Spotlight shines on MAC’s first youth theatre programme

Introducing MAC Youth Theatre, a new theatrical programme that aims to give young performers and stage managers from across Greater Belfast first-hand experience in producing and managing stage productions.

Building upon the MAC’s already extensive learning and participation programme, the MAC Youth Theatre will feature an ensemble of twenty young performers and stage managers as they take a collective approach to creative theatre-making.

The programme will be directed by the MAC’s Youth & Community Officer, Ciaran McQuillan and supported by MAC artists including Leonie McDonagh, founder of pony dance & known for previous appearances in the MAC pony panto Christmas show. They will support the MAC Youth Theatre in creating an innovative, contemporary production that demonstrates the MAC’s artistic excellence and exposes participants to all aspects of creating and managing a major production at an award-winning venue.

Simon Magill, Creative Director at the MAC, said: “We are delighted to announce the launch of the first MAC Youth Theatre programme. We are continuously seeking opportunities to reach out to young people and communities to engage and involve them in the arts.

“In keeping with our artistic vision at the MAC, we not only pursue the best in touring and homegrown theatre but actively promote collaboration and support the development of MAC original programming. We’re really excited to launch MAC Youth Theatre and support the efforts of the ensemble throughout the year leading to their final major production which will be exclusive to the MAC from 5-7 April 2018 in our Downstairs Theatre.”

Leonie McDonagh adds: “I’m thrilled to be working with the team on the new MAC Youth Theatre programme where I’ll be teaching dance technique and movement vocabulary for the stage. This is such a great opportunity for young people with any interest in theatre to get involved and learn in a creative environment like the MAC – I’m looking forward to working with the next generation of artists over the next few months.”

The MAC Youth Theatre is open to young people aged 16-18 years of all abilities and no previous drama experience is required. Participation costs £50 per term. While participating in the programme, members will also partake in arts award qualifications which will formally recognise their participation and development.

Championing inclusivity, a bursary scheme has also been created by the MAC to support young people from low-income families who wish to take part in the new youth theatre programme.

Opening auditions for the 2017-18 term will take place this summer from 22-24 August through a series of fun group workshops. Rehearsals for successful applicants will launch in September, taking place every Tuesday night in the LAB rehearsal studio at the MAC.

Click here for more information on MAC Youth Theatre and to register for auditions now.