About Us

Founded in 1982, NAYT is an educational charity working with over 1,300 groups and individuals to support the development of young people through excellent youth theatre. We represent and promote the sector whilst also offering services of support, training and networking, participation and providing platforms to showcase best practice. We do this nationally, regionally and online.

NAYT’s vision is:

to empower and develop young people through participation in excellent youth theatre.

NAYT’s mission is:

  • to empower young people to be positive citizens
  • to enrich the lives of young people young people through appreciation of the arts and develop a continuing engagement with them
  • to enable high quality youth theatre experiences for young people from diverse backgrounds

"Young people are the future. Cultivating their creative energies, passion and sense of engagement is fundamental for the success of their own lives and the economic, social and cultural vitality of our communities." 

Sir Ken Robinson


"With education mostly focusing on results and not process, young people are being deprived the luxury of experiment, failure, and creative self-expression. One organisation that is working hard to redress this imbalance is NAYT. I believe their work is now more vital than ever. I'm proud to be associated with their activities."

Jeremy Stockwell
BBC Two's "The Speaker"

Improving access to youth theatre

NAYT works to improve access to youth theatre activity by supporting youth theatres in diversifying their membership. It believes young people should be able to develop their full potential through access to a wide range of quality youth theatre experiences.

Improving the quality of youth theatre provision

NAYT coordinates a national, professional development programme; offering leadership, support and setting standards of excellence and inclusion. It identifies need and delivers training at a range of levels, working in partnership with other organisations to help the sector become more skilled, self-reliant and confident.

Increasing the number of young people participating in youth theatre

NAYT provides information and support for young people looking to join youth theatres and hosts inspirational, celebratory events that give young people the opportunity to express themselves, develop a passion and make the most of their talent.

Raising the profile and status of youth theatre

NAYT lobbies with key strategic organisations for greater recognition and improved funding of youth theatre work and to promote the sector’s role in engaging young people in positive activities.

Supporting young people into adulthood

Engagement in youth theatre makes a vital and positive contribution to young people’s personal development; building confidence, enhancing life skills and improving young people’s chances of achieving economic wellbeing. NAYT supports young people into careers in the theatre industry and beyond; raising aspirations for them to enter into education, employment or training and encouraging a continued involvement with the arts.

Young people in control

NAYT places young people at the heart of its planning and decision-making and encourages the youth theatre sector to do likewise. NAYT ensures young people’s voices are heard and responded to at a national, strategic level.