Scottish Youth Theatre is one of Youth Theatre Arts Scotland’s largest and longest standing Members. We were disappointed to hear the news last week that they expect to cease operations this summer. As the national company, this would represent a considerable loss for the youth theatre sector.
Youth Theatre Arts Scotland’s role as the national umbrella body and development organisation for Scotland’s youth theatre groups and leaders has always complemented Scottish Youth Theatre’s work. We seek to connect, support and inspire the many hundreds of groups operating across the country. But as a small organisation, this is only possible alongside the commitment of Scotland’s larger venues and youth theatres such as Scottish Youth Theatre.
Scottish Youth Theatre’s 40-year history, role, activities and venue are national beacons and the company continues to offer unique training opportunities for Scotland’s young theatre-makers. To lose what they have built up over many years will be significant for their participants, staff and alumni but also for the broader sector.
It is additionally concerning to lose the only other national advocate for youth theatre at the same time as local authority cuts are falling on many of the smaller regional groups and contacts that we support.
We still hope that despite their announcement, Scottish Youth Theatre can find some support in the months ahead that will allow them to continue with their amazing work. In the meantime, Youth Theatre Arts Scotland will continue to liaise with and support them, as well as the many other youth groups across the country.