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Big Dramas at Canberra Youth Theatre

By Artistic Director 30 January 2009 0

Canberra Youth Theatre’s (CYT) 2009 Semester 1 Brochure has been released and is going to cause one drama after another. CYT invites young people aged 7-25 to come in and create some drama: act, learn, have fun, make new friends and perform in our theatre.

Canberra Youth Theatre was established in 1972 and is the longest running youth theatre in Australia. CYT provides young people ages 7-25 with the opportunity to explore, extend and develop their creativity through theatre workshops and productions. Young people work with professional artists to unleash their imaginations and create enriching, collaborative and innovative theatre.

This semester CYT is packed full of dramas as we:

    -Invite young people to perform at the National Folk Festival as part of our youth variety performance event hiJinx

    -Launch our new Teen Actors Ensemble for 15-18 year olds who want to commit to developing their performance skills

    – Engage our senior CYT Actors Ensemble (ages 18-25) in TANK, a touring production about our relationship to water ,written by local writer Hadley

    – Expand Open House, our Emerging Artists Residency Program for young developing artists seeking to create/rehearse/ develop their own theatrical project

    – Introduce two new Chrysalis Scholarships: the David Branson Memorial Performance Scholarship & the Jan Wawrzynczak Memorial Technical Scholarship

    – Create STUFF!, a radio drama set inside the Ministry of Stuff, with a group of 10-12 year olds and local artists John Shortis and Kimmo Vennonen

    – Offer workshops and performance opportunities for ages 7-25 ranging from storytelling to improvisation, screen acting to Shakespeare, acting technique to physical theatre.

CYT invites young people to join in the dramas and enrol now.
Enrolments close on 6 February.
Check out our website on for the full workshop program
or call 6248 5057 for more information.

CYT’s Vision
To create and promote theatre with young people
that is inspirational, enriching, empowering and innovative.

Little Actors
Age: 7-9 years
Tutor: Gretel Burgess / Camilla Blunden
What: Two fun workshops for little actors who want to explore the magic of theatre.
Participants will play drama games and actively engage their imaginations through creative movement and vocal expression as they improvise characters to create performances based on Aesops’ fables. These timeless greek tales told by Aesop are packed full of characters who need to learn to look before they leap, be slow and steady and laugh last. Both workshops will conclude with a short performance for family & friends.
Where: C Block Theatre, Gorman House Arts Centre, Braddon
When: Wednesdays 4.30pm-6.00pm
Cost: $260 / participant (sibling and friend discount available)

Act Now!
Age: 10-12
Tutor: Adele Chynoweth
What: Act. Create. Perform. In this fun workshop participants will develop their performance skills as they play drama games and exercises.
The workshop will focus on the essentials of acting: voice, movement, improvisation and characterisation. The group will create a unique performance based on a well known story. This workshop will conclude with a short performance for family & friends.
Where: C Block Theatre, Gorman House Arts Centre, Braddon
When: Mondays 4.30pm-6.30pm
Cost: $210 / participant (sibling and friend discount available) (12 WEEKS)

Age: 10-12
Tutor: Adam Hadley
What:The Right Honorable Godfrey F Kerfuffle is the head of The Ministry of Stuff, the government department which represents the cares and concerns of kids. There are Ministers who are in charge of all the important stuff like… pets, friends, playstations, lollies etc. But watch out because budget cuts are looming and the Ministry of Stuff is in jeopardy!!!!
Participants in this workshop will create the story and characters of Stuff! with theatre maker Hadley, then work with John Shortis to create songs and finally they will record their radio Play with local sound artist Kimmo Vennenen… and then prepare to hear themselves on air!
This workshop will conclude with STUFF! being played across the airwaves of Canberra and maybe beyond….
Where: Bogong Theatre, Gorman House Arts Centre, Braddon
When: Tuesdays 4.30pm-6.30pm
Cost: $260 / participant (sibling and friend discount available)

Age: 13-16
Tutor: Nick Byrne
Improvisation is about imagination, energy, spontaneity, courage and self confidence. Improvisation processes develop lateral thinking, encourage team work and ignite creativity.
Participants will learn the basics of improvisation and storytelling through drama games and exercises. The workshop will provide them with the opportunity to develop acting skills as they explore characters and situations developed from their own imaginations.
Where: Bogong Theatre, Gorman House Arts Centre, Braddon
When: Thursdays 4.30pm-6.30pm
Cost: $260 / participant (sibling and friend discount available)

CYT Teen Actors Ensemble
Age: 15-18
Tutor: Peter Wilkins & Joe Woodward
Learn to ACT!

