Theatre Partnerships

Nomad Theatre Networks

Droichead Arts Centre is a founding member of NOMAD Theatre Network. NOMAD was set up in January 2006 to further the development of the performing arts in the North Midlands region and extend the parameters of regional, national and international performances available to venues and their audiences partnership network set out to encourage more theatre companies both national and international to tour to the region, to produce high quality theatre and ultimately to enrich and strengthen performing arts practice in the region and shape the future development of touring.

Nomad is the first network of its kind, being a partnership of venues and a professional theatre company working together to change the face of touring and theatre in the region.
In 2007 “Conversations on a Homecoming”, NOMAD’s debut venture in association with Livin Dred, took to the road. The show, which played to full houses in most venues, was a huge success, not only with critics, but with the people of the north midlands region. A very positive indication of things to come…

The Dead School was a phenomenal success. Touring initially in 2008, receiving three Irish Times Theatre Award Nominations incl Best Production. Revived for the ’09 Ulster Bank Dublin Theatre Festival and again in 2010 for a smash hit run in the Tricycle Theatre, London.

2009 was a busy year for Nomad with another Irish Times Theatre Award Nominated production Observe The Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme and their first venture into children’s theatre with Monkey Shine Theatre Companies production of The Gift.


 

Droichead Youth Theatre

Droichead Youth Theatre has been central to the vibrant theatrical life of Drogheda over the past 24 years. Of equal importance to the arts training dimensions of our activity are the social, educational and personal development aspects of creative youth work. In any population, a youth theatre can and should serve these multiple functions. This can only proceed however, if sustainable support systems and infrastructure are in place. 

Youth drama introduces young people to the arts and creativity in a way that commercial drama academies and school drama courses can never do. The ethos is collective. It engenders discipline without resorting to authoritarian systems. Youth theatre not only stimulates an early love and appreciation of the arts, it encourages mutual respect, intellectual questioning and active citizenship. It is a foundation training pitch for potential future artists, but it is much more than that.  It is a living, proven platform for innovative arts and creativity as a staple in the life of people of this town. 

The History

Droichead Youth Theatre RehearsalDroichead Youth Theatre was established in 1991 by Declan Mallon and Aileen Hanratty, and supported and hosted from its inception by Droichead Arts Centre, the youth theatre has been committed at all times to providing an open, all-comers platform for creativity, learning and social development for young people between the ages of 12 and 18. 

From its early days, DYT has been an active member of the National Association for Youth Dramaand has contributed to national policy studies as well as hosting regional and cross-border youth theatre network events and residentials. Many of our members have participated in national projects such as NAYD's Young Critics, National Youth Theatre, National Festivals and the Young Leaders programme. Our primary function, however, has been to offer opportunities for young people in Drogheda to become involved with the performing arts and to grow and develop as full, cultured citizens through structured, disciplined and ambitious artistic endeavours. 

The fact that Drogheda is a major centre on the East Coast of Ireland for professional arts - with two professional companies now based in the town and a major arts festival - is attributable in no small measure to the quality and consistency of the youth theatre as a formation platform for talent.  

The youth theatre currently has approximately 60 members, across four groups, ranging in age from 12 to 18. The groups meet weekly for a drama workshop on Friday evenings and Saturday mornings at Droichead Arts Centre for approximately 10 months of the year. Generally each year, the group will produce one show. Other educational and social projects are undertaken as the opportunity and the funding arise, including showcasing scenes, contributing to educational videos, participating in local festivals and engaging in outreach activity with other groups in the community.

The current Artistic Director of the Youth Theatre (since 2012) is Christina Matthews, a DYT alumnus who went on to study theatre after her experience as a member of the youth theatre. Christina holds a B.A. in Drama and Theatre Studies from Trinity College, where she specialized in Theatre Management, Community Drama and Devising, and a diploma in Stage Management from LAMDA. She is currently completing an M. Ed in Drama in Education at Trinity College. She is a founding member of Sugarglass Theatre, for whom she is the Company Manager. Christina has previously facilitated with The Drogheda School of Performing Arts, The Dublin Shakespeare Festival, Cinemagic, local Foróige groups, Prosper Fingal, and Independent Youth Theatre, for whom she was Artistic Director.

Previous artistic directors have included Niall Cleary, Sharon Cromwell (who came from a professional background in improvisation and devised theatre) John Ruddy, (who has worked with both Upstate and Calipo among others); and Declan Mallon (now Director Upstate Theatre Project).

Trips and events

Droichead Youth Theatre takes part in a number of events, projects and trips outside of our own shows and productions.

We are a member of the National Association of Youth Drama (NAYD) take part in a number of NAYD programmes each year, such as National Youth Theatre, Young Critics, the National Festival of Youth Theatres, and New Stage, in addition to various training seminars and conferences. Recently, member Cathal Thornton and Artistic Director Christina Matthews represented NAYD at a week-long conference on the European Volunteer Service in Austria.

Theatre trips are an important part of youth theatre life. The group regularly attends shows at the Droichead Arts Centre, as well as visiting various theatres in Dublin.
Droichead Youth Theatre has also participated in master workshops with a number of theatre practitioners, and has participated in a number of events within Drogheda, including the launch of Boomerang Café in November 2013, 

Membership

Droichead Youth Theatre runs for one year with three terms from September - May. Each term is for 10 weeks generally. The cost per term is €50 and this fee must be paid upfront at the start of term. The Youth Theatre has an open door policy and all fees are kept at the minimum cost.

For more information on joining DYT, email Artistic Director Christina Matthews at christina.matthews@droichead.com or check out our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/DroicheadYouthTheatre