Droichead Youth Theatre


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. Book your membership online. The Youth Theatre has an open door policy and all fees are kept at the minimum cost.

Now taking new members into our Friday groups. Classes start back on September 18th in Barlow House.

6-7:30pm 6th class and 1st year

7:30-9pm 2nd and 3rd year


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

Artistic Ethos

Droichead Youth Theatre has been central to the vibrant theatrical life of Drogheda over the past decade.  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 was established in 1991 and has played a significant role in the cultural life of Drogheda and the wider North East region over the course of its twenty-three years so far.  Founded 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, this group has been an active member of the National Association for Youth Drama and 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 theatre - with two professional companies now based in the town - is attributable in no small measure to the quality and consistency of the youth theatre as a formation platform for talent.  This fact has been acknowledged by both Upstate and Calipo Theatre Companies. 

The youth theatre currently has 61 members, across three groups, ranging in age from 12 to 18.   The groups meet weekly for a two hourly 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 full-length original devised drama and one scripted drama.  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. Some of our favourite theatre trips have included  Collapsing Horse Theatre Company's Monster/Clock and Human Child, in Smock Alley Theatre, The Fantasist by Theatre Teamoin, The Caucasian Chalk Circle and The Nose by Bruiser Theatre, Quietly by The Abbey Theatre, Silent by Fishamble, Fused in the Dublin Fringe Festival and Mr Foley Radio Operator by Theatre Lovett.

Droichead Youth Theatre has also participated in master workshops with a number of theatre facilators and directors including Marc Atkinson of Sugarglass  Theatre, Jack Gleeson (Game of Thrones) and Dan Colley of Collapsing Horse Theatre Company, playwright Ellen Flynn, Musical Theatre specialist Evelyn Purcell, set designer Colm McNally, producer Matt Smyth and professional theatre companies such Theatre Teamoin, Bruiser and Calipo.

DYT has participated in a number of events within Drogheda, including the launch of Boomerang Café in November 2013, the 2014 St.Patrick's Day Parade, and at Fusion Fashion Show (in aid of Drogheda Women's Refuge) in June 2014. We have collaborated on a number of projects with other groups, such as Steps, Ship Street Revisited and The Street with Upstate Theatre and A Christmas Carol with Paul Hayes and the Tiny Dancer Players. The youth theatre has performed in festivals such as Drogheda Arts Festival, National Heritage Week, the Samba Festival, Dundalk Youth Festival and Bealtaine Festival.

Previous shows

 Previous shows by Droichead Youth Theatre include:

·                  Around The World in 80 Days; Written by Jules Verne, adapted for stage by Philip Brennan and Stephen Colfer; 2014

·                  Spilled Ink; devised by members under Artistic Director Christina Matthews, with the support of the Arts Council and Leargas; 2014

·                  Gulliver's Travels; selected from national pool of youth theatres to perform at NAYD's New Stage Launch 2014

·                  A Midsummer Night's Dream; by William Shakespeare; produced as part of 10 week summer programme; directed by Christina Matthews; 2013

·                  WhoDunnit? A Murder Mystery-themed showcase featuring movement pieces, existing text and pieces written by members; 2013

·                  Dream Roulette; a site-specific, promenade piece devised by members under Christina Matthews; 2013

·                  Ship Street; (in association with Upstate Theatre Project); youth theatre director: Daniel Thomson; 2012

·                  The Miracle; by Lin Coughlan; directed by Niall Cleary; 2012

·                  MixTape; devised with cast and written by Anthony Goulding; directed by Niall Cleary; 2011

·                  Mock; devised with cast and written by Anthony Goulding; directed by Niall Cleary; 2010

·                  Showcase17; written and directed by cast; facilitated by Sharon Cromwell;  2009

·                  Kohl; written and devised by cast; directed by Sharon Cromwell; 2008

·                  Aliennation; by Max Hafler; directed by Sharon Cromwell; 2007

·                  The Apple; by Jimmy Brunelle; directed by Sharon Cromwell; 2007

·                  Attack; devised by cast and Michael Gerrard; directed by Claire Lynch; 2007

·                  XIV; devised by cast; directed by Sharon Cromwell; 2006

·                  Down The Lane; devised by cast; directed by Sharon Cromwell; 2005

·                  Requiem for Lena; by Veronica Coburn; directed by Sharon Cromwell; 2004

·                  Are You Happy Now? (as part of EU enlargement celebrations); devised by cast; directed by Sharon Cromwell; 2004

·                  Steps (in association with Upstate Theatre Project and Mosney Accommodation Centre) devised; Script Supervisor Declan Gorman; Directed by Sharon Cromwell; 2002.

·                  Dolly's Will; devised short drama (intergenerational project); directed by Sharon Cromwell, 2002


·        Tent of Blue; devised by cast: directed by Sharon Cromwell; 2001

·        Philadelphia Here I Come; by Brian Friel; directed by Sharon Cromwell; 2000

·        Eclipsed; by Simon Armitage; directed by Darren Thornton - performed at BT Connections Festival at Royal National Theatre, London and subsequently Nacscimato Festival in Urbino, Italy.

·        Phantasmagoria; devised by cast; directed by Sharon Cromwell; 1998

·        On the Ramparts (commissioned from Dermot Healy):  Directed by Declan Mallon and Dermot Healy; 1996

·        Headwreckers;  devised; directed by Declan Mallon; 1994

·        Young Soul Rebels; devised drama: directed by Declan Mallon; 1993