Almost 25 Years!
The WA Youth Theatre Company is set to turn twenty-five next year and is looking forward to showcasing what the evolution that quarter century has allowed for. Since 1990 WAYTCo 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 100s of 1000s 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, Jefferey J Fowler, William O’Mahonney, Claire Hooper, Bryan Woltjen, Steve McCall and our own new Artisitic Director Renato Fabretti have been offered that crucial early (often first!) professional engagement needed to get them across the threshold toward a fulltime professional career – be that as directors, writers, designers or arts managers.
A great number of our members, including our artistic patron Tim Minchin, 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 – 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 WAYTCo on to work as independent theatre artists - award winners The Cutting Room Floor’s Scott Corbett and Zoe Hollyoak - or on to further training as the handpicked students of WAAPA and NIDA here in Australia or to elite vocational schools like The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute, The Stella Adler Studio of Acting and Atlantic in the US.
WAYTCO has recently produced successful productions of Another Twin, MINE, Clark in Sarejevo, 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 in 600 Seconds at The Blue Room Theatre.
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 both here, over east and beyond our shores. One of our key aims is to showcase the brilliance of our young artist here in WA and see that they are recognised and angaged by the local arts community - something of which we are uniquely capable. A review of our recent production DNA published by by Ali Taulbut in the West Australian concluded:
“It is an electrifying script beautifully realised in this production with terrific direction and all-round excellent performances from the young cast.”
From this one production alone, three cast and crew members proceeded directly on to studies at NIDA immediately following their work with the company; three more into short-film acting roles on local productions; 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. Four more were placed with agents to represent them as working artist in the field as a result of the showcase the production afforded them and conversations opened up for them by staff with the WA Youth Theatre Company who passionately promoted their ability to those that could aid them further.
In 2014, WAYTCO has successfully employed a new General Manager James Nerva and Artistic Director Renato Fabretti who are now supported by an extensive and strong new Board of Management. 2015 and beyond already look great, thanks to their new investment in the company, and the shows and training ahead promise a great array of new opportunities for young WA artists to strive and shine!