Since 1990 WA Youth Theatre has provided thousands of young Western Australians the opportunity to engage in theatre through performance, workshops, directing, writing and technical and production roles, and memorable experiences for hundreds of thousands of audience members.
The company, routed in ‘learning through doing’, production based training, has delivered a diverse range of large cast, classical and contemporary text-based plays and original developmental works – while generating career pathways for many artists who continue to contribute to our national theatre and performance culture today.
The company has forged clear pathways for young performers, crew and creative, successfully training and promoting young theatre artists; offering capability and confidence boosting experiences for our members while providing key employment opportunities for many emerging artists bridging the gap between study and professional engagement. WA talent such as Tim Minchin, Jeffrey J Fowler, William O’Mahonney, Claire Hooper, Bryan Woltjen and Steve McCall have been offered that crucial first professional engagement needed to get them across the threshold toward a fulltime professional career – be that as directors, actors, writers, designers or arts managers.
A great number of our members have gone on from key experiences in our theatre productions to careers that span not only theatre performance and production, but also careers with increasing presence in national and international film productions – Katherine Langford (13 Reasons Why), Daisy Coyle (Black Swan Theatre Company- Lighthouse Girl), Kelly Paterniti (Cops, Sucker Punch), Megan Holloway (a Belvoir Theatre Company regular), Amanda Woodhams (Black Swan Theatre Company and Cloudstreet for TV), Liam Graham (The Legend of Gavin Tanner, Greenfield and Psorosis) - whilst many others have taken the confidence, creativity and capability honed at WA Youth Theatre on to work as independent theatre artists (The Cutting Room Floor’s Scott Corbett and Zoe Hollyoak), or on to further training as the handpicked students of West Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) and National Institute for Dramatic Art (NIDA) here in Australia or to elite vocational schools like The Strasburg Institute and Atlantic in the United States.
WA Youth Theatre has recently produced successful productions of Crave, The Dreaming Hill, Punk Rock, Fish Out Of Water (Drop Dead), MINE, D.N.A., and the devised trilogy Earth, Wind & Fire as well as performances integrated within the Perth City arts celebration of Fringe Festival’s Including devised shows, The Lonely Playground, 2017, and On the Face of Things, 2016 as well is in 600 Seconds at The Blue Room Theatre in 2014.
The works are increasingly finding new audiences of young theatre-goers, and attracting local film-makers, agents and other theatre practitioners who are capable of assisting in the launch of our young talent in the larger creative sphere here and beyond our shores- A review by Ali Taulbut in the West Australian concluded of our recent production DNA cited it as “an electrifying script beautifully realised in this production with terrific direction and all-round excellent performances from the young cast.” Three cast and crew members proceeded directly on to studies at NIDA immediately following the production, three more into short film roles while one drew the confidence to launch herself as a full-time professional visual artists with her first set of exhibitions alongside her launch as performer on the east coast.