The White City Youth Theatre has had a longstanding presence in the community since September 2008 and has attracted a loyal membership, which creates a supportive and friendly hub for local youth.
Through drama, participants establish friendships with those from neighbouring schools, forming a more positive social environment in the local community.
The aim of the White City Youth Theatre is to provide young people with access to drama and theatre practice, using the energy involved in creating theatre within their community to enhance their social and personal development.
Through their personal connections and joint experience Melanie and Lucy aim to connect young people (who would not normally have any access to the dramatic arts) to contemporary theatre. To encourage them to value it, be part of it and be enriched in the process.
Young people from all backgrounds are brought together by their love of drama and in the process find themselves getting to know people they would not have met otherwise. All ages, races, religions mix together and have formed 'a family' of like-minded souls. There is great acceptance, camaraderie and support amongst our young people.
One of our aims is to help our members look beyond their immediate surroundings and our links to the Bush and the Lyric Theatre provide them with opportunities to gain work experience leading often to employment.
In most cases our new members have never been to the theatre or know of the existence of their local arts centers. By performing in their spaces and meeting with their production teams and frequent visits to watch their shows they become comfortable and at home in these previously alien environments.
By forming these bridges the young peoples horizons are widened and their aspirations are raised.
The club has links with young filmmakers and theatre professionals, and frequently cooperates with the local Bush Theatre, where they use the theatre for performance projects and have worked with young and up and coming writers provided by the Bush. The process of making theatre is very empowering. To work together in a team creatively and expressing oneself through the medium of drama is hugely rewarding.
To be able to share the product of that effort in order to communicate ideas and feelings within the community raises self esteem and provides a huge sense of satisfaction.
For the past 4 years, our older company have taken part in the National Theatre's prestigious Connections Festival, which is a very exciting opportunity for our members. Participants have the opportunity to work on a brand new play, commissioned by the National Theatre and written specifically for young people by a well-known playwright, which they go on to perform on the professional stage of a partner theatre. In the past we have partnered with The Lyric Hammersmith, The Bush and the Kiln.
The weekly drama workshops enable young people to discuss topical issues in a safe, protected environment. As well as taking on scripted plays, young people are also encouraged to devise their own pieces with the assistance of highly trained and experienced drama practitioners. The coaches seek to inspire and develop the aspirations of young people through regular excursions to theatre performances (The Bush, Lyric Hammersmith, National Theatre, Old Vic, Young Vic, Royal Court, and West End Theatres).
Furthermore, they support participants to fulfill their own theatrical potential, and several have gone on to become involved with professional theatre companies, including the National Youth Theatre, the Lyric Hammersmith and the Bush Theatre and to study Drama at A level and beyond.
We encourage our older members to become volunteers for our junior group, they derive great pleasure from getting to know and supporting younger members of their community, and in turn they gain great insight and experience.
We continue to make wider contacts in the community including links to the acclaimed drama school in Hammersmith, LAMDA. Plus, two of our students have been awarded a grant from the White City Youth Bank to make a documentary film about the group.
The programme's longstanding presence helps attract a loyal membership creating a supportive and friendly hub for local youth.
Through drama, participants establish friendships with those from neighbouring schools, forming a more positive social environment on the estate.
White City Youth Theatre
The Bush Theatre
7 Uxbridge Road
London W12 8LJ
Drama is held on Mondays
(during term time only):
Juniors (9-11yrs) - 4:15 - 5:30 pm
Seniors (11-18) - 6:00 - 7:30 pm
"A happy fun place to be"
"A way to express myself"
"A way to express yourself and not be afraid to be yourself"
"Good, happy fun"
"Good integrative fun"
"Enjoyable, fun, friendly"
"Brilliant, interesting, fun and I love it"
"Good fun and enjoyable"
"I love coming to the WCYT session, it is a lot of fun and very close to home, which is great. I hope the group stays forever"
"It has made me more confident"
"It has made me feel more confident"
"The WCYT has helped me improve my confidence and drama skills. Best thing is I've made new friends"
"I'm more confident, happy and more involved"
"I love being with Mel and Lucy, they create new fun games"
I really like the WCYT, because I've made new friends and we have lots of fun"
"Incredible, great people and always a lot of fun"
"A family which allows you to grow your drama skills, it's a great place"
"It's excellent for drama beginners"
"I have recommended it to other parents and kids."
"A life saver!"
"A friendly place that welcomes anyone, amazing!"
"It's like a family and it's helped me grow so much. It's fun and I learn so much every time I come here"
"It's so cool"
"The WCYT is so much fun. I love it and I never want to leave"
"Fab, that is all that can be said"