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Targeted Inclusion Work

Targeted Inclusion Work & Free Opportunities 

Equality and inclusion are at the core of our charitable aims and we are committed to working to remove economic, social or geographical barriers that might prevent young people from accessing our opportunities.

We offer a wide-range of free targeted opportunities, designed to reach young people who face financial, social or geographical barriers that prevent them from accessing high quality drama, while our Bursary Fund awards over £650k worth of support every year to ensure that financial barriers don’t prevent young people from engaging with our opportunities. 

We share the concerns of colleagues and friends in the industry and beyond about the accessibility of creative educational opportunities and if you'd like to get in touch about access you can email us on info@nyt.org.uk 



The National Youth Theatre Bursary Fund 

Our dedicated Bursary Fund provides £650k worth of support every year to young people taking part in our auditions and backstage interviews, summer intake courses, productions, projects and free long-term training programmes. Young people can apply for a bursary to cover audition fees and travel costs, course travel, fees and accomodation and subsitence whilst taking part in our courses or productions.  

Fee Waivers are also available to those who meet the outlined criteria, for Auditions, Interviews and Company Membership.

Islington Pledge 

As part of Islington Council's '11 by 11 Islington Pledge' National Youth Theatre is able to provide Hub Subscription Fee Waivers to Islington Residents who meet the eligibility criteria specified here

Free Participation Activity 

Auditions Access Fund 

The Audition Access Fund was created thanks to support from NYT Patron and alumnus Hugh Bonneville and is now in its third year. It’s designed to remove financial, geographical, cultural and other barriers that might prevent young people auditioning through partnerships with organisations rooted in their communities around the UK. Our 2021 partners for the Auditions Access Fund are: 

  • Black Ticket Project, National 
  • Black Sheep Collective, Milton Keynes 
  • Theatr Clwyd, Flintshire
  • Lighthouse Arts Centre, Poole 
  • Mayflower Theatre, Southampton 
  • The Playhouse, Derry 
  • Royal and Derngate, Northampton 
  • Slung Low x Leeds City College, Leeds 
  • The Workshop, Kings Lynn

Free Activity around NYT Productions 

We regularly work to deliver free workshops and events to engage local community members around National Youth Theatre productions. In 2019 we staged a Community Tour of Luke Barnes' Lost Boys, visiting schools, libraries and arts centre across the North West, and in 2021 are offering free digital workshops and events to local young people as part of our REP Season National Tour. 

Work with Partners 

Through partnerships with community organisations, charities, non-mainstream education provision, local authorities and participatory arts organisations we work to increase the number of underrepresented young people engaged in our work. 

Shout Out Loud

National Youth Theatre is currently a consortium partner on Shout Out Loud, English Heritage's National Youth Engagement programme, focused on engaging young people in arts and heritage.

In September 2019, NYT created and performed Our House with a company of NYT Members and participants from METRO Charity exploring the LGBTQIA+ history of Eltham Palace. You can watch a short documentary about the project here

NYT is currently working on a new project, Freedom and Revolution, exploring and focusing on the history of Black women at the English Heritage site Portchester Castle. A new production, The Ancestors, written by Lakesha Arie-Angelo will be staged at the castle in Summer 2021. 

Youth West 

From 2018-2021 NYT is working in West Norfolk as part of the Youth West partnership, delivering free workshops, auditions and activities to local young people in the area. 

Targeted Projects 

Over the past few years we have worked on numerous outreach projects across the UK. These include: Exploring Backstage with Backstage Niche, providing introductory sessions around Backstage Careers for young people from ethnic backgrounds currently underrepresented in the creative industries; ShortFlix a free film initiative designed to discover and nuture talent from backgrounds under-represented in the industry in partnership with Creative England and Sky Arts; Acronymity a YouTube series with Team Angelica featuring young talent who identify as LGBTQIA+; and Wherever I Lay My Head - a project with young refugees exploring the disruptive impact of trauma on the young people’s lives, particularly on their ability to sleep.

Free Long Term Programmes 

Playing Up & Stepping Up 

Our free flagship social inclusion course Playing Up is a part-time accredited 10 month drama training programme for young people aged 19-24 not in education, employment or training or at risk, leading to a Level 3 qualification. As well as drama training, Playing Up students receive travel bursary support, free theatre tickets, pastoral and academic support, a professional industry showcase, help applying for higher education and free drama school auditions. Playing Up offer vital second chances to young people to get back on track. 

Stepping Up is Playing Up's sister programme, leading to a Level 2 qualification. 

The NYT REP Company 

Inspired by the traditional repertory theatre model, the NYT REP Company is a free alternative to formal education offering practical, industry-based full-time talent development in drama and performance over nine months to 16 NYT  members, who also receieve bursary support amd subsistence. Launched in 2012, over 100 18-25 year old members have taken part in this unique free opportunity. 

Bryan Forbes Bursary 

A £10,000 bursary,mentoring from an industry professional, the opportunity to train for free with the NYT REP Company for 8 months full time and the chance to assistant direct and direct NYT REP productions. 

Talent 250

We never charge a young person a fee to take part in a production and are committed to offering over 250 opportunities, outside of our REP and Playing Up companies, every year for young people to peform on stage at leading venues. 

Inclusive Practice

Our work with d/Deaf, Disabled and Neurodiverse young people 

Inclusive Practice is essential to the work that we do, and we want to make sure that NYT is always a welcoming and accessible place for disabled and neuro diverse young people. As part of this commitment we are a Cultural Inclusion Manifesto supporter, and run a programme of targeted work which has recently included successful partnerships with London SEND schools Highshore and Samuel Rhodes, inclusion training for all NYT staff, associate artists and inclusion ambassadors, the introduction of relaxed performances and auditions, commissions foregrounding disabled stories and successful creative collaborations with sector leaders Diverse City, Extraordinary Bodies and Touretteshero. 

If you want to find more about our work please contact participation@nyt.org.uk

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