We aim to establish a fully integrated theatre company that would cater specifically for the 18 ‚Äì 25 age range made up of older members from our weekly drama classes (Skillshops) and participants who took part in the Arts in the City Scheme which we ran last year. Arts in the City was a project for young people who have been, or who are currently in, care
It ran from 4:47 PM, 9 December 2011 to 11:23 PM, 14 November 2014
The Young Company would support participants aged 18 ‚Äì 25 in a positive environment where they can learn about the art of theatre making. Through a variety or workshop opportunities participants will be able to explore and develop skills in performing arts, express ideas, discuss opinions, share knowledge and information while learning from and supporting each other. Involvement in the young company would encourage teamwork and commitment in tandem with developing important social skills such as self confidence, self esteem and self expression. Young company participants will meet for a total of 40 workshops throughout the year. In addition to the weekly workshops there will be a supporting social programme of regular theatre visits, post show discussions and meet and greets with actors and directors. This supporting social programme will give the young company a chance to meet industry professionals and be inspired both as artist and audience. Young Company participants will also have the opportunity to develop and devise their own work which they will have creative freedom and ownership of. This will lead to a public performance in the Tron Changing House each year. As part of the programme of activities we would aim to bring the Young Company to the National Youth Theatre Festival to perform on an annual basis. This would give the participants the opportunity to meet and work with other national and international youth theatre groups and watch a variety of new performances. Initially there will be 15 places available each year for young people aged 18 ‚Äì 25 to participate in the Young Company. Five of these places will be specifically held for young people leaving care. Lead facilitators and workshop assistants will have access to training provided by Leaving Care Services to equip them with appropriate skills and contacts should any of the young people involved require additional support. During 2008 the Tron supported the young people involved in ‚ÄòArts in the City‚Äô in writing, developing and performing their own production of Burst Bubbles based on their experiences of the care system. In March when we were presenting the final production we asked a number of our older skillshop participants to provide support. This move proved to be an extremely successful one and through the joint rehearsal process and feedback collated it was evident that all the participants had benefited significantly from the integrated process and learned from the overall experience. The cost of skillshops is currently covered within our core budget and we offer classes for young people up to the age of 17. However many of our members have expressed a desire to continue their relationship with the organisation after that age and whilst we do have an adult drama group, the majority of participants are 30+. Younger people who have been referred to this group do not tend to stay as they feel the age range is too broad. By establishing a Young Company we would be addressing a gap in provision, a demand for which we have already clearly identified, whilst also providing an opportunity to develop and nurture the relationships which were established during the Arts in the City Project. In doing so we would aim to increase opportunities for participation, build bridges in the community and develop better understanding amongst the young people involved. The approximate age for young people leaving care placements averages out at 16yrs. The typical age of young people leaving the family home is 22yrs. Within recent years there has been an increase in the prevalence of young people who have been formerly ‚Äòlooked after‚Äô presenting with complex needs. Many of these young people require additional support in relation to their mental health, well-being, drug or alcohol dependency, offending behaviour, homelessness or a combination of all of these issues. The majority move rapidly through a variety of placements and experience little stability. 30% of all the young people who present as homeless in Glasgow have had a previous care experience. There are a variety of projects and placements running through out Glasgow however Leaving Care Services are particularly keen for this group of young care leavers (18 ‚Äì 25) to access mainstream services and to have the opportunity to meet and work with young people from a variety of different backgrounds. Tron Young Company would provide this opportunity. The Tron as an organisation is committed 100% to this area of activity. We set up the Arts in the City project at the request of Glasgow City Council and now feel strongly that we have a responsibility to continue to engage with the participants of this project. A hard-earned trust in the Tron has now been established amongst both Arts in the City members and local care providers and this group of young people deserves to be included in mainstream artistic activity.
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