We caught up with Alex Cahill from Dublin 15, who joined D15 Youth Theatre in Draíocht in its first year, 7 years ago, when he was 14 years old. This year, Alex returned to D15 Youth Theatre, this time as a Writer, having written his first play ‘i-Court’, which was presented in Draíocht’s Theatre in July for 2 SOLD OUT shows, performed by the current members of D15 Youth Theatre, under the Direction of Eimear Morrissey and Mark Rogers, the facilitators of the weekly sessions.
Group Auditions will be held on 1 October 2017 for new members for Draíocht’s highly successful Youth Theatre (D15YT), for those aged between 14-18 years with a love of theatre, having fun, making new friends and trying new things. D15YT runs on Tuesday evenings 7pm-9pm, during school term times starting in October and running until May. Full details below.
What age did you start in D15 Youth Theatre?
I started Youth Theatre when I was 14 years old. I initially had to be dragged along to auditions by a few friends because I was an awkward, shy teenager who didn’t want to participate in any form of social interaction with strangers. After letting go of my fears and getting comfortable with the group around me, I ended up scoring a place among the ranks of the newly formed D15 Youth Theatre. Unfortunately, the same couldn’t be said for the friends who brought me along. Beneath my own feeling of shy uncomfortableness, a promising dramatic flair stood out to the facilitators.
Would you recommend that someone consider joining our Youth Theatre?
I have always recommended to as many people as I can to join Youth Theatre. The hardest part in my experience is to get people to that initial audition, to convince them that interacting and working with a group of strangers is actually a lot more fun than you’d think. I think the term “audition” can be an intimidating word to people who are considering coming along, as it can elicit the fear that they’re going to have to present a monologue in front of a panel of judges. The YT auditions are not a frightening solo experience. They are a fun day where everyone participates equally in various group activities, where you’re having such a laugh that you completely forget you’re competing for a place in D15 Youth Theatre.
I found that Youth Theatre was such an important part of my life for me growing up. Looking back now, it’s hard to believe that it was only on for two hours a week. The long-lasting skills, friends, confidence, connections, and experiences make it irresistible to me not to recommend YT to everyone who even expresses the faintest interest, and even to those who don’t! Whether you’re shy or outgoing, dramatic or subdued, looking to get involved in the arts or just looking to take a break from the average school week, D15 Youth Theatre is the place for you!
Do you make friends?
Going into Youth Theatre, I knew no one. But looking back, I think this was for the best. Youth Theatre was the only group/club/activity I did outside of school. Having a whole new group of people enter my life was a really broadening experience that enabled me to step away from any reputation I may have had in school and start anew with a fresh group of people. The first few weeks of YT focus on making sure everyone gets to know each other, but honestly, even without the facilitators help, making friends in YT is one of easiest things in life. Everybody who has joined has such a unique, interesting personality, that it’s impossible to resist striking up conversation. I have made lifelong friends in Youth Theatre that I would consider some of my closest friends today. Even friends who I may have fell out of contact with over the years, I find myself stopping to talk to as if no time has passed if I bump into them on the street. Reminiscing about our days in YT always leads us to the conclusion that Youth Theatre were some of the best times of our life.
Can you be yourself?
Youth Theatre for a lot of us was a place where we felt confident to be ourselves, away from the eyes of classmates or family. I always felt that, since Youth Theatre was a new space, with new people, I had no prior expectation to live up to. I could be myself from the get-go, and the other members could take it or leave it. As it turned out, unsurprisingly, everyone loves someone who is honest to themselves, instead of someone who tries to act cool just to make friends. I quickly began to realise that I was much happier being true to myself in YT, and this changed the way I acted in all aspects of my life. Youth Theatre is not a place where people judge others. Being yourself in such an accepting environment couldn’t be easier.
Does it impact other areas of your life?
Youth Theatre taught me so much more than the many theatrical skills I learned there. Meeting new people each year, after being a new person myself at one point, meant that talking confidently to strangers was no problem at all for me. From classmates in school, to cashiers in shops, to new people in college, YT enabled me to have confidence with everyone I met. Youth Theatre also helps me confidently speak in front of groups of people. Doing presentations in college, or having an interview for a job is a breeze after you’ve gone on stage in front of hundreds of people. So many past members of YT have gone on to study or work in many different roles because they found a passion for it during their time here. From drama studies, to filmmaking, to sound design, to drag, and many others. All found the confidence, inspiration, or information due to being a part of the Youth Theatre.