Commit to training all year with a group of dedicated young performers and then perform at the end of the year!
In Semester 1 participants will explore the essentials of acting. Develop skills in voice, movement, characterisation and improvisation.
In Semester 2 you will bring to life 4 short plays written by the participants of the Artist’s Unite Project from CYT, Backbone Youth Theatre (Brisbane), Urban Myth Theatre of Youth (SA), Tantrum Youth Theatre (Newcastle) and Mess Up The Mess (UK). Participants will be guided through the creative process, focusing on developing acting techniques and script interpretation & analysis.This workshop will conclude with performances on 21 and 22 November.
Enrol now as places are strictly limited!
Where: C Block Theatre, Gorman House Arts Centre, Braddon
When: Thursdays 4.30pm-6.30pm
& Sundays 10am-3pm 19 July, 16 August, 20 September, 18 October, 15 November
Cost: $560*/ year ($280/ semester)
*Discount available for full year payment $540

Screen Acting: Beginners
Tutor: Stephen Barker
What: Lights. Camera. Action. Participants will learn and develop skills in screen acting as they explore the differences between stage and screen acting in this fun and engaging practical workshop. The workshop will conclude with a gala screening of film/ television scenes shot throughout the duration of the course.
Where: C Block Theatre, Gorman House Arts Centre, Braddon
When: Tuesdays 4.30pm-6.30pm
Cost: $260 / participant (sibling and friend discount available)

Screen Acting: Advanced – Shakespeare on Screen
Age: 15-25
Tutor: Stephen Barker
What: Rise to the challenge and discover how the works of Shakespeare translate onto the big screen! This workshop will explore practical skills you can use to get the most out of Shakespeare’s plays, and how to perform them for the camera. If you have some previous screen acting experience, come along and join this dynamic workshop and crash-tackle scenes from one of the greatest (and most performed) playwrights ever. You will also get the chance to see your work screened at our end of semester performance.
Where: C Block Theatre, Gorman House Arts Centre, Braddon
When: Tuesdays 7pm-9pm
Cost: $260 / participant (sibling and friend discount available)

Acting Technique
Age: 18+
Tutor: TBC
What: Develop skills in voice, movement, improvisation and characterization.
Participants will work with an experienced director on in-depth character and scene analysis, focusing on developing an understanding of sub text and emotional truth. The workshop will conclude with a short performance for family & friends.
Where: C Block Theatre, Gorman House Arts Centre, Braddon
When: Wednesdays 6.30-8.30pm
Cost: $260 / participant (sibling and friend discount available)

Tutor: Pip Buining and Guest Tutors
Auditions: Saturday 28 February 10am-3pm
Where: C Block Theatre, Gorman House Arts Centre, Braddon
When: Saturdays 10am – 5pm starting from 14 March.
Cost: $580* / year (or $290/semester) *
Discount available for upfront yearly payment / payment plan also available.
What: The CYT Actors Ensemble is for young people aged 18-25 who are passionate about developing their skills in performance. Auditions for the Ensemble are held at the start of each year and those selected commit to training together on a weekly basis developing core skills in acting, movement, voice, improvisation and performance making.
In 2009 the Ensemble will be actively engaged in the development and performance of CYT’s major touring production, TANK.
TANK is sustainable theatre. TANK is about water. Our need and use of it. It’s priceless existence. TANK is set inside a small theatrical water tank. TANK is 6 x 6 minute plays for an audience of 6. TANK is flexible, fun, intimate portable theatre that will tour.
Application forms can be obtained by contacting the CYT office, applications close on Monday 23 February.
The CYT Actors Ensemble is proudly supported by Canberra Milk
TANK is sponsored by the Rock Development Group

OPEN HOUSE: Artistic Residency for Emerging Artists
Age: 18-25
Mentor: Pip Buining or a professional theatre practitioner of your choice*
“Open House was the perfect testing ground, we failed, we succeeded, we discovered new ideas waiting for us “ Cathy Petocz 2008 Open House Recipient

