Catherine Grosvenor tells us about the brilliant YTAS Convention of Youth Theatre

YTAS Convention of Youth Theatre

I am just back from a brilliant two days at the YTAS Convention on Youth Drama. I met some amazing people, heard about all kinds of interesting projects involving theatre and young people, took part in stimulating conversations about values and ethics and ways of working, and have been inspired in all sorts of ways for my own work.

Some of the highlights for me: Gemma Connell from The Artifact talking about how she uses the principles of hiphop to help survivors of sexual violence; Lauren Oakes from Horsecross Arts sharing her passion and enthusiasm for her theatre group for young people on the autistic spectrum; hearing about YTAS’s Young Critics project.

But what’s also great is the unexpected insights. I heard things about using the sound of an orchestra tuning up to start a drama class; about how you can use comics to review plays; about the meaning of the word ‘ensemble’, and these things connected to other parts of my brain and sometimes entirely different parts of my life, and I saw links between very different topics, and realised ways of using a skill I have in a totally different context, or found myself thinking ‘ooohhh… I wonder what would happen if I …’ So a whole other avenue of possibility opens up, which I think is one of the most exciting and valuable things about this kind of event.

There’s so much great work going on out there and so many great people doing it. It was inspiring and exciting to come together, hear about it all, meet people and be part of a joyous and enthusiastic conversation about young people, theatre, power and the future.

Finally, the whole YTAS team were lovely, helpful, highly organised and generally good fun to be around. And that makes for a good vibe at a conference. Thanks guys! Love you.

Catherine Grosvenor, Creative Learning Associate