The Young Critics is a programme of the National Association for Youth Drama (NAYD) in Ireland.
NAYD is the development organisation for youth theatre and youth drama in Ireland. NAYD supports youth drama in practice and policy, and supports the sustained development of youth theatres in Ireland.
NAYD advocates the inherent value and the unique relationship between young people and theatre as an artform, and is committed to extending and enhancing young people’s understanding of theatre and raising the artistic standards of youth theatre across the country.
The Young Critics Programme is part of NAYD’s commitment to developing youth theatre members’ awareness and appreciation of the aesthetic of theatre.
The Young Critics Programme brings youth theatre members together to:
- attend workshops in the critique of professional theatre;
- attend professional performances at leading Irish festivals;
- give their own critiques of the performances at the Young Critics Panel.
Young Critics 2016
The Young Critics for 2016 will run from April 22nd – Oct 9th 2016. Full list of participating Youth Theatres are here .
Young Critics 2015
The Young Critics Panel took place in Project Cube on Sunday October 4th at 1pm.
Young Critics 2014
In addition to the two great weekends of theatre, 2014 saw some new innovations to Young Critics. With the support of local venues and arts centres, the Young Critics had the opportunity to see a production in their home venue with their own youth theatre. From here, they each recorded a video blog review and four were invited to write reviews of those productions. Those reviews are available to read here.
The Young Critics Panel took place in Project Cube on Sunday October 5th at 1pm.
Young Critics 2013
There are two different strands to the Young Critics programme for 2013. The first strand is the regular Young Critics programme, where 16 young people will come together to watch, discuss and critique theatre over two separate weekends culminating in the Young Critics Panel as part of the Dublin Theatre Festival on October 6th in Project Arts Centre.
In March the group saw two productions. They were:
King Lear by William Shakespeare directed by Selina Cartmell at the Abbey Theatre
I,Malvolio written and performed by Tim Crouch
The second part was The Young Critics International Encounter at the Cork Midsummer Festival.
16 young people from Austria, Ireland and Norway took part in weekend Encounter to learn all about watching and critiquing theatre. They were also out and about at festival events forming their own opinions and finding out what the audience, thought of some of the productions on offer. They also hosted a Talking Shop at the Camden Palace Hotel between 3pm and 5pm on Sunday 23rd June
At the ‘Talking Shop’ audience members had the chance to find out how festival audiences had been responding; had the opportunity to chat to the Young Critics and were able to observe live recordings of interviews with some of the festival artists.
The Young Critics International Encounter was a partnership between NAYD, The Cork Midsummer Festival, The Stamsund International Festival, Norway and Biondekbuhne Youth Theatre, Austria.
This event was part of the Young Creatives strand of the Arts Council of Ireland’s Culture Connects programme for Ireland’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
Young Critics 2012
In 2012 we were delighted to announce an expanded Young Critics programme. In addition to two weekends in Dublin, participants would also attend performances at the Cork Midsummer Festival.
The dates and locations are:
- April 13-15, Dublin
- June 22-24, Cork Midsummer Festival
- October 5-7, Dublin Theatre Festival
Participants will attend at least eight performances while on the programme. They will also participate in workshops and discussions with international theatre critic Dr. Karen Fricker and Alan King, NAYD’s Youth Theatre Officer. The final weekend in Dublin will feature the Young Critics Panel, a public panel discussion, organised as part of the Dublin Theatre Festival.
It is an exciting opportunity for youth theatre members with an interest in theatre criticism. To quote a Young Critic from last year:
It has opened up a whole new world of different types of theatre, and different ways of looking at theatre.
The programme is open to members, aged 16 or over, from NAYD affiliated youth theatres. Participation is free of charge: the cost of travel, accommodation and food is covered.
The Young Critics Panel takes the form of a public discussion forum and has taken place in October for the last number of years, as part of the Dublin Theatre Festival.
In this blog the Young Critics will be sharing their views on not only the productions they have seen but also their experiences of the whole Young Critics programme
Some Feedback from former Young Critics
‘’The programme has deepened my appreciation for how theatre is made as well as the role of the critic. It has enabled me to express my opinions while taking into consideration the views of others. It has given me an amazing opportunity to see top-class theatre.’’ Young Critic 2014
Young critics was an amazing experience and it was one of the best things I’ve done in youth theatre.’ Young Critic 2014
‘’I found the programme very interesting and and it made me realise that a career in the arts is achievable’’ Young Critic 2014
‘’it has given me both the opportunity and the reason to seriously consider what my life would be like if I went down the path of arts in my life.’’ Young Critic 2014
‘’I have made many amazing friends I will definitely keep in touch with’’ Young Critic 2014
‘Seeing the plays made me more excited about theatre, it made me want to go see more shows and to experiment in the non-acting elements of theatre when I returned to my own youth theatre.’ Young Critic 2013
[The Young Critics] has improved my ability to watch theatre in a critical manner and my ability to write reviews. I met lovely people and made lots of new friends.’ Young Critic 2013