Pride Month and Youth Theatre
Friday 21 June 2019
June is Pride season, with events across the country celebrating and supporting the LGBTQ+ community. Youth Theatre should be a safe space for all young people to access engaging theatre activities, so here's a list of companies, artists and texts we’ve found across the sector. If you have anything to add, email [email protected]
Award-winning Milk Presents have been a friend of NAYT for many years, and most recently delivered bespoke workshops at our Regional Youth Theatre Festivals and Raising The Game 2018. These gender-warriors make work which unpacks, explores and tears apart gender. They also deliver workshops on making spaces accessible for LGBTQ+ young people.
PRONOUN by Evan Placey
Commissioned by NT Connections in 2014, Pronoun is the story of a Trans teenager James dealing with their parents, school officials, friends and his ex-boyfriend. Sweet and sharp, it has powerful character-driven scenes as well as moments of physical ensembles.
AFTER THE RAIN at BURNLEY YOUTH THEATRE
Burnley Youth Theatre have a specialist drama group for 11-18 year-olds exploring themes and issues facing LGBTQ+ young people, open to anybody who believes in equality and wants to bring about change.
SOMETHING INSIDE SO STRONG by Danny Braverman
A Youth Musical based on Labi Siffre’s songs and inspired by his activism, not least as a gay man. Production at the Arcola in 2016 and by Goldsmiths students in 2017. The central storyline involves the love between two young woman and is designed as an antidote to the usual heteronormative musicals done by youth theatres. Email [email protected] for more information.
Tickertape Parade create combined arts experiences around social, cultural and municipal engagement. Fantabulosa! is their pop-up queer-positive participatory family drag show encompassing interactive storytelling, lipsync, performance, dress-up, games and original songs.
Curious Arts is a Newcastle Gateshead based not-for-profit organisation developing LGBTQ arts, artists and audiences across the North East of England. Their work celebrates and explores Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Culture through the arts. On July 1st Curious Arts are hosting a talk with LGBTQ North East to discuss the role the arts can play in supporting young people with their gender identity.
Perfect Circle connect with local LGBTQ+ organisations and events such as Worcestershire Pride, and performed original work at the very first Malvern Pride in July this year, and Worcester Queer Arts Festival in September. Someone in the group has written an anti-homophobia rap battle which others in the group are adding verses to. They have a gender-blind casting policy, and discuss characters' pronouns at the beginning of rehearsals. Last year's 'Midsummer NIght's Dream' had 3 female lovers, a non-binary Demetrius etc. The group make these decisions based on the characters, and their own identities as performers. Lee Farley from the company says: “Theatre is such a brilliant way of raising debates and conversations, and the last few years have seen this conversation revolve mainly around gender / sexuality. It's been enlightening for me, and I'm hugely grateful to our amazing group for being open, articulate, and tolerant of my stupid questions! Sometimes a new member of the group will mis-gender someone, or make an assumption, but they are not criticised or shouted down, just gently put right, and a conversation will ensue. It's friendly and inspiring. This approach extends into disability awareness too, we have good relationships with local organisations and young people, so an all-round celebration of diverse young people is the aim.”