What is the future of ANLO and young people?

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Yesterday over on the Guardian Blogs, Lyn Gardner wrote a challenging cry defending the need for support in young people as theatre’s future.

The young offer extraordinarily good value in every way. We need to invest in them. If theatre can’t afford the young, it can’t afford the future.

She refers to the funding cuts which have seen the end of Creative Partnerships and Find Your Talent (let’s not also forget Future Jobs), and how there needs to be investment in young people, because ultimately they need the support to develop into the Bright Young Things of tomorrow (another Guardian piece).

Those of us who are behind the running of A Younger Theatre are working continuously to bring you information and resources that are valuable to you as young people. We hope that AYT can act as a pool of knowledge, with a commitment to every young person who is struggling to find the answer to their questions. AYT is a platform to raise the voice of those under represented, and we are committed to the bigger cause – not cutting the young out of the arts.

Last year we were invited to speak at a knowledge share event in relation to the closing of the free ticketing scheme A Night Less Ordinary. We presented AYT as a resource, a place for engagement and understanding brought to young people by young people. Since that event, we have forged relations with several new theatres who want to actively engage young people in their work, and we continue to work with them now.

On March 21st we have been invited to give another presentation at the final A Night Less Ordinary meeting. This is an important event, where a large body of organisations will be meeting to discuss and inspire the big question of: What happens next. Will ticketing schemes be dropped? Will engagement with young people be phased out? Questions, and concerns are being raised, and AYT are there to represent young people.

We shall be speaking in a session called ‘Re-imagining A Night Less Ordinary‘- with particular attention to how price is not the only issue. They want us to speak about this article on AYT as to why young people don’t go to the theatre. The organisers have summed up our presentation as the following:

  • Recognise that price is not the only issue:
  • Theatres are facing challenges in attracting young audiences- but what are the real issues and attitudes of young people to attending the theatre? Do we need to rethink programming and create product that engages young people?

    We want to hear what you think, so we can tell the organisations present exactly what young people believe the problems to be So, what are your thoughts? What do you want us to say? What are the challenges beyond price that face you when attending theatre? Is the price of theatre tickets the only problem for young people?

    Please use the comment box below, and AYT will ensure that your message is heard.