Hello Venue Managers,
As you probably know the Young Critics is one of NAYD’s most popular programmes. Every year sixteen young people from across Ireland are selected to take part in the programme. Typically this involves two residential weekends each year in which the Young Critics get to see up to five professional theatre productions, participate in many workshops around the art of criticism and then take part in a public panel discussion as part of the Dublin Theatre Festival. NAYD fully subsidises all costs for the participants.
Last year we piloted some new and exciting angles to the Young Critics Programme and were able to expand the Young Critics programme beyond those lucky sixteen that get to take part.
Through a partnership approach we are involving more young people in their local communities, developing stronger relationships between venues and youth theatres and helping to build and sustain local audiences for theatre in that community.
We are approaching local Arts Centres and venues to come on board to help support the development of the Young Critics.
Between now and the end of May we are asking the Young Critics to become programmers and select one professional production that they feel they and their fellow youth theatre members might enjoy. With the support of their youth theatre leader they will then organize a theatre trip to a professional production in their local Arts Centre or venue.
We are asking venues to include their local Young Critics on their mailing lists and also offer them two complimentary tickets to a suitable professional production in their venue between now and then.
It is also hoped that the venue could offer each youth theatre a Special Youth Theatre Group Rate to that performance. You probably already have this in place anyway it is the perfect opportunity to introduce one.
The Young Critics will then do a short video blog on the piece they saw and submit it to NAYD. From here, four of them will be invited to write reviews for the Young Critics Blog.
These reviews will then be published and freely available to all.
The benefits are huge for all involved. The venues will be building new audiences and all the young people will get to see even more quality theatre at discount prices. This should encourage them to go and see more theatre and broaden their love and knowledge of the art form. As cost is one of the biggest factors in not attending theatre we believe that once the spark is ignited, and there is an added incentive to attend, they will choose to go to more and more performances over the coming years. This will also have a very a major positive impact on how they make their own theatre.
All partner venues will be fully credited on the NAYD website and will be thanked in person on the day of the Young Critics Panel during the Dublin Theatre Festival.
If you had any insights on how we could make this offer more attractive or any other insights you might have we would welcome your input.
This has already proven to be a really worthwhile departure for the programme and one that we would hope to develop and establish over the coming years.
We look forward to working with you this year.
The response from venues has been amazing. We are adding to it daily. So far the venues that have come on board to support the initiative are:
The Riverbank Arts Centre, Newbridge, Co. Kildare
Project Arts Centre, Dublin
The Dock, Carrick On Shannon, Co. Leitrim
Civic Theatre Tallaght, Dublin
Backstage Theatre, Longford
Axis Ballymun, Dublin
Friars’ Gate Theatre & Arts, Kilmallock, Co.Limerick
The New Theatre, Dublin