NAYT Webinars: Challenging Old and New Normals and Voices From The Sector

These webinars took place on the 6th August 2021.

Challenging Old and New Normals

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the phrase ‘the new normal’ has become a standard way to describe the new circumstances. Meanwhile “when we return to normal” is a phrase used to talk about a worryingly uncertain future. In this webinar, artists share their thoughts for challenging traditional ways of thinking and offer insight into their own art, projects in making political, accessible and celebratory theatre and structures with, for, and by, young people.


Roxan's slides are available here.



Charlene Olaleye & Gemma Prangle, Strike A Light Theatre Company

Based in Gloucester, Strike A Light believe that the arts can change lives and that everyone, regardless of background and circumstance, should be given opportunities to watch, make and participate. They operate with a ‘seven ingredient recipe’, which consists of collaboration, community, investment in artists, amplifying underrepresented voices and sharing. They believe in empowering young people to create work that matters to them and their peers and inform and change the narrative. Representing Strike A Light are Charlene Olaleye, Youth Arts Producer and Gemma Prangle, Youth Theatre practitioner.


    Roxan Kamali-Sarvestani, Talawa Theatre Company

One of the UK’s leading Black British Theatre Companies, Talawa champions Black Excellence in theatre and nurtures talent in emerging and established artists of African or Carribean heritage. Representing Talwa is Roxan Kamali-Sarvestani, Talwa’s Community Engagement Producer. For more than 15 years, Roxan has worked across the arts education field specialising in working with young people and those with additional needs. Roxan has previously worked as the Artistic Director and CEO of the East End Shed, an inclusive theatre company for young people. As a proud lifelong Croydon native, Roxan couldn’t be happier to be working in her own community and beyond with Talawa Theatre Company.


    Irma Alimanovic Alihodžic, Sarajevo War Theatre

Sarajevski ratni teatar (Sarajevo War Theatre, SARTR), is a theater founded during 1992’s harrowing siege of Sarajevo. It is a testimony to the phenomenon of the spiritual and cultural resistance to fascism and aggression. SARTR not only preserves the memory of that period but even today strives to strongly affirm universal values: the richness of diversity, anti-fascism, the sanctity of peace, activism, internationalization, compassion for all those who suffer injustice around the world. From Sarajevo, Irma was a member of East West Theatre Company and Mostar Youth Theatre (eMTeeM). In 2014 she worked as a Coordinator of Fakat Drama Project-Youth Theater Workshops in cooperation with British Council and Sarajevo War Theatre.


Youth Theatre Now: Voices From The Sector



    York Theatre Royal discuss Legacy, which brought together a company of 40 Youth Theatre actors and a volunteer community cast of over 65s. Legacy is a gripping thriller about an old-school detective in a brave new world changed by advances in virtual reality. Think Happy Valley meets Black Mirror in an original new play that questions the impact of technology in our modern lives and where it's taking us. In this session, we will talk about the process of making the production, the challenges we encountered and different ways that we worked with a cross generational company during a time where Brexit was causing a divide and assumptions between the generations. We will be joined by some of the project’s participants and creative team who will share their experiences.


    The Nuffield Collective are a new young people’s theatre group formed out of the closure of Nuffield Southampton Theatres (NST), in 2020. The collective is mainly formed of people that were previously members of the NST Young Company. The young people wanted to keep going with their theatre making and with the support and guidance of Liam, The Nuffield Collective was born. Members of the Collective are young aspiring creatives aiming to break into the theatre industry. Aged 18 to 25 years, they are from Southampton and the surrounding areas, including Portsmouth, Winchester and The New Forest. The group started off with 12 members, increasing to around 20 in total. Some want to pursue theatre as their career, whilst others view theatre as a creative outlet. Over the past 12 months The Nuffield Collective have created and released 3 brand new productions as radio plays: The Noise We Make, The Lost and the Damned and From the Inside We Fall Apart. All three productions have been created, produced, designed, cast, marketed - everything - by this group of young theatre makers who, from the ashes of their youth theatre, have created a collective which will no doubt be making exciting work for years to come. A shining example of how young theatre makers can work independently and in collaboration with their youth theatres.

    'Jess' is a short film made in lockdown by Urban Young Actors. During lockdown, it’s thought that cases of domestic abuse increased by 20%. Whilst our face-to-face classes at Urban had to pause, we continued our weekly sessions on zoom and collaborated with LWA to create a piece with the aim of raising awareness of domestic abuse in relationships between young people.