Is it fun?
Youth Theatre was my highlight of each week. No matter what mood I was in, no matter how stressed I was with school work and exams, I would always look forward to letting my troubles melt away in Draíocht. Meeting up with my friends, doing hilarious workshops, creating interesting pieces, seeing all of our hard work pay off at our shows… There was never a week when I wouldn’t come home with a big smile on my face, my spirits high, and my longing for the next week already commencing.
What sort of activities take place?
Each session of Youth Theatre normally focuses on a specific aspect of theatre. With improvisation, movement pieces, character building, scripting, voice work, and many more, there’s always something new to try out and learn from each week. Before we get into the main focus of the week however, we always start off with an interesting warm up. These warm ups can be some of the most fun moments that you’ll remember, as they build up the atmosphere of fun, creativity, and energy for the rest of the night. It’s during these warm ups that you can really shake off the stress of the week before diving head first into whatever activity our amazing facilitators have cooked up for us.
Do you get to see shows?
When you’re learning about theatre, it’s important to take a look at the different sorts of theatre that are taking place around you. As a member of D15 Youth Theatre, you get the opportunity to see a variety of different shows, both in Draíocht and beyond. From your typical plays, to interpretive dance, to opera shows, to one-man comedy performances, YT aims to show you a huge variety of different aspects of theatre, and broaden your horizons and outlook on what different directions theatre can take you.
AUDITION INFORMATION 2017
D15 Youth Theatre Auditions 2017
SUNDAY 01 OCTOBER 2017
For Ages: 14-18 Yrs
All are welcome to auditions, please drop into Draíocht to pick up an Application Form or phone 01-8852622 and we can post you one, or email firstname.lastname@example.org and she can email you one.
The Audition will take place on Sunday, 01 October 2017 @ Draíocht 11am-2pm.
Please arrive at 10.45am to sign in. You do not need to prepare anything or bring anything with you.
We will begin with a chat about the auditions and what will be involved in participating in D15 Youth Theatre. You will then take part in a group workshop. This workshop will involve some group activities and some script work. Don’t be nervous – being able to work as part of a group, take guidance and pick up new things is every bit as important as previous experience.
The Audition is NOT based on talent alone; participants are selected with regard to the following aim:
We aim to establish a good gender mix, from a range of abilities and backgrounds and so, will select participants based on the following criteria:
• Gender balance
• Social/geographical mix
• Inclusion of ages 14 years-18 years
• Interest and passion for theatre
We will let each participant know by letter if they have been selected.
Should you be offered a place, the first term will run weekly from Tuesday 17th October.
There is a €10 membership fee per term and a €2 weekly contribution.
We look forward to seeing you at auditions and wish you luck on the day!
OTHER PAST MEMBERS TESTIMONIALS:
“For me, the relationship that all of us have as a group is something that is hard to find. We have gotten so close and made a family as such. Through Youth Theatre, I have met some of the nicest people I have ever met in my entire life, and I am so thankful for everyone for making this such a great experience for me. I really do love all of yous. It is amazing how much everyone bonds so well and the friendships that are formed are something that is truly special. Draiocht must mean magic after all, because there is something magical going on whenever we go there.”
Daire, past D15YT Member
“I’ve never felt so comfortable around a group of people in my life. Everyone in the group is friends, we get on so well we even joke and say that we’re a family. Being so comfortable around my fellow group members allows me to express myself, blossom and be creative and this in turn helps me to develop as an actress and writer all the time. Having such a supportive and constructive creative environment available is fantastic, and does wonders for your confidence and self-esteem. When you show up to a workshop on a Tuesday night having had a crap day or week, you know you’re going to leave with a smile on your face because the chemistry and energy in the group is amazing, it just lifts your spirits immediately when you step into the same room as them.”
Shauna, past D15YT Member
“At D15 Youth Theatre you can be yourself, nobody judges you and you can let the worries of reality slip away. It acts as an escape for most members, a break from school work or annoying parents; we all know life can be a bit stressful every now and then, but no matter what mood I'm in, I'm always looking forward to 7pm Tuesdays!.”
Izzie, past D15YT Member