As you will see from the plethora of images documenting the performances produced by NST Youth Theatre over the recent years, these productions are always strongly complimented by the exceptional design concepts of our NST Laboratory Associate Designers. We have been fortunate enough to work with designers who truly understand the importance of a youth theatre to those young people involved, with the NST Laboratory Associate Designers more often than not getting their first taste of theatre through their own membership of a youth theatre in their younger years.
The work produced by NST Youth Theatre has a long-established history of drawing out “highly-captivating”, “engaging” and “cleverly realised” performances of its casts, with our young performers time and time again blowing away those audiences fortunate enough to attend a show. Having reflected upon the amazing creativity and work ethic brought to the acting element of our NST Youth Theatre productions, we felt it was time to provide the opportunity to our members to take the reins on the design of one of our productions. After discussions with the organisation as to how this might work, we decided that we would enlist the help of our NST Laboratory Associate Designers before our members would be given the challenge of designing our 2019 NT Connections production in the NST City Studio.
Finding members from within our youth theatre willing to take on the challenge of becoming our first batch of NST Youth Theatre Member Designers was the easy part; whittling down the applicants to a manageable number proved to be more difficult. In the end we opted to have two members assigned to each of the elements of design for the NT Connections production: design (incl. set and costume); lighting; and sound.
But before they would be let loose to create their designs for the show we wanted to provide them with an opportunity to get to know the design process for a production a little better. Step forward our wonderful NST Laboratory Associate Designers who very kindly agreed to allow our member designers to shadow them through their design process on our January production of How to Disappear Completely and Never Be Found. This shadowing allowed our NST Youth Theatre Member Designers to witness first-hand how professional designers: produce their concept; present their ideas at the initial white card meeting; work with the director, producer, production manager and technical manager; develop their design; present their ideas at the final model box meeting; working with the studio technicians to bring the design to life; and running the technical and dress rehearsals. This was an outstanding experience for our young designers and we are very thankful to NST Laboratory Associate Designers: Annie May Fletcher (Sound), Dan Saggars (Lighting) and Verity Johnson (Design) for their generosity, encouragement and time.
In our next blog you’ll hear from some of our NST Youth Theatre Member Designers as they share with us an insight into their creative process in designing Class.
Youth Theatre Director
Class will be performed at NST City Studio, 28-30 March
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To find out more information about the work of NST Youth Theatre including how to get involved, visit our Youth Theatre page.