Youth Theatre Arts Scotland has over 125 Members.
They are the nation’s committed network of youth theatre artists, organisations, professionals and volunteers.
YTAS Members range from big to small, funded and unfunded, led by volunteers and professionals – all are welcome! Together they are responsible for the majority of youth theatre activity delivered across the country, operating throughout all 32 local authorities. The Members have been instrumental in developing the sector with YTAS since 2004, described by Creative Scotland as ‘generating strong levels of engagement and a great sense of sharing and learning…. a model of good practice in terms of partnership working’.
Youth Theatre Arts Scotland and its Members believe that youth theatre is an ideal medium to encourage the dreams and visions of young people and to instil self-confidence. Our Membership Values outline the areas of practice we believe are pertinent to all youth performing arts groups in Scotland regardless of scale, style, status or approach. Through endorsement of the Values it is YTAS belief that any group or organisation involving young people in youth performing arts will be able to assure their stakeholders that they are committed to the best interests of the young people involved with them.
We engage children and young people as active participants in our creative process
As active participants young people’s involvement should imprint heavily on the culture of an organisation and they should therefore be involved in key decision making to progress a youth theatres creative process. Indeed the culture of an organisation is the creative process and this encompasses the administrative, developmental and artistic sides of activity. Youth theatres should therefore have clear mechanisms and the appropriate resources to empower young people to genuinely effect change.
We understand that process and product are equally and mutually beneficial
If you view the main beneficiary of youth theatre to be the young people you understand that process and product are of equal importance. The process is the core learning systems a youth theatre adopts to develop the personal, social and creative ability of its young people. The product is the formal or informal conclusion of one or more of these processes. By having a robust process you ensure that every young person has an equal experience and is in the best possible position to make an excellent product.
We strive to broaden our understanding of technique and approach to enrich the delivery of our activity
A broadened understanding is recognising the limitations of your skill base through being outward looking and receptive to external ideas and influences. Youth theatres should allow themselves to be informed and inspired by as wide a range of relevant influences and techniques as is possible to enrich delivery and expose their young people to the widest possible range of skills and experiences.
We work to broaden access for those who want to participate in our youth theatre activity as creators and audience
Every young person in Scotland should have unrestricted access to a quality youth theatre experience and should not encounter barriers to access. Youth theatre’s must therefore not be exclusive in their attitude and should strive to remove all barriers to their activity to promote participation which reflects and celebrates the diversity of Scottish culture.
We have effective evaluation systems to assess our creative and operational output
Reflective practice encourages an on-going improvement by empowering youth theatres to build on their strengths and learn from their mistakes / weaknesses. Youth theatres should have the courage to constantly reflect on practice and therefore should have solid systems in place which promote on-going internal as well as external feedback.
We have an understanding of current policy and protocol in relation to safe and appropriate youth theatre practice
The safety and welfare of participants, staff and audiences should be paramount and no youth theatre can be exempt from putting the correct policy and protocol in place. Youth theatres must therefore have clear and documented courses of action to protect participants from all aspects of activity and systems of reviewing to ensure that policy and protocol is up-to-date and relevant.
Supporting our Members
As the national umbrella development body, Youth Theatre Arts Scotland takes on many different roles to support its Membership:
- A Trusted friend always available for advice.
- An Informer helping youth groups and professionals stay up to date.
- A Link between different and sometimes distant youth theatres
- The Umbrella – an ‘organising’ organisation for the sector.
- A Thought Leader for contemporary practice ad future developments.
- A Curator of the central places to support and develop practice.
- A Promoter for work both across and beyond the sector.
- A Resource provider for the best experience for children and young people.
- An Expeditor when not everyone has time to seek support and information by themselves
Our activities and services align with these roles to unite, inspire and improve youth theatre across the country:
- Offering support and guidance – as an Umbrella, Link, Trusted friend and Informer for Members
- Providing resources and opportunities – as a Curator, Resource Provider and Expeditor for Members
- Developing sector leadership as core to YTAS approach – as a Link and Thought Leader for Members
- Targeting key areas of development; helping define priorities, activities and exit plans – as an Informer, Thought Leader and Promoter for Members
“I think the work YTAS does is SO crucial and there’s no doubt in my mind that as a sector, we would be far less connected, ambitious and resilient without YTAS and its dedicated team” – YTAS Member
Responding to Members Needs
Youth Theatre Arts Scotland knows its Members are passionate about youth theatre, they are busy people and they have typically held a number of roles within the sector.
They have told us that YTAS ‘application / project opportunities’ and ‘discounted training events’ were the most important elements of being a Member as well as ‘free advice, support and guidance’.
Over the coming years YTAS will continue to develop its activities and services for Members in response to feedback by developing:
- A new Members CPD bursary using the funds generated from Members fees
- A new Resources page with ‘how to’ guides, sample policies and procedures, and listing key funders and links
- Plans for a Script Bank of Scottish plays for young performers and audiences in partnership with Playwright Studio Scotland
- Targeted training days to skill-up on YT essentials and specialist skills
- Plans for informal networking and support sessions for Members
Who can become a Member?
Youth Theatre Arts Scotland welcomes a diverse range of youth groups, organisations, professionals and volunteers as Members. We consider a youth theatre as a group or organisation which engages young people as active participants in the performing arts and where their participation is central to the motivation of the creative process. The term ‘youth theatre’ can therefore be applied to a whole host of groups and organisations who may engage young people in performing arts but who may not instinctively call themselves a youth theatre. We only ask that you sign up to our Membership Values to gain the most from joining our community of practice.
“An invaluable way for the sector to develop…particularly useful for freelancers who often work alone and can feel detached from the sector. YTAS is a key reason that people in the sector know each other so well!”
YTAS undertakes strategic lobbying and advocacy on behalf of our members as well as providing a range of high-profile networking, training and member events.
Joining Youth Theatre Arts Scotland for as little as £15 a year will help you to:
- Keep up to date with best practice – members gain access to our information services (including a regular sector e-newsletter and sector reports) with invitations to FREE member events including the annual Sector Symposium.
- Support your practice – fulfil your potential by accessing promotional listings, advice, support and guidance on a wide range of areas, from funding and child protection to artistic guidance, marketing and partnership brokering.
- Promote your practice – members receive an online listing of their professional profile, FREE access to our Member’s Suite at Summerhall in Edinburgh (with meeting space for eight people) and FREE rental of YTAS technical equipment.
- Develop new skills – always qualify for discounted rates for Youth Theatre Arts Scotland training events, members’ rates for FST training and access to their members-only resources.
- Learn and support each other – at network meetings, online and via our social networks.
- Voice issues affecting your experience of the youth theatre sector in Scotland and take part in our annual National Youth Theatre Sector Survey.
|Associate Organisation An organisation associated to, but not directly participating in youth theatre activity (e.g. Local Authority, School, Theatre Company).||£80|
|Registered Youth Theatre A youth theatre (or related youth performing arts organisation) registered as a company and/or charity either individually or as part of a wider organisation.||£60|
|Non-registered Youth Theatre A youth theatre (or related youth performing arts organisation) not registered as a company and/or charity either individually or as part of a wider organisation.||£30|
|Individual / Freelance Practitioner Any one person who has a stake in youth performing arts but is not directly associated to an organisation and/or company (e.g. freelance practitioner, student, teacher, youth worker).||£15|
How can I join?
You can register as a member online, or download a form:
If you have any questions or queries about Youth Theatre Arts Scotland membership please contact firstname.lastname@example.org