CYT’s Open House program is for young independent artists seeking to create/ rehearse/develop a theatrical project. Open House invites emerging artists to take theatrical risks and expand their performance horizons through engaging in an artistic residency in our space for a fortnight.
In 2009 CYT will run Open House twice: providing an ACT and an interstate emerging artist with the opportunity to develop new work in our theatre.
The selected artist will have:
– the support of the Artistic Director of CYT
access to the resources of the company (office, workshop, technical & theatrical)
rent-free access to a flexible performance space with lighting rig and sound system for two weeks.
travel reimbursement* for non ACT recipient (*within Australia, conditions apply)
accommodation for non ACT recipient at Gorman House Arts Centre
– a stipend to financially support* them for the duration of Open House (conditions apply)
Contact the Artistic Director for further details and an application form.
Open House Recipients must be Australian Citizens.
Applications Due: Tuesday 1st April 2009 & 1st July
Where: C Block Theatre, Gorman House Arts Centre, Braddon
When: Open House #1 Monday 25 June- Sunday 8 July
Open House #2 Monday 1 -13 December
Cost: FREE!

hiJinx @ The National Folk Festival
hiJinx : boisterous celebration or merrymaking, unrestrained fun.
Do you want to PERFORM? If so then read on…
hiJinx is a youth managed and produced evening of youth variety performance at the National Folk Festival.
If you are between the ages of 12-25 and have an act then you are invited to apply to perform at hiJinx. Get up off your couch and act, sing, dance, juggle, play a tune, show your short film, cavort and do your hiJinx on stage. All performers get a complimentary day pass to the National Folk Festival.
For an application form please contact the hiJinx Committee at
When & Where:
Auditions: Sunday 22 March 2pm @ CYT
Rehearsal: Sunday 5 April 2pm @ CYT
Performance: Saturday 11 & Sunday 12 April
Cost: Free

MASTER IT! Professional Development 18+
The Street Theatre & CYT presents (street development logo here)
Inspire yourself. Discover new possibilities. Extend your practice. Acquire new skills.
Throughout the year CYT and The Street Theatre will provide Professional Development workshops for local artists (see website throughout the year for details) as well as conducting the Affiliate Program
The Affiliate Program is for theatre makers
who want to extend themselves as a Director, Stage Designer, Lighting Designer, Stage Manager or Actor.
This program provides selected participants with the opportunity to be attached to an artist of their choosing through an affiliation with a specific professional Street Theatre production. These secondments will enable you to observe every aspect of a production, from rehearsals to production meetings. Regular meetings will be held with your principal artist of choice where issues of interest arising from your observation of process will be discussed. Each secondment includes a modest stipend for affiliated artists.
For more information contact the Artistic Director of The Street Theatre

The CYT Chrysalis Program aims to support young and emerging theatre artists. In the past Chrysalis has assisted CYT members through subsiding workshop fees, providing individual mentorship programs and facilitating professional development opportunities. In 2008 Anthony Arblaster was the recipient of the Chrysalis Program and engaged in a technical internship with Belvoir Street Theatre and the Sydney Theatre Company.

Jan Wawrzynczak Memorial Technical Scholarship &
David Branson Memorial Performance Scholarship
can assist a young person through:

– subsidising the cost of a semester workshop at CYT OR
– assisting with fees for a specific workshop/course outside the ACT OR
– paying the fee of a professional artist to mentor and work one on one with you OR
– assisting with travel costs to attend a workshop/course outside the ACT

For more information or to apply for a Scholarship contact the CYT office 6248 5057 or
By Design
CYT also designs theatre workshops that are tailored specifically to meet the needs of school groups, community organisations and individuals.
Where: Workshops can be conducted in our theatre space at Gorman House or at your venue.
Contact: If you would like to know more about our By Design Workshops contact the office
Phone: 6248 5057
Email: pip

In the past we have run workshops in:
Audition Preparation, Acting Technique, Improvisation, Group Devising, Comedy, Physical Theatre, Circus, Acting For Camera, Commedia dell’Arte, Voice, Scriptwriting, Unlocking Shakespeare, 20th Century Theatre Practitioners, Suzuki, Laban, Viewpoints, Butoh, Boal, Directing, Approaching Text, Lighting Design, Set & Costume Design, Stage Management & Teaching Primary and Secondary Drama.


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