Don’t ask why the human heart revolts. Ask, instead, why it revolts when it is young.
Being a teenager is crap, and that’s a fact. I go to schools all the time – young people have it rough. Adult life isn’t a breeze, but you couldn’t pay me enough to go back to being a teenager….
Unless, of course, you want to pay me to go back to teach teenagers, in which case I’m totally game, because while being a teenager is crap, teenagers themselves are wondrous, and much, much cooler than you, and funnier than both of us.
Theatre, art, music and mischief help to make being a teenager less lonely, less maddening, and more empowering. It has positive impacts on things like academic performance, too, but I don’t want to go down the road of justifying youth arts by comparing it to school achievement. Childhood and teenage years can be so profoundly sad and frustrating precisely because of the usual metrics we use to judge ‘ability’ and ‘achievement’ in young people. Youth theatre is really exceptional at building a strong base of empathy, self-confidence and social consciousness. It helps create engaged citizens, bad-ass comedians, and happy, self-confident people. That’s what we’re in it for.
I offer facilitation on a range of youth and community theatre projects, of varied length and focus (listed below) but all of my workshops focus on participant led drama or poetry workshops for groups of young people of mixed age and ability.
- Makoura College, Masterton, New Zealand – Spoken Word day-workshop
- Complex Youth Theatre – Assistant Director, Co-Director of ‘The Gaff’
- Newpark Comprehnsive School – Writing and Directing Mentor of the Junior Plays Project
- Press PLAY! Drama workshop with young Asylum Seekers – Axis:Ballymun, Dublin
- National Performing Arts School – Drama Teacher for ages 12 – 17
- Sticks and Stones – Anti-Bullying Drama Project, Faciliator, nationwide in Ireland