Welcome to the Phased Renewal of Youth Theatre Activities toolkit! This toolkit provides an overview of the key areas that local groups should use to plan their activities in line with the Scottish Government’s Strategic Framework. The guidance will continue to be updated in the weeks and months ahead.
We recommend starting with Youthlink’s FAQs and Youth Scotland’s Readiness Guide then reviewing the other resources in this Toolkit for youth theatre specific considerations and some handy links and examples.
The toolkit has been a collaborative effort by the YTAS Sector Recovery Working Group (SRWG), established since June 2020. Youth theatre leaders from across Scotland have helped to identify what youth theatre groups need to deliver in line with Scottish Government guidelines, as the country recovers from the impact of COVID-19.
For further support information and resources you can also look at YTAS’s COVID-19: Youth Theatre Sector Guidance Toolkit.
- YouthLink Scotland’s Framework provides a helpful up-to-date checklist of the guidance for determining capacity in your groups. Remember the social distancing guidance may be different for your primary, secondary and over 18 participants and staff.
- YTAS’s COVID-19: Youth theatre sector guidance toolkit contains resources to support online youth theatre activity, including: YTAS’s Guides to using Zoom, online safeguarding resources, and a cyber resilience guide and weekly bulletin.
Adapting games and activities for social distancing
- YTAS’s Lockdown Ideas Swap Shop resource contains notes of games and exercises shared by youth theatre practitioners in Scotland.
- Once you have determined the overall capacity and social distancing needs for your youth theatre, consider the different stages and activities in a workshop and how these might be affected. This would be a good time to involve all your practitioners working together to generate ideas.
- Staff can share youth theatre games and activities that might be easy or hard to do with social distancing and imagine how these could be adapted in a fun or effective new way for groups.
- Work with what works and build from there. If the joy goes out of a game because of social distancing, do something else. Consider what topics or exercises naturally fit this new way of working.
- Remember your young people will have a rich variety of experience of social distancing adaptations in their schools, other clubs and even at home or with their friends. Let them take the lead and teach you how to best plan and run their youth theatre activities.
Impact on groups and social skills
- Youth theatres and practitioners should consider the impact that the prolonged lockdown and social distancing measures could have on group work, sharing and social skills. Individuals in your groups will have had different experiences, anxieties or confidence. Discuss this openly and provide additional activities and opportunities for reflection on this together.
- Youth theatres may want to consider how to best re-engage participants who have not engaged digitally. Are there likely to be any differences between the participants, socially and creatively?
Online and blended activities
- Uptake of online activities was mixed across Scotland’s youth theatres and different age groups. There can be a range of factors to consider, including; motivation, access to digital technology and if the activity is new or familiar to them (i.e. usual weekly group/session).
- There are a number of open source docs created collaboratively in recent months by youth theatre practitioners across the UK. Here are a few we like:
- Collective Encounters in England have hosted a series of events throughout June 2020 and compiled this fab document on Delivering Participatory Theatre During Social Distancing: Whats Working? with lots of practical examples, tips and links.
- David Farmer’s website has lots of tips and ideas for online drama facilitation.
- Drama Classes.Biz has a collection of online drama games ideas.
- Theatrish have compiled a list of top ten drama games
- Forte Theatre Company upload daily videos of theatre games plus instructions.
- Glyn Trefor Jones has written a book about teaching drama at a distance