Originally published in The Stage, July 2016
Is making theatre for young audiences any different to making theatre? Does it require a special set of skills that aren’t offered on other training courses?
If you look at the syllabus of many acting BAs and applied theatre courses, there are modules aimed at theatre for young audiences. It may be a piece of Shakespeare aimed at a schools audience, a schools tour or a piece of children’s theatre for Christmas. But creating theatre for young audiences is about more than touring work to schools.
Across the country there are companies and theatres that specialise in creating a full-time programme of work aimed at young people. Visit the Unicorn or Polka Theatre in London, or the Egg Theatre in Bath and you’ll see a programme of work as eclectic and diverse as any other theatre – the only difference is that their seasons are aimed at young people.
In the same way that theatres specialise in work for a young audience, so too do some MA courses.