Wyndham Theatre Company (WTC) is in a wonderful state of evolving with one of its new pathways is a new focus on youth – partly because of opportunities that arose and partly because we have a new young President and enthusiastic committee members who would like WTC to engage more with youth.
There is very little offered in Wyndham for dramatic, creative performance for youth. As Artistic Director of the WTC, I saw an opportunity for my Werribee Secondary College (WSC) Drama kids to have a pathway from the end of high school to WTC. This has worked amazingly well. For the past seven years I have run the WSC after hours voluntary drama club. Each year students graduate but still want to be involved in theatre. I started encouraging students to audition for WSC plays, to work with me at Essence Productions and basically to join in many WSC and Essence theatrical activities. Over the years we have slowly created more opportunities for youth through this simple process. We’ve had many audition and selected to perform in a number of productions, we have two youth members on our Committee and share the portfolio – Youth and Diversity, I have had 8 young people selected to work in a paid capacity with Essence Productions, some of which have gained experience and references to go on to gain further employment. We involve youth in all our
activities whether it’s Strategy days, performance, productions, committee or just fun social events. We have just made a connection with Headspace and have one of our youth members is a Youth Leader and Wyndham’s Headspace.
All this means we are on a path to actively increase our connection with and engagement with youth in Wyndham. We want to give our youth a sense of purpose and a sense of belonging. So we have created a new program ‘Say It Out Loud’ giving opportunities for Wyndham residents to have their written work ‘said out loud’, workshopped, developed and ultimately performed in a safe and supportive environment.
Written By: Alaine Beek