonia (89) Austria & Italy – 2001
In 2004 & 2010 we undertook residency projects at Buckland Hall, Wales, working with members of CYT and young people from Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania and Poland, .
Hosting international exchanges with groups from with Russia (90) Lithuania (91) Hungary (97) & Bosnia (2006)
National Youth Arts Festival – N. Devon, UK (87/88/89/92/94/98/99)
Edinburgh Fringe Festival – (88/90/91)
WORKSHOPS WITH INTERNATIONAL & NATIONAL TUTORS FROM:
The RSC, Royal National Theatre, Academic Theatre Vilnius Lithuania, Tag Theatre Venice, Belgium, Austria, Czech Republic, Italy and Richmond, USA, along with many other freelance drama specialists.
RANGE OF PERFORMANCES
From text based classics to modern contemporary playwrights and devised work including such scripts as:
Scully, Blood Brothers, Look Back in Anger, Macbeth, They Shoot Horses Don’t They, Archangels Don’t Play Pinball, Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit, Anna Karenina, Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, Alice in Wonderland, The Bar Mitzvah Boy, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest. Charlie & The Chocolate Factory, Cyrano De Bergerac, Daisy Pulls it Off, Ptang Yang Kipperbang, The Snow Queen & Stags & Hens.
CYT stages shows at both The Newhampton Arts Centre & Wolverhampton University Arena Theatre.
We have also staged six very successful productions at The Grand Theatre including the specially commissioned The Supreme Sunbeam (2007), The Mill on the Floss (1997), Toad of Toad Hall (1997), A Tale of Two Cities (1996) A Midsummer Nights Dream (1995) & Jungle Book (1990).
Performances are also staged in local Schools, community venues and site specific locations.
FILM & TV WORK
In 1985, CYT was selected from 500 groups around the country to devise and create a half hour TV drama as the English film in an International Film Series entitled “It’s Our World” The film – “It’s Good ‘Ere ‘Innit” was shown not just on Channel 4, but also in Japan, Israel & Australia.
Local film and TV companies frequently contact CYT and members have been involved in TV programmes such as The Big Object (Channel 4), Merchant Ivory’s The Feast of July, Crime-watch, Jupiter Moon, The Bill & The People’s Millions
The Youth Theatre has also produced a number of its documentaries and films including:
Travels with Morris – six 90 second comedy shorts commissioned by First Light Films (2012)
Everybody Dance Now – A Documentary about our Cultural Olympiad International Youth Theatre Festival – (2011)
Dance like the Bird that flies – A Documentary on Asian Dance Culture in W.ton (2011)
David’s Story – A Documentary about a young person’s transition to further education
Sunbeam – A Drama Documentary based on the Memories of George Peck (2